Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Philipps, Jenkin Thomas

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PHILIPPS, JENKIN THOMAS (d. 1755), translator, of Welsh origin, studied at the university of Basle, and there pronounced in 1707 a Latin oration on the ‘Uses of Travel’ which was published in London in 1715. He appears to have occupied some place about the English court as early as 1715, when he wrote in Latin and French a ‘Discours touchant l'Origine & le Progrès de la Religion Chrêtienne parmi la Nation Britannique. Presenté au Roi.’ The Latin version (3rd edit. 1731) was republished in the author's ‘Dissertationes Historicæ Quatuor,’ London, 1735. Philipps, who was an accomplished linguist, was engaged as a private tutor between 1717 and 1720, and expounded his methods in ‘A compendious Way of teaching Ancient and Modern Languages,’ London, 2nd edit. 1723; 4th, much enlarged, London, 1750. In 1717 he translated from the German ‘An Account of the Religions, Manners, and Learning of the People of Malabar, in several Letters, written by some of the most learned Men of that Country to the Danish Missionaries,’ London, 12mo, which was followed by ‘Thirty-four Conferences between the Danish Missionaries and the Malabarian Bramans (or Heathen Priests) in the East Indies, concerning the Truth of the Christian Religion,’ London, 1719, 8vo.

Before 1726 Philipps became tutor to the children of George II, including William Augustus, duke of Cumberland, for whose use he published ‘An Essay towards a Universal and Rational Grammar; together with Rules in English to learn Latin. Collected from the several Grammars of Milton, Shirley, Johnson, and others,’ London, 1726 (3rd edit. 1741, 12mo). He also published for the duke's use ‘Epistolæ Laconicæ ex operibus Ciceronis, Plinii, Erasmi,’ 1729 (editio nova, 1772); ‘Epistolæ sermone facili conscriptæ,’ 1731 and 1770, 8vo; and ‘Epistola hortativa ad serenissimum Principem Gulielmum, 1737, 4to. Philipps was appointed ‘historiographer’ to the king, and died on 22 Feb. 1755. Besides the works noticed, Philipps issued in London many Latin dissertations: ‘De Rebus Santgallensibus in Helvetia,’ 2nd edit. 1715; ‘De Papatu,’ 2nd edit. 1715; ‘De Sacramento Eucharistiæ,’ from the Greek of Hieromonachus Maximus, 1715, 4to; and ‘De Atheismo,’ which were collected in ‘Dissertationes Historicæ Quatuor,’ 1735. He translated into English ‘The Russian Catechism’ [by the Archimandrite Resenki] [1723], 2nd edit. 1725; ‘Lex Regia, or the Law of Denmark,’ 1731; and ‘The History of the Two Princes of Saxony, viz. Ernestus the Pious, first Duke of Saxe-Gotha, and Bernard, the Great Duke of Saxe-Weimar,’ 1740, 8vo, of which a portion appeared in ‘The Life of Ernestus the Pious … great-grandfather of the present Princess of Wales,’ 1750, 8vo. He printed in 1751, from a manuscript in Trinity College, Cambridge, ‘An Account of the Princes of Wales, from the first institution till Prince Henry, eldest son to King James I. Wrote by Richard Connak’ [6 July 1609]; and compiled in 1752 ‘Fundamental Laws and Constitutions of Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Poland, England, Holland, and Switzerland.’

[Works above mentioned; Notes and Queries, 3rd ser. x. 148; Gent. Mag. 1755, pt. i. p. 92; Watts's Bibliotheca Britannica, ii. 753.]

C. F. S.