Rt. Hon. Rev. Henry Phillpotts

1778 - 1869

Claimant or beneficiary


Bishop of Exeter, awarded with others the compensation for Whitney and Rymesbury in Clarendon and New Yarmouth in Vere, all in Jamaica, as trustees and executors of the will of the Earl of Dudley (q.v.).  

  1. Son of Henry Phillpotts of Bridgwater; matriculated Corpus Christi 07/11/1791 aged 13; fellow Magdalen 1795-1804; BA 1795; MA 179; BD and DD 1821; chaplain to Bishop of Durham 1806; Vicar of Kilmersdon 1804, Bishop Middleham 1805, Stanton-le-Street 1806, Rector Gateshead 1808, preb of Durham 1810-20, rector of Stanhope in Weardale 1820, dean of Chester 1828, visitor Exeter College 1831 and bishop of Exeter 1831, died 1869.

  2. Often identified as a slave-owner since Eric Williams discovered his presence in  the compensation records, including by the synod of the Church of England in 2006 and more recently the BBC.


T71/859 Clarendon nos. 284 and 320; T71/857 Vere no. 70. He is given as 'Philpotts' in these records.

T71/962 Vere no. 70: letter 14/09/1835 from solicitors (Alban & Benbow) for the trustees and executors of late Earl of Dudley, enclosing extract from will of Earl of Dudley. Begs compensation to be awarded to Philpotts etc. the executors and trustees. Hibbert Oates had made claim on the part of the Heirs of the Earl of Dudley instead of the Trustees: 'we presume as they are uncontested this mistake is unimportant.'

Summary of will; of 26 July 1831; after reciting amongst other things that 'he was entitled to the remainder or reversion in fee simple expectant upon his own death and failure of the issue male of his body of or in several plantations...situate in the Island of Jamaica late of or belonging to his grandmother Mary Viscountess Dudley and Ward....gave and devised unto certain trustees The Rt Hon George Earl of Aberdeen and the Rt Hon James Abercromby...his said remainder and reversion of or in all and singular the said plantations and estates and the negro and other slaves thereon to hold them...to the uses upon and for the trusts...and purposes in his said will and in part hereafter mentioned viz in default of heirs of his body and subject with other estates to an Annuity of six thousand pounds to his cousin the Rev. William Humble Ward now Lord Ward for his life to the use of the Rt Rev H Lord Bishop of Exeter, the Rt Hon Edward John Baron Hatherton, then Edward John Littleton, Francis Downing Esq. and John Benbow Esq. for the term of 500 years upon trust during the term of 12 years to raise annually such sums for the person entitled in remainder to his estates until he should attain the age of twenty-five years as in the said will mentioned. And then to raise certain sums for the maintenance and education of the younger children of the said Lord Ward and also for portions for such younger children as in the said will mentioned. And the said Testator directed that his last named trustees should recevie the rents and profits of his Mines and Estates during the said term of twelve years and apply the same in discharge of any sums charged upon the said estates and lay out and invest the residue in the purchase of freeholds copyholds or leasehold estates...

And the said testator of his said will appointed the said Bishop of Exeter, Eward John Baron Hatherton, Francis Downing and John Benbow executors.'

Earl of Dudley died 6 March 1833 a bachelor; will proved 17 September 1833 'by the four executors'.

  1. CCEd [database online] Person ID: 28960, sourced to Foster.

  2. E.g. Nigel Pocock and Victoria Cook, 'The business of enslavement', BBC History in depth http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/abolition/slavery_business_gallery_03.shtml [accessed 30/04/2012]: 'Phillpotts and three business associates invested in slave plantations in Jaamcia, and when slavery was abolished they were paid compensation for the loss of 665 slaves. A bishop personally owning slaves must have been a powerful legitimating tool for Caribbean interests in Britain.'

Further Information

Name in compensation records
Rt. Hon. Rev. H. Philpotts
Oxford (Corpus Christi) [1791-1795 ]

Associated Claims (3)

£5,480 13S 1D
Awardee (Executor or executrix)
£2,412 6S 8D
Awardee (Executor or executrix)
£4,836 4S 7D
Awardee (Executor or executrix)

Associated Estates (1)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
06/05/1833 [SD] - → Trustee

Legacies Summary

Political (0)

House of Lords

Relationships (1)


Addresses (1)

Exeter, Devon, Devon & Cornwall, England