Biographies A-Z

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Philbin, Eva Maria

Philbin, Eva Maria (1914–2005), chemist and university professor, was born 3 January 1914 in Ballina, Co. Mayo, the elder of two daughters of George Ryder , a postman and later a publican, and his wife Kate (née Donegan). Eva attended the Convent of Mercy in Ballina, and then went…

Philbin, William Joseph

Philbin, William Joseph (1907–91), bishop of Clonfert, and of Down and Connor, was born 26 January 1907 in Kiltimagh, Co. Mayo, the middle child and only son among three children of James Philbin and Brigid Philbin (née O'Hora), both of whom were national schoolteachers. Educated…

Philip of Slane

Philip of Slane (d. 1326), Dominican friar, author, and later bishop of Cork, was born probably in Slane, Co. Meath, of Anglo-Norman descent. He took part in the trial of the Knights Templars in Ireland (1310), and apparently quickly established himself as a person of some…

Philips, Ambrose

Philips, Ambrose (1674–1749), official and writer, was born in Shropshire, England, son of Ambrose Philips, cloth manufacturer, and his wife Margaret, née Brookes. He attended Shrewsbury school and St John's College, Cambridge. He was a fellow of St John's (1699–1708), and seems…

Philips, George

Philips, George (c.1630–1697), briefly governor of Derry during the Jacobite siege and author of an important study of English parliamentary procedure, was born in about 1630 at Crondall in Hampshire, the son of Dudley Philips of Limavady, Co. Londonderry, and his first…

Philips, Katherine

Philips, Katherine (1632–64), poet, known as ‘the matchless Orinda’, was born 1 January 1632 in the parish of St Mary Woolchurch, London, daughter of John Fowler (d. 1642), prosperous cloth merchant and strong puritan, and Katherine Fowler, daughter of Dr Daniel Oxenbridge of the…

Philips, William

Philips, William (d. 1734?), playwright and member of the Irish parliament, the son of George Philips (qv) of Limavady, Co. Londonderry, was the last representative of a prominent plantation family. The immense volume of debt incurred…

Phillips, Charles

Phillips, Charles (1786–1859), barrister and author, was born in Stephen St., Sligo, son of William Phillips, member of Sligo corporation and tax collector, and Elizabeth Phillips (née Johnson) of Co. Fermanagh. Educated locally at the school of the Rev. James Armstrong, rector of…

Phillips, Henry Bettesworth (‘H. B.’)

Phillips, Henry Bettesworth (‘H. B.’) (1866–1950), concert impresario, music shop proprietor, and owner of the Carl Rosa Opera Company, was born 23 December 1866 in Athy, Co. Kildare. Known by his business colleagues as ‘H. B.’ and by his family as Harry, he was the eldest son and…

Phillips, John

Phillips, John (1800–74), geologist, was born 25 December 1800 at Marden, Wiltshire, England, son of John Phillips, excise officer, of Blaen-y-Ddol, Carmarthenshire, Wales, and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of John Smith of Churchill, Oxfordshire. After the death of his father when…

Phillips, Michael

Phillips, Michael (d. 1796), Franciscan friar and government spy, was probably brought up in north-east Connacht, and in 1795 was described as ‘from French Park’ or from ‘Killfree, near Boyle’, Co. Roscommon. His parents cannot be identified, although it is possible that he was a…

Phillips, Molesworth

Phillips, Molesworth (1755–1832), marine officer and adventurer, was born 15 August 1755 in Swords, Co. Dublin, son of John Phillips (d. 1779), surgeon and illegitimate son of Robert Molesworth (qv), 1st Viscount Molesworth of Swords…

Phillips, Philip

Phillips, Philip (c.1716–1787), catholic archbishop of Tuam, was born in Clonmore House, parish of Kilbeagh, Co. Mayo, second or third son of Myles Philips (b. 1684), extensive but minor landowner. Nothing is known of his mother. In the 1730s he took a commission in the…

Phillips, Sir Thomas

Phillips, Sir Thomas (c.1560–1636), English soldier and planter, was first son of William Phillips of London, one of the queen's customers of the wool, and his wife Joane Houghton of London. William died in 1590, leaving his heir a considerable estate in London, Middlesex…

Phillips, Thomas

Phillips, Thomas (c.1635–1693), military engineer and topographical watercolourist, came to Ireland from England in the autumn of 1684 during the reign of James II (qv), with instructions from the master of the king's ordnance,…

Phillips, Walter Alison

Phillips, Walter Alison (1864–1950), historian and first Lecky professor at TCD, was born 21 October 1864 at Lewisham, England, youngest son of John Phillips, merchant, and Jane Phillips (née Atkins); throughout his career he was known as W. Alison Phillips. His father died in…

Phipps, Constantine Henry

Phipps, Constantine Henry (1797–1863), 1st marquis of Normanby , politician, was born 15 May 1797 at Mulgarve Castle, Whitby, Yorkshire, eldest of four sons of Henry, 1st earl of Mulgrave, and Martha Sophia, daughter of Christopher Thomson Maling of Durham. Only one of his five…

Phipps, Sir Constantine

Phipps, Sir Constantine (1656–1723), lord chancellor of Ireland, was the third son of Francis Phipps of Reading in Berkshire. He was educated at the Free School in Reading, and in 1672 postponed a scholarship at St John's College, Oxford. Admitted to Gray's Inn in 1678, he was…

Piatt, Donn Sigerson

Piatt, Donn Sigerson (1905–70), author, was born 13 February 1905 in Rathmines, Dublin, son of Arthur Donn Piatt, USA vice-consul in Dublin, and Hester Sigerson, poet and author. He had one sister, Eibhlín Piatt Humphreys. His family was American of French huguenot descent on his…

Piers (Pierse), Sir Henry

Piers (Pierse), Sir Henry (d. 1638), administrator, whose parentage is unknown, served as secretary to Sir Arthur Chichester (qv) throughout his eleven years as lord deputy of Ireland, from 3 February 1605 to 30 August 1616. For…

Piers, William

Piers, William (d. 1603), constable of Carrickfergus, was son of Henry Piers of Piers Hall near Ingleton in Yorkshire; nothing is known of his mother. By his own account he arrived in Ireland in the early 1530s, but he is first recorded in 1555 as ‘a tall, burly man with a big,…

Pigot, David Richard

Pigot, David Richard (1797–1873), lawyer, politician, and chief baron of the exchequer in Ireland, was born in Kilworth, Co. Cork, the only son of John Pigot, a physician, and his wife, Margaret (née Nagle), also of Kilworth. He was educated in Fermoy before entering…

Pigot, John Edward

Pigot, John Edward (1822–71), Young Irelander, writer, musician, and lawyer, was born 28 February 1822 at Kilworth, Co. Cork, eldest son of David Richard Pigot (qv), chief baron of the exchequer, and his wife Catherine (née Page).…

Pigott, Richard

Pigott, Richard (1828–89), journalist, newspaper owner, and forger, was the son of George Pigott of Ratoath, Co. Meath, and his wife, a woman from Roscommon. George Pigott was initially employed by Peter Purcell of Dublin, who held the contract for the transmission of the mails…

Pike, Ebenezer

Pike, Ebenezer (1806–83), shipowner and philanthropist, was born 25 March 1806 in Cork, eldest son of two sons of Joseph Pike and his second wife, Lydia Fennell of Cahir Abbey, Cahir, Co. Tipperary. Joseph Pike (1768–1826), banker, was born in Cork, second among two sons and one…