1680 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Katherine Philips

John Aubrey, in Brief Lives, 1669-1696; ed. Clark (1898) 2:152-55.



Orinda — From Mr. J. Oxenbridge, her uncle (now prisoner in the Fleet on her account for a dept of her husband, scil. bound for him 28 yeares since), and lady Montagu.

Mris Katharine Fowler was the daughter of John Fowler of London, merchant (an eminent merchant in Bucklersbury), and Katherine Oxenbridge, daughter of ... Oxenbridg, M.D., President of the Physicians' College — quaere de hoc in < the London > Dispens[atory].

She was christned in Woollchurch. If alive now (July 1681), she might be 48 or 49; vide register. Katharine, the daughter of John Fowler and Katharine his wife, was baptized January 11, 1631, as per the register booke of St. Mary Woole-church appeareth.

I say,

Robert Watkins, churchwarden.

She went to schoole at Hackney to Mris Salmon, a famous schoolmistris, Presbyterian, < John > Ball's catechism. Amici, — Mris Mary Aubrey and Mris ... Harvey since, lady (Sir ...) Deering. Loved poetrey at schoole, and made verses there. She takes after her grandmother Oxenbridge, her grandmother, who was an acquaintance of Mr. Francis Quarles, being much inclined to poetrie herselfe.

Maried to James Philips of the Priorie at Cardigan, esq., about 1647 (scil. the yeare after the army was at Putney), by whom she had one sonne, dead (in her booke), and one daughter married to Mr. Wgan of ..., in some degree like her mother.

She was very religiously devoted when she was young; prayed by herself an hower together, and tooke sermons verbatim when she was but 10 yeares old.

She died of the small pox in Fleet Street. Shee lies buried at St. Benet-Sherehog at the end of Syth's lane in London.

Ex registro istius ecclesiae: — "Mris Katherine Philippes, the wife of James Philippes, was buried the 23 of June 1664 in the north ayle under the great stone with the brasen rnonyment" — the brasse is now lost.

She was when a child much against the bishops, and prayd to God to take them to him, but afterwards was reconciled to them. Prayed aloud, as the hypocriticall fashion then was, and was overheared — vide a of T[homas] H[obbes] Civill Warres and Satyre against Hypocrites.

My cozen Montague < told me that she had a > read pumpled face; wrote out verses in innes, or mottos in windowes, in her table-booke.

Memorandum: — La Solitude de St. Amant was englished by Mris Katherine Philips. 'Tis 20 stanzas — I thinke not yet printed — I had them from Elizabeth, the countesse of Thanet, 1672.

Quaere what shee wrote?

Poemes.

Pompey — tragedy.

She went into Ireland (after her mariage) with the lady Dungannon (whom she calles Lucatia); and at Dublin she wrote Pompey.

Her husband had a good estate, but bought Crowne landes; he mortgaged, etc. His brother Hector tooke off the mortgages and haz the lands.

From her cosen Blacket, who lived with her from her swadling cloutes to eight, and taught her to read: — She informes me viz. — when a child she was mighty apt to learne, and she assures me that she had read the Bible thorough before she was full four yeares old; she could have sayd I know not how many places of Scripture and chapters. She was a frequent hearer of sermons; had an excellent memory and could have brought away a sermon in her memory. Very good-natured; not at all high-minded; pretty fatt; not tall; reddish faced.

Quaere my cosen Montagu when she began to make verses. — Quaere how many children she had — Quaere her coat of arms, and her husband's.

Major-Generall Skippen was her mother's third husband.

"She lies interred under a gravestone with her father and grandfather and grandmother, just opposite to the dore of the new churchyard, about 3 yards distant" — quaere if from the doore or the opposite wal; and quaere if any inscription on her relations on the said stone.

She had only one daughter ... who is maried to ... Wgan esq. of Pembrokeshire or Caermarthenshire — quaere iterum her uncle Oxenbridge.