The information obtainable with regard to Admiral Phillip's family is of the most meagre description. His father, Jacob Phillip, as has been said, was a native of Frankfort, who settled in London as a teacher of languages, and his mother was an Englishwoman, Elizabeth Breach, whose first husband was Captain Herbert, R.N. He had at least one sister, whose Christian name is unknown. She married a Mr Dove, and left a daughter, Mary Ann Dove, from whom, by her marriage in 1811 with Mr Thomas Lancefield, the present representatives of the family are descended.
The writer of the Anecdotes of Governor Phillip, prefixed to his 'Voyage' (Stockdale, 1789), after an allusion to the restoration of Peace in 1763, says that 'Phillip now found leisure to marry'; but the surname of his wife is not stated. On the tombstone in Bathampton church her Christian name (Isabella) is given, and she is described as being 'in the 71st year of her age' in 1823, so that she must have been born in or about 1752, and could consequently only have been 11 years old at the date mentioned by the writer of the 'Anecdotes.' As Phillip did not enter the Portuguese Service until 1774-5 (see Appendix II.), and is supposed to have been living at Lyndhurst, in Hampshire, during the interval, it is probable that the marriage took place at a later date; but further uncertainty is caused by a statement to be found in the Adventures and Recollections of Captain Landman, late of the Corps of Royal Engineers (1852), who mentions a meeting that he had in 1796 with the Admiral and ' Mrs Phillip, a lady he had recently married.' On the whole, one is driven to the conclusion, that either the date given by the writer of the Anecdotes is incorrect, or that Phillip was twice married. There is no doubt that he left a wife behind him when he went to Australia. I am indebted to the Rev. Arthur Phillip Lancefield, of Over Tabley, Knutsford, for the subjoined letter, in which the history of the Admiral's collateral descendants is traced:—
'Knutsford, 8 March 1899.
'Dear Sir,—My father (Thomas William Lancefield) died in my infancy, having given my mother hardly any information as to his connection with Admiral Phillip. I think you have a copy of Phillip's will, and as legacies are left by it (after his wife's decease) to persons not bearing his surname, the presumption is that he left no children, and that no direct descendants of his are living.
'I believe the connection to be this. Phillip's sister, of whose Christian name I am ignorant, was my great-grandmother and married a Mr Dove; his Christian name is also unknown, as well as the time and place of marriage. Their daughter, Mary Ann Dove, was married on August 1, 1811, to my grandfather, Thomas Lancefield. You will see that my grandmother, Mary Ann Lancefield, was one of Phillip's legatees, she being his niece, but all her share of the property was lost in the costs of a Chancery suit of the type of "Jarndyce v. Jarndyce," My grandparents had a family of nine children, but only two sons reached manhood, my father, Thomas William Lancefield, born 1814, died 1869, and my uncle, Arthur Phillip Lancefield, born 1823, died 1871. A daughter, Anne, was married to Charles Widgeon Haywood, M.D., and died in 1864, leaving one son, James.
'To the best of my knowledge, my elder brother and I are the only two individuals named after the Admiral. My brother, Victor Phillip Lancefield, has one daughter, Maud Vernon Lancefield.
'Regretting much that I can give you so little information.—I am. Sir, yours very truly,
'Arthur Phillip Lancefield.'
With Mr Lancefield's assistance the following pedigree has been compiled:—
The other children of Thomas and Mary Ann Lancefield were Thomas (b. 1813, d. 1814), Isabella and Eliza (twins) (b. 1815, d. 1816 and 1822), Isabella Phillip (b. 1817, d. ? 1818), and Matilda Eliza (twin with Arthur Phillip) (b. 1825, d. 1825). It seems possible (says Mr Lancefield) that the Christian name of the Admiral's sister was Eliza; and he draws attention to the attempts to perpetuate the names 'Isabella' and 'Eliza,' as well as to the combination 'Isabella Phillip.'
H. F. Wilson.
- The words 'Peace, with its blessings, was restored in 1763,' are omitted from the official transcript of these Anecdotes in Vol. I. of the History of New South Wales from the Records, p. 496.
- A careful examination of the Lyndhurst and Minstead registers, kindly undertaken by the Rector, has so far failed to produce any evidence of this.
- This is distinctly stated in Vol. LXXXV. (1815) of the Gentleman's Magazine, as also the fact that he died without issue.