PHILIPPS, Erasmus (1699-1743), of Picton Castle, Pemb.
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Family and Education
Philipps published An Appeal to Common Sense, or some considerations offered to restore public credit in 1721 and The State of the Nation in respect of her commerce, debts and money in 1725, putting forward various proposals for the encouragement of trade and for settling the national debt.1 Returned apparently as a Whig on his family’s interest for Haverfordwest he voted against the Administration in every recorded division. He became a trustee of the Georgia Society in 1732.2 On 7 June 1734 he wrote to Walpole:3
I should not have presumed to give you the trouble of this letter, if justice to an injured character did not oblige me. My brother John acquaints me, that when he took the liberty to wait on you last Tuesday with regard to the late election for Haverfordwest, you were pleased, on mention of my name, to say, that you had been informed I made a common practice of railing at you, had declared I would use my endeavours to ruin you, and had called you a wretch. The hearing of these things surprise me to the last degree, and indeed fill me with concern: my answer, Sir, to the shocking charge is plainly this, that from whomsoever you may have received these informations concerning me, they are all of them, upon my word of honour, utterly false and entirely groundless, and I can appeal to God the searcher of hearts that I never in my life uttered the least disrespectful word of you, Sir, of your brother, Mr. Horace Walpole, or of any of your family. Not knowing what other gross falsities may have been reported of me to you, permit me, Sir, before I conclude, to satisfy you as to one thing, (whereof however I believe you have no doubt) I mean my real affection to King George and his family; and on this occasion I do with the greatest truth aver, that his Majesty has not a more loyal and dutiful subject than myself, indeed I have always detested the thought of being otherwise.
He was absent in Italy for the recovery of his health at the time of the Spanish convention in 1739, and voted against the Administration on the chairman of the elections committee in December 1741. On 15 Oct. 1743, when he was ‘returning to Bath, some pigs frightened his horse, which ran back and threw him into the river [Avon], just below the bridge, and he was drowned’.4