Phillipps, Thomas, Sir, Baronet (1792 -1872)
Thomas Phillipps was the son of Thomas Phillipps of Broadway in Worcestershire, and Hanna Walton.. He was educated at Rugby School and University College, Oxford, where he matriculated 1811, and took his B.A. 1815, and his M.A. in 1820. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society, of the Society of Antiquaries, and one of the earliest members of the Athenaeum Club, but declined election to the Roxburghe Club, on the grounds that their publications were trivial. He inherited his father’s property Middle Hill in Worcestershire in 1818. He was created a Baronet 27 July 1821. A prodigious collector of printed books, his particular mania was manuscripts, of which he amassed enormous numbers. With a view to making some of his manuscripts more accessible, he set up a private press at Middle Hill about 1822, from which he poured out a vast number of items, mostly edited by himself. He married, firstly, 7 February 1819, Harriet, daughter of Lieutenant General Sir Thomas Molyneux, Baronet, and by her had three daughters. His eldest daughter, Henrietta Elizabeth Molyneux, married the Shakespearean scholar and forger John Orchard Halliwell, whom Phillipps detested. Sir Thomas married secondly in 1842, Elizabeth, daughter of the Rev. W. J. Mansell. In 1862, Phillipps moved his library and printing press to Thirlstane House in Cheltenham. By his will, he left Thirlstane House and his books, manuscripts, and other collections to his youngest daughter, Katherine Somerset Wyttenbach, wife of John Edward Addison Fenwick. They have since been dispersed by private treaty and public auction, the first of the Phillipps manuscript sales taking place at Sotheby's in July 1891. The printed books were sold in three sales at Sotheby's in August 1886, January 1889, and December 1891.