More History Brought to Us by Our Friends!

(Photo by Paul Huey)

Paul Huey, one of NY OPRHP's archaeologists, has just returned from a vacation to England. While there, he was briefly able to visit York, where Roger and Mary (Philipse) Morris settled after being forced to leave New York after the American Revolution.

St. Saviours Church (above), in St. Saviourgate, York, England, contains the graves and memorial plaques of Roger and Mary Morris and one of their daughters, Maria. A transcript of their memorial follows:

"Near this spot are deposited the remains of Col. Roger Morris,
formerly of His Majesty's XLVIIth [47th] Regiment of Foot,
who departed this life on the thirteenth day of September MDCCXCIV [1794]
in the LXVIIIth [68th] year of his age
And of
Mary Morris, relict of the same,
who departed this life on the eighteenth day of July, MDCCCXXV [1825]
in the XCVIth [96th] year of her age
And of
Maria Morris, the affectionate daughter of the above,
who departed this life on the Twenty fifth day of September MDCCCXXXVI [1836]
in the LXXVIst [sic, 76th] year of her age."

Today, St. Saviours Church is part of the York Archaeological Trust DIG program, which allows students and families to learn first-hand about local archaeology. For more information about the program and the history of the church, visit their website.

We are incredibly grateful to Paul for taking time out of his vacation to track down more information about the Philipse' life in England.

320+ Years Into the Story and Still Learning!

Stephen Byrns*, a long time friend of Philipse Manor Hall SHS, has just returned from a vacation in Barbados, where he took the time to do some research on the Philipse family, who, reportedly, had owned a plantation there in the late 1600s. His research delivered two real gems!

(Photos: ©T.W.Gibb)

First of all, he tracked down Spring Head, the Philipse plantation, on the north half of the island, due east of the midpoint between Holetown and Speightstown on lovely elevated land. It is now owned by British tycoon, Derrick Smith, who raises race horses there. The original house is still visible, although with disfiguring additions, and it is currently used for storage.

The following are pictures from the plantation as it stands today:

(Photos: ©T.W.Gibb)

Secondly, while researching at the Barbados National Archives, he found the death/burial notices of Philip Philipse and his wife Mary, finally creating a clear picture of their final days. Up until this discovery, historic sources were mixed on how and when the couple had passed away. Some sources had them dying in 1700 during a tropical disease epidemic, while other sources claimed that Mary died shortly after childbirth and Philipse died years later.

The definitive answer: Philip Philipse died on Sept. 14, 1698, while Mary died on Oct. 18, 1698; cause of death: "belly ake". An eminent local historian, Henry Fraser, was able to help define "belly ake" as dysentery, a frequent cause of death during that time period on the island. Their death notices were signed by the rector of nearby St. James Church (today one of the nicest churches on Barbados; Reagan went there for Easter services while president).

* Mr. Byrns is a partner at BSKS Architects in New York and serves as a Landmarks Preservation Commissioner in New York. A graduate of Princeton University, where he majored in history, and Columbia University, he has played leadership roles in Yonkers at the Park Hill Residents’ Association, Yonkers Landmarks Board, Yonkers Planning Board, Yonkers Historical Society, and Philipse Manor Hall Coalition.

Job Opening

Philipse Manor Hall State Historic Site in Yonkers, NY is seeking a Museum Educator.

Responsibilities include:

  • Developing and conducting all educational programs including house tours, pre- and post-visit activities and outreach programs for schools, camps, scout groups, etc.
  • Marketing and evaluation of educational programs
  • Creating and running children’s craft activities at public programs and special events
  • Providing educational support to the staff and community
  • Assisting with interpretation as needed

$15.65 per hour. Part time. Some weekends and holidays required. Please email letter of interest and resume to by March 31, 2011.

Memorial Plaque of Frederick Philipse III

Sacred to the memory of
Frederick Philipse, Esquire, late of the
Province of New York; a Gentleman, in whom
the various social, domestic and religious
Virtues were eminently united. The uniform
Rectitude of his Conduct commanded the
Esteem of others; whilst the Benevolence of his
Heart, and gentleness of his Manners secured
their love. Firmly attached to his Sovereign
and the British Constitution, he opposed, at
the Hazard of his Life, the late Rebellion in
North America; and for this faithful Discharge
Of his Duty to his King and Country, he was
Proscribed, and his Estate, one of the largest in
New york, was Confiscated, by the Usurped Legislature
of the Province. When the British Troops were
withdrawn from New york in 1783, he quitted
a Province to which he had always been an
Ornament and Benefactor, and came to
England, leaving all his Property behind him
which Reverse of Fortune he bore with
that Calmness, Fortitude and Diginity
which had distinguished him through
every former Stage of Life.
He was born at New York the 12th: Day of September,
in the Year 1720; and died in this Place the 30th:
Day of April, in the Year 1785, aged 65 years.
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