1755 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Katherine Philips

George Coleman and Bonnell Thornton, Poems by Eminent Ladies (1755) 2:214.



Mrs. KATHERINE PHILIPS (the celebrated ORINDA) was the daughter of John Fowler, Merchant, and was born in London in the year 1631. She was educated in the presbyterian principles, which her better judgment occasioned her to desert. About the year 1647, she was married to James Philips of Cardigan, Esq. To this gentleman she proved an excellent wife, and, by her good management, extricated him from difficulties, which the reader will find hinted at in the little piece addressed to Antenor, by which name she always mentions her husband.

Her humility, good nature, and agreeable conversation endeared her to all her acquaintance; and her elegant writings procured her the friendship and correspondence of many learned men, and persons of the first rank in England: and on her going to Ireland with the Viscountess of Dungannon, her merit soon recommended her to the Earls of Ormond, Orrery, Roscommon, and many other persons of distinction. Besides her poems, she translated the Pompey and Horace of Corneille, which were both performed with great applause. The Horace was represented at court by persons of quality, to which the Duke of Monmouth spoke the prologue.

Mrs. Philips died in London of the small-pox June 22, 1664, in the 33d year of her age. Her death was lamented by several eminent poets, and among the best, by Cowley and Roscommon.