1690 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edward Phillips

Anthony Wood, Athenae Oxonienses (1690-91; 1721) 2:1116-20.



EDWARD PHILLIPS, Son of a Father of both his Names by Anne his Wife, Dau. of Joh. Milton, and Sister to Joh. Milton the Defender of the Murder of K. Ch. I. was born in the strand near Charing Cross within the Liberty of Westminster in Aug. 1630, educated in Grammar Learning under his Uncle J. Milt. before-mention'd, became a Student of Madg. Hall in the beginning of March, 1648, where continuing till 1651, he left the University without the Honour of a Degree. Afterwards retiring to London, and improving that Foundation which he had laid in Magd. Hall, became so noted for the trivial Arts, the refined English Tongue, and knowledge in several Languages, that he became afterwards 1. Tutor to John Son of Joh. Evelin of Say's Court near Deptford in Kent. 2. To Sir Phil. Herbert, afterwards Earl of Pembroke. and 3. Instructor to Isabella Dutchess of Grafton, Dau. to Hen. Earl of Arlington, and to Hon. Bennet Nephew to the said Earl. Afterwards, or about that time, he married a Woman with several Children, taught School in the Strand near the May-Pole, lived in poor condition (tho' a good Master) wrote and translated several things meerly to get a bare livelyhood, was out of Employment in 1684 and 85. He hath published,

A new World of English Words: or, a General Dictionary, containing the Terms, Etymologies, Definitions, and perfect Interpretations of the proper Significations of hard English Words, throughout the Arts and Sciences liberal and mechanic, &c. Lond. 1657. fol. in which the author hath involved most of the book entit. Glossographia, &c. published in the year 1656, as the writer thereof Tho. Blount of the Inner Temple complaineth. Afterwards one or more editions of the New World of Words, &c. coming out, the author added thereunto whatsoever he could find in other authors, without any acknowledgment from whence he had received them. At length the said Tho. Blount published his master-piece entit. A Law Dictionary, &c. Lond. 1670. fol. our author Phillips did involve most of it into another edit. of the said New World of Words, &c. which he was then about to print, as the said Th. Blount in his letter to me dated 14 Mar. 1670, thus attesteth, "But I am much discouraged in my so much fancied scrutiny of words, since I am lately assured my last dictionary (meaning the Law Dict.) is at the press surreptitiously, being transcrib'd, mutilated, and disguis'd with some new title; and this by a beggarly half-witted scholar, hir'd for the purpose by some of the law-booksellers, to transcribe that in four or five months, which cost me twice as many years in compiling," &c. Which said edition (the third I think) coming out soon after, and Blount finding all to be true, what he before had been told, answer'd the said book in another entit. A World of Errors discover'd in the New World of Words, or General Dictionary, and in Nomothetes: or, the Interpreter of Law Words. Lond. 1673. in 5 sh. and an half in fol. which Nomothetes was published by Tho. Manley of the Inner Temple, an. 1672. fol. But nothwithstanding the said Mr. Blount's answer, came forth a fourth edit. of the said New World of Words, &c. Lond. 1678. fol. with very many additions, which made it quite another thing. But before Mr. Blount had taken notice of him and his work, a greater person than him had done it, namely Dr. Steph. Skinner in his Etymologicon Linguae Angl. wherein, in one place, he saith, "et pro more authoris exponiture absurdissime." In another, "Ridicule ut solet omnia." In a third, "Ubi notare est miserrimam authoris ignorantiam." Notwithstanding which reprehensions, our author Phillips makes use, in his later editions, of his New World, &c. of many things in the said Etymologicon. Mr. Phillips hath also written,

Tractatulus de Carmine Dramatico Poetarum, praesertim in Choris Tragicis, & veteris Comoediae.

Compendius Enumeratio Poetarum (saltem quorum Fama maxime enituit) qui a Tempore Dantis Aligerii usque ad hanc Aetatem claruerunt: nempe Italorum, Germanorum, Anglorum, &c. These two things were added to the seventeenth edit. of Joh. Buchlerus his book entit. Thesaurus, &c. Lond. 1669. oct.

Theatrum Poetarum: or, a compleat Collection of the Poets, especially the most eminent of all Ages, &c. Lond. 1675. oct.

Discourse of the Poets and Poetry in general, written by way of Pref. to Theat. Poet. and directed to Tho. Stanley and Edw. Sherburn, Esquires. This Theat. Poet. contains a brief, roving, and cursory account (without time) of the ancient and modern Poets in two Alphabets. At the end of which is a Supplement of some Persons and Things omitted in the said two Alphabets: and at the end of that are two Alphabets more, one containing an account of Women among the Ancients, and the other of Women among the Moderns, eminent for Poetry. All which Collections may serve as a Guide or Apparatus for a curious Man to proceed in a greater and more exact Discourse on the same Subject. But now observe, as our Author Phillips did unmercifully steal matter from T. Blount's Glossography and Law Dictionary, so afterwards came a certain Scribler named Will. Winstanley, originally a Barber, who took all the Characters of the English Poets mention'd in the said Theat. Poet. and remitted them into his Book entit. The Lives of the most famous English Poets, &c. Lond. 1687. oct. Our author Phillips hath also written,

Tractatulus de Modo & Ratione Formandi Voces derivativas Linguae Latinae. Lond. 1682. qu.

Observationes de Compositis & Decompositis. Printed with the Tractatulus.

Enchiridion Linguae Latinae: or, a compendious Latin Dictionary, equally sufficient, with the largest extant, for all Learners, whether Children, or those of riper Years, &c. To which are added, 1. A Collection of the most usitate Greek Words, &c. 2. A brief Anglo-Latin or English Lat. Dictionary. 3. Another of the most select proper Names, Poetical and Historical, &c. Lond. 1684. oct.

Speculum Linguae Latinae: or, a succinct and new Method of all the most material and fundamental Words of the Lat. Tongue. Lond. 1684. oct. These two last were all or mostly taken from the Latin Thesaurus, writ by Joh. Milton uncle to Edw. Phillips.

Poem on the Coronation of his most sacred Majesty K. Jam. II. and his Royal Consort our gracious Qu. Mary. Lond. 1685. in 2 sh. fol.

He also translated into English Two Novels, written by Don J. Perez de Montalvan. From Greek into Lat. Pausanius; and from French into English, The Minority of St. Lewis, with the Politic Conduct of Affairs by his Mother, Queen Blanch of Spain, during her Regency. Lond. 1685. in tw.

He also published Poems. Lond. 1656. oct. with The Wandering Muses and Madrigals and Epigrams, all written by Will. Drummond of Hawthornden; before which poems is Drummond's picture set.

This Edw. Phillips hath a Brother called Joh. Phillips, who having early imbib'd in a most plentiful manner the rankest Antimonarchical Principles, from that villanous leading Incendiary Joh. Milton his Uncle, but not in any University, proved in a short time so notable a Proficient in his bloody School of King-killing, that he judged himself sufficiently qualifyed publically to engage in and espouse his Master's quarrel: and this he did in his Milton Defensio, &c. [life of John Phillips omitted].