Katherine Philips (‘Orinda’)



Paul Elmen, ‘Some Manuscript Poems by the Matchless Orinda’, Philological Quarterly, 30 (1951), 53-7.

Hageman (1987)

Elizabeth H. Hageman, ‘Katherine Philips The Matchless Orinda’ in Women Writers of the Renaissance and Reformation, ed. Katharina M. Wilson (Athens, Georgia, 1987), pp. 566-608.

Hageman & Sununu, EMS, 4 (1993)

Elizabeth H. Hageman and Andrea Sununu, ‘New Manuscript Texts of Katherine Philips, The “Matchless Orinda”’, English Manuscript Studies 1100-1700, 4 (1993), 174-219.

Kissing the Rod

Kissing the Rod: An Anthology of Seventeenth-Century Women's Verse, ed. Germaine Greer, Susan Hastings, Jeslyn Medoff and Melinda Sansone (London, 1988), pp. 186-203.

Mambretti (1977)

Catherine Cole Mambretti, ‘“Fugitive Papers”: A New Orinda Poem and Problems in Her Canon’, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 71 (1977), 443-52.

Mambretti (1979 dissertation)

Catherine Cole Mambretti, A Critical Edition of the Poetry of Katherine Philips (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Chicago, 1979).


Letters from Orinda to Poliarchus (London, 1705).


Minor Poets of the Caroline Period, Volume I, ed. George Saintsbury (Oxford, 1905 [reprinted 1968]), pp. 485-612.


Philip Webster Souers, The Matchless Orinda (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1931 [reprinted 1968]).


The Collected Works of Katherine Philips The Matchless Orinda, 3 vols (Stump Cross, Essex): Volume I: The Poems, ed . Patrick Thomas (revised by Germaine Greer) 1990. Volume II: The Letters, ed. Patrick Thomas (revised by Germaine Greer) 1992. Volume III, The Translations, ed. Germaine Greer and R. Little (1993).

Thomas (1982)

Patrick H.B. Thomas, An Edition of the Poems and Letters of Katherine Philips, 1632-1664 (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, 3 vols, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, 1982).

Thomas (1988)

Patrick Thomas, Katherine Philips (‘Orinda’) (‘Writers of Wales’, University of Wales Press, 1988).

Tutin (1905)

Katherine Philips (‘Orinda’), Selected Poems, ed. J.R. Tutin ([3rd edition]), The Orinda Booklets, Extra Series I (Hull, 1905).


Autograph Manuscripts

Apart from her status as an ‘early’ woman writer, Katherine Philips (née Fowler) — ‘Orinda’, as she poetically called herself, the ‘matchless Orinda’ and ‘Queen of Poets’ as contemporary eulogists called her — will probably remain of chief interest as a cultural phenomenon on account of the society of friendship she established, a society supported essentially by the select distribution of her poems in manuscript form. Katherine Philips is also among the rarer poets of her age to have left a substantial body of works in her own hand. Although known since 1905, the Tutin Manuscript in the National Library of Wales — Philips's autograph collection of over fifty-five of her poems made in the late 1650s (National Library of Wales, NLW MS 775B) — has received relatively little attention until relatively recently; nor was its importance, or even precise identity, clearly established. Various other autograph compositions by her have also now come to light. The autograph presentation copy of her poem to the Duke of Ormonde was identified among Ormonde's papers by Hilton Kelliher in 1976 (*PsK 437). A few scraps of autograph juvenilia in verse and prose among the papers of her friend Anne Owen (‘Lucasia’) were recorded in 1977 by Ronald Lockley, and more extensively discussed by Claudia Limbert in 1986 (*PsK 1, *PsK 218, *PsK 572). An autograph manuscript of Rosania to Lucasia on her Letters among the Harley Manuscripts in the British Library (*PsK 319) was recorded in 1979 by Catherine Mambretti in her unpublished dissertation and then independently found in 1991 by Elizabeth Hageman. Hageman has also discovered, among other things, an autograph manuscript of To the Right Honobl. Alice, Countess of Carberry, at her enriching Wales with her presence among the Ellesmere papers in the Huntington Library (*PsK 491), and, even more interestingly, an autograph manuscript at the University of Kentucky of A sea voyage from Tenby to Bristoll, 5 of September 1652 (*PsK 326) which proves once to have been part of the autograph Tutin Manuscript itself. Yet more autograph manuscripts have surfaced of To my Lord Duke of Ormond, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, on the discovery of the late Plot, the manuscript actually presented to Ormond (*PsK 437); of To the Queen's majesty, Jan. 1. 1660/1 (*PsK 485.5); and of An ode upon retirement, made upon occasion of Mr. Cowley's on that subject (*PsK 218.5)

