John Phips in South Carolina, 1692

John Phips was a witness to the will of Richard Newton, dated 9 September 1692. The other witness was William Day, who is also named in the will. Newton’s will is abstracted in A.S. Salley, Jr., “Abstracts from the Records of the Court of Ordinary of the Province of South Carolina, 1692-1670,” The South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine, Vol. 6, No. 4, October 1907, pp. 195-210, at p. 204.

Newton is supposed to have moved to Charleston, South Carolina from Ireland. His will specifically refers to his brother Marmaduke Newton of “Carrickfurgus, Ireland.” This appears to have been Carrickfergus in County Antrim. A secondary source claims that one branch of this family moved to Lincolnshire, which is a place closely associated with the Phipps or Phips family.

Reference is made to sloops in a couple places in the will. This may suggest a connection to maritime trade, as we’ve seen frequently in various Phips-related records. Richard Newton is briefly mentioned in Charles Knowles Bolton, Scotch Irish Pioneers in Ulster and America, Boston: Bacon and Brown, 1910, p. 31. He is also mentioned in Chapter 6 of Henry Jones Ford, The Scotch-Irish in America (1915).

Another related record is dated 11 November 1692. Robert Fenwicke, Jonathan Amory, and William Smith, all of Berkeley County, South Carolina, and the latter being a merchant, entered into a bond with the governor.

The will had directed that a certain amount should be paid to a child of Richard Newton if the child was alive, otherwise to go to Richard’s brother Marmaduke. The bond was conditional, meaning that the bond would become void, as long as they paid this amount. This record is abstracted in the same source, p. 205.

Is there a relationship between the John Phips who witnessed the 1692 will of Richard Newton of Charleston, and the John Phipps who left a will there himself in 1746? Could this even have been the same John?

In that will, John calls himself a planter. He specifically mentions his father, also named John Phipps, “of Brails in Warwickshire in the Kingdom of Great Brittain stone Cutter.” That will is found in Will Book 5.

This would be Brailes, a civil parish in Warwickshire, on the boundary with Oxfordshire. We’ve discussed various Phips or Phipps connections to both Warwickshire and Oxfordshire in past posts.

About 4 years after the John Phips will in Charleston, South Carolina, a certain Joseph Phipps of St. John’s Parish in Colletin County, Charleston District, South Carolina, left a will. This one is dated 1750.

Than a later Charleston will was written by another John Phipps, dated 1802.


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