Wolverhampton BTW

Henrietta Elizabeth Molyneux Phillipps

Phillipps, Henrietta Elizabeth Molyneux, later Halliwell Phillipps, 1819—1879

by Benjamin Colbert

Henrietta Phillipps, heiress to the Middle Hill estate, was the first of three daughters to Sir Thomas Phillipps (1792-1872; ODNB), collector of books and manuscripts, and Henrietta Elizabeth Phillipps, née Molyneux (b. 1794/5-1832).

Sir Thomas sacrificed financial stability for his increasingly extravagant antiquarian pursuits and the family was frequently in debt from the 1820s onwards. In the 1830s Henrietta Phillipps and her sisters catalogued their father's manuscript purchases, relieved by a short tour of Wales in August and September 1835. The same year, Sir Thomas set up the private Middle Hill Press in Broadway Tower, Worcestershire, on which a part of the tour journal kept by the sisters, principally Henrietta Phillipps, was published under the title, Fragment of a Tour.

On 9 August 1842, Henrietta Phillipps eloped with Sir Thomas's protégé, James Orchard Halliwell Phillipps (1820-89; ODNB), antiquary and literary scholar, leading to a break with her father, never reconciled.


Antonetti, Martin, and Eric Holzenberg. ‘The Horblit Phillips Collection at the Grolier Club’. The Grolier Club. Web. 8 Sept. 2017.

Munby, A. N. L. The Family Affairs of Sir Thomas Phillipps. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1952. Print.


Title Published
Fragment of a Tour 1835

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