The most picturesque and remarkable
in character and personal fortune of all the royal governors, was the first
of them, Sir William Phips. He was a characteristic product of the New
England soil, times and ways. Hutchinson thus briefly and fitly designates
"He was an honest man, but by a series of fortunate incidents, rather than by any uncommon talents, he rose from the lowest condition in life to be the first man in the country."
Sir William per National Geographic
Magazine December 1977
From; The New England
Knight by Baker and Reid, 1998
His portrait, believed painted by Thomas Child of Boston, was in the possesion of the Honorable William Tudor Gardiner, former governor of Maine.
A portrait of Sir William hangs in the library of Congress, the Thomas Jefferson building, on the 2nd floor in the southwest pavillion (The Discoverers), west lunette. (1997)
Description: Taller than
most of his peers, stout and becoming exceedingly fat in his late years.
Vain of dress, wearing velvets broadly embroidered and with laces and ruffles
(common for men of his stature in the late 1600's). His sword hilt
and lion's head of his cane displayed specimens of the gold from the Spanish
wreck. He wore a full bottomed periwig with ringlets, which he removed
often to wipe the perspiration from his forehead. (Hawthorne's, Tales
and Sketches) Very little tact or discretion. A good husband
and provider. Hutchinson's description of Sir William Phips from
his "History of Massachusetts"; Sir William had the character of an honest
man... his education was very low... but by a series of fortunate incidents
rather than by any uncommon talents, he rose from the lowest conditions
in life to be the first man in his country" His private character
was irreproachable - despite his prosperity and sudden aquisition of wealth
and honors he did not desire his origin or humble occupation in early life
to be forgotten.
(Connecticut Colonial Documents)
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