In addition, examples of Philips's handwriting can now be found in a manuscript copy of her play Pompey (*PsK 575), in three surviving autograph letters by her (PsK 585-587), and in three or four printed and manuscript volumes which bear her ownership inscriptions (PsK 589-592).

Nothing is known of the fate of Orinda's other private papers — which included, according to John Aubrey, a ‘table-booke’ in which she copied ‘verses in innes, or mottos in windowes’; nor of the fate of ‘those excellent discourses she writ on several subjects’ mentioned by the editor of the 1667 edition of her Poems, let alone the originals of her scores of other ‘familiar letters’, written, according to her editor, in her ‘very fair hand, and perfect Orthography’.


Of her no doubt prolific outpouring of letters to her friends, the texts of some 56 letters by her are known at present, all but seven written to her great friend and confidant Sir Charles Cottrell (or ‘Cotterell’, as the name was often spelled by others), Orinda's ‘Poliarchus’. What may well have been the principal correspondence of her life, written at the height of her accomplishments, is reflected in the collection Letters from Orinda to Poliarchus (London, 1705), which was published by Bernard Lintott three years after Cottrell's death. This publication contains texts of 48 letters from Philips to Cottrell written between 6 December 1661 and 17 May 1664 (see Thomas, II, 13-136, and for an informative account of Cottrell's life, II, 157-95). These letters include one dated 29 January 1663/4, a slightly different version of which had first been printed in the preface to her Poems (1667). The latter publication, which almost certainly represents the original text of the letter (see the conflated version of the two as set out in Thomas, II, 147-52), is evidence to suggest that, as was quite customary with published collections of letters in this period, the 1705 Poliarchus represents Orinda's letters in considerably edited versions. (For a discussion of this subject, where it is argued that the letters may well have been originally edited by Cottrell himself, see Thomas, II, 196-210). A later edition of Poliarchus (1729) incorporated one extra letter, dated 26 October [1663], which in fact is the only known original of any of Orinda's letters to Poliarchus (see *PsK 586).

Four further letters supposedly by Orinda, to ‘the Honourable Berenice’ (almost certainly the Earl of Ancram's daughter, Lady Elizabeth Ker), written between 25 June [1658?] and probably no later than 1659 (although the last was allegedly written ‘but a Month before Orinda died’ [i.e. c.May 1664]), were published, almost certainly also in edited versions, in Tom Brown's compilation Familiar Letters written by the…Earl of Rochester…with Letters written by…Thomas Otway, and Mrs. K. Philips (London, 1697), pp. 138-55 (see Thomas, II, 1-12).

Otherwise, two further original autograph letters by Orinda, to Dorothy Temple (née Osborn) and Sir Edward Dering (her ‘Silvander’) have come to light (*PsK 587, *PsK 586), as well as a copy of another by her to a Lady Fletcher, her ‘Parthenia’ (PsK 588). All of these three letters are of considerable interest, not least the letter to Dorothy Temple, in which she discusses her play Pompey and the unauthorised publication of her poems, as well as making notable references to Davenant and Waller.

Six of Sir Edward Dering's own letters to Katherine Philips, dating from 5 September 1662 to February 1663[/4], are copied in Dering's autograph letterbook (Part I, Nos 1, 3, 4, 11, 12, and 28) now preserved at the University of Cincinnati (DA 447f. D4 A3 R.B. (It is Phillipps MS 14392)). This manuscript, which is cited in Thomas (passim), contains the only known trace of the other side of any part of Orinda's prolific correspondence. In several other of the ninety-six letters written in this letterbook Dering refers to Orinda as if familiar to his correspondents — most notably in a letter of 2 July 1664 (No. 37), to Lady Roscommon (‘Amestris’), eloquently lamenting the effect upon him of Orinda's death. Another to Lady Roscommon on 26 September 1664 (No. 41), mentions his preservation of her letters to Orinda (and it looks as if Lady Roscommon had asked him to destroy them).Yet another, to Lady Dungannon (‘Lucasia’), dated 7 February 1664[/5] (No. 47), pays a great tribute to Orinda's noble ‘societie’ (see further below).

