Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Philips, Rowland

PHILIPS, ROWLAND (d. 1538?), warden of Merton College, was educated at Oriel College, Oxford, and was proctor of the university in 1496. He became a ‘great divine and a renowned clerk,’ being especially famed as a preacher. He held the rectory of St. Margaret Pattens until 1515. On 14 Aug. 1517 he was appointed rector of St. Michael's, Cornhill, and on 28 Nov. following prebendary of Neasdon in St. Paul's. In 1521 he was elected warden of Merton, being the first warden who was neither scholar nor fellow of the College previously. He was admitted D.D. 2 June 1522, and became vicar of Croydon in the same year.

Philips took a prominent part in convocation in 1523 in opposing Cardinal Wolsey's proposals for a subsidy. He preached at the funeral of Thomas Ruthal, bishop of Durham, ‘in St. John Baptist Chapel adjoining the Abbey of Westminster,’ in 1522. In 1524 he was made precentor of Hereford Cathedral (26 Nov.). At the end of that year he offered to resign his wardenship of Merton on condition that Dr. Moscroffe's name should be among the three to be submitted to the visitor in his place, but on the fellows rejecting this compromise he resigned absolutely in 1525. His religious opinions were not those of Cromwell. He resigned the rectory of St. Michael's, Cornhill, and the vicarage of Croydon in May 1538, receiving a pension of 12l. in consideration of his advanced years. He probably died in the same year (Newcourt, i. 185, 483).

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon.; Manuscript Records of the Wardens of Merton; Brodrick's Memorials of Merton College, esp. pp. 51, 163; Dugdale's Monasticon; Dodd's Church History, i. 209; Letters and Papers of Henry VIII, 1522–38, passim; Garrow's Croydon, p. 298; Foster's Alumni.]

C. R. B.