PHILIPPS, William (c.1530-73), of Picton, Pemb.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. c.1530, 1st s. of John Philipps of Picton by Elizabeth, da. of Sir W. Griffith of Penrhyn, Caern. m. Jane, da. of Sir Thomas Perrot of Haroldston, 2da.; 1s. 1da. illegit.2

Offices Held

Sheriff, Carm. 1553-4, Pemb. 1562-3; j.p. Carm., Pemb. from c. 1559; commr. musters, Pemb. 1570.3


The family of Philipps stood in direct descent from the twelfth-century lords of Cilsant in western Carmarthenshire, which remained the centre of their territorial interest until William Philipps’s grandfather Sir Thomas acquired the lordship and castle of Picton in Pembrokeshire by marriage, and with it manors and lands scattered northwards from Milford Haven and eastwards into Carmarthenshire. Henceforth the family influence lay chiefly in Pembrokeshire, where William was assessed at the musters of 1570 at ‘one light horseman furnished’. He was allied by marriage with most of the principal county families: his sisters were married into those of Wyriott of Orielton and Laugharne of St. Bride’s, his daughters into those of Owen of Henllys and Stepneth of Prendergast. All these were sworn enemies of Sir John Perrot, and the fact that Philipps was married to Perrot’s half-sister did not prevent him from taking their side.4

In February 1559 while Philipps was in London for the Parliament, he and Perrot (with their respective servants) were involved in an affray in London, and bound over by the Council; this may be the context in which Philipps appears on the pardon roll for 1 Eliz. In the election at Haverfordwest in 1571, when Perrot’s recent departure for Ireland enabled the opposing faction to muster forces, Philipps (who had rights in the borough) promoted the candidature of Alban Stepneth against John Garnons, Perrot’s man. To discredit Perrot he sent information to the council about ‘disorders’ committed by Perrot’s servants ‘in his late setting forth into Ireland’; but the efforts of Stepneth and Philipps were nullified by the partiality of the mayor and sheriff, nominees of Perrot.5

Philipps’s election for the shire in the following year was a triumph for the anti-Perrot faction, but his membership lasted less than a year. Vexed—according to a contemporary—by Perrot until he died, in March 1573, Philipps was buried, according to the wish he expressed in his will, in Slebech church. Presumably because she predeceased him there is no mention of his wife in the will Philipps made, 27 Feb. 1573, and which was proved by his brother Morgan, 28 Mar. following. The principal legatees were his mother, his daughters Mary and Elizabeth, and his brother and executor Morgan Philipps. Alban Stepneth and another son-in-law received sums of money, and provision was made for his illegitimate children and his servants. ‘The right honourable and my singular good lord the Earl of Essex’ received a gold chain and was appointed an overseer, along with Lady Gamage, and two local gentlemen. Philipps’s outlying estates were divided between his two daughters, but Picton itself, after his mother’s death, passed to his brother Morgan, whose descendants continued the line.6

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: A.H.D.


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.
  • 2. Dwnn, Vis. Wales, i. 114-15; PCC 10 Peter.
  • 3. Lansd. 1218, f. 37; CPR, 1557-8, p. 364; 1560-3, p. 445; 1563-6, p. 364; Flenley, Cal. Reg. Council, Marches of Wales, 69.
  • 4. Nicholas, Annals of County Fams. ii. 908; Dwnn, loc. cit.; Wards 7/14/99; Flenley, 74.
  • 5. APC, vii. 55-6, 62; viii. 18; CPR, 1558-60, p. 197; EHR, lxi. 18-27; Neale, Commons, 255-60.
  • 6. Lansd. 72, f. 4; Wards 7/14/99; C219/282/25-6; PCC 10 Peter.