Manuscript Collections of Poems

Orinda's autograph remains are significantly supplemented by a few contemporary manuscript collections of her poems, as well as by some separate copies of single poems, transcribed largely (though not exclusively) within her immediate circle or else in the fashionable and courtly monde which impinged upon it. One such copy — of her very last poem, To his Grace Gilbert Lord Arch-Bishop of Canterbury (mistakenly dated in the 1667 edition ‘July [rather than June] 10. 1664’: PsK 431) — is, indeed, in a hand somewhat reminiscent of Philips's own formal script (as seen, for instance, in her presentation poem to Ormonde (*PsK 437) but with slightly more elaborate and accentuated calligraphic lettering than she used. Philips's letters abound with references to other manuscript copies of individual poems given to various people at Court and elsewhere — such as that of her elegy On the Death of the Queen of Bohemia seen by the Duchess of York (3 May 1662: Poliarchus, No. IX) and that of verses by her on the Queen (To the Queen's Majesty, on her late Sickness and Recovery) which, on 24 December 1663, she rebuked Cottrell for letting her send when he knew that Waller had written on the same subject (Poliarchus, No. XLII), not to mention all those other texts sent to Cottrell for correcting or amendment by him. In her revealing, not altogether ingenuous, letter of 29 January 1663/4 Philips herself writes of ‘those fugitive Papers that have escap'd my hands’, most of the originals of which she claims to have lost and which, she says, she would long since have liked to recover or else to have ‘made a sacrifice of them all’, since they were written only for ‘my own amusement in a retir'd life’ (Preface, Poems, 1667: Thomas, II, 128-31, No. XLV). If the vast majority of such papers have long been consigned to oblivion, it is cause for satisfaction that at least a number — significantly swelled by discoveries made in recent years by Elizabeth Hageman and others — have survived to bear witness to this brief but active period of manuscript dissemination.

For convenient reference, the principal surviving manuscript collections of Katherine Philips's literary works (which are described more fully in the entries below) may be listed as follows, with the delta numbers originally supplied in IELM:

National Library of Wales, NLW MS 775B. (‘Tutin MS’: *PsK Δ 1). Includes 55 poems by Philips.

National Library of Wales, NLW MS 776B. (‘Rosania MS’: PsK Δ 2). Includes 96 poems by Philips and her two plays.

Cardiff Central Library, MS 2.1073. (‘Cardiff MS’: PsK Δ 3). Includes 14 poems by Philips.

University of Texas at Austin, Pre-1700 MS 151. (‘Dering MS’: PsK Δ 4). Includes 74 poems by Philips.

Worcester College, Oxford, MSS 6. 13. (‘Clarke MS’: PsK Δ 5). Includes 73 poems by Philips.

Bodleian, MS Rawl. poet. 65. (‘Rawlinson MS’: PsK Δ 6). Includes 21 poems by Philips.

Bodleian, MS Rawl. poet. 90. (‘Rawlinson MS II’: PsK Δ 7). Includes 15 poems by Philips.

Bodleian, MS Rawl. poet. 173. (‘Dunton MS’: PsK Δ 8). Includes 11 poems by Philips.

Folger, MS V.b.231. (‘Folger MS’: PsK Δ 9). Includes 122 poems by Philips and her two plays.

Yale, Osborn MS b 118. (‘Trevor MS’: PsK Δ 10). Includes 18 poems by Philips.

In view of these sources, an editorial consideration for Orinda's collected poems is the order in which they should be arranged. It is generally accepted that the arrangement of her poems in the 1667 edition is essentially that made by her posthumous and anonymous editor. The propriety of this ordering has been questioned and an interesting rearrangement, which would enhance certain groupings and stress less stereotyped aspects of Philips's work, proposed by Ellen Moody (in ‘Orinda, Rosania, Lucinda et aliae [sic]: Towards a New Edition of the Works of Katherine Philips’, Philological Quarterly, 66 (1987), 324-54). Moody takes no note, however, of the arrangement of the poems offered in any of these manuscript collections, least of all the autograph collection by Katherine Philips herself (the Tutin