Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Philipps, Morgan
PHILIPPS or PHILIPPES, MORGAN (d. 1570), catholic divine, a native of Monmouthshire, entered the university of Oxford in or about 1533, and ‘became so quick and understanding a disputant that, when he was bachelor of arts, he was commonly called Morgan the sophister’ (Wood, Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, i. 432). He graduated B.A. on 18 Feb. 1537–8, and was elected a fellow of Oriel College on 17 April 1538. He commenced M.A. on 27 March 1542, was afterwards ordained priest, and proceeded B.D. In 1543 he was presented to the rectory of Cuddington, Oxfordshire, and on 5 Feb. 1545–6 he was appointed principal of St. Mary Hall, Oxford (Le Neve, Fasti, ed. Hardy, iii. 585). He was one of the three eminent catholics who, in 1549, undertook a public disputation with Peter Martyr in the divinity hall of the university (Wood, Annals of Oxford, ed. Gutch, ii. 93). In the same year he obtained the vicarage of St. Winnock, Pembrokeshire (Foster, Alumni Oxon. early ser. iii. 1158). In 1550 he resigned the office of principal of St. Mary Hall, being then B.D., and soon after the accession of Queen Mary, in 1553, he became precentor of St. David's Cathedral (Le Neve, i. 316). On account of his absence from Oriel College for a longer time than was allowed, his fellowship was declared vacant on 20 Dec. 1554.
Declining to accept the religious changes of the reign of Elizabeth, he retired to the continent and settled at Louvain. Soon afterwards he visited Rome with William (afterwards Cardinal) Allen and Dr. Vendeville. On his return to Flanders he co-operated with Allen in establishing an English college at Douay, and he advanced the first sum of money for that purpose (Dodd, Church Hist. ii. 100). The first of the Douay ‘Diaries,’ after enumerating the priests who were associated with Allen in the undertaking, says: ‘Huic porro cœtui continenter se adjunxit D. Morganus Philippus, venerabilis sacerdos, quondam ejusdem Alani in Universitate Oxoniensi præceptor, nunc vero ejus in hoc sancto opere, et vivus co-adjutor et moriens insignis benefactor.’ Wood gives 1577 as the date of his death, but the records of Douay College inform us that he died there on 18 Aug. 1570. By his will he left to Allen all his property, which was employed in the purchase of a house and garden for the enlargement of the college (Records of the English Catholics, i. 5). On 15 Feb. 1577–8 a commission was granted from the prerogative court of Canterbury to George Farmour, esq., of Easton Neston, Northamptonshire, to administer the goods, debts, chattels, &c., ‘of Morgan Philipps, clerk, sometime chantor of the cathedral church of St. David, who lately died in parts beyond the seas.’
Under his name as author was republished in 1571 the ‘Treatise concerning’ Mary Stuart's right to the English throne, which was the work of John Leslie (1527–1596) [q. v.], bishop of Ross (cf. Stranguage, Historie of the Life and Death of Mary Stuart, 1624, p. 73; Camden, Annales, transl. by R. N., 3rd edit. 1625, p. 113).[Ames's Typogr. Antiq. (Herbert), pp. 1627, 1628; Doleman's Conference about the next Succession to the Crowne of Ingland, 1594, pt. ii. p. 3; Hist. MSS. Comm. 2nd Rep. p. 42; Records of the English Catholics, vol. i. pp. xxx, xxxi, et passim, pp. 3, 5; Register of the University of Oxford; Udall's Life of Mary Queen of Scots, p. 145; Wood's Fasti Oxon. (Bliss), i. 105.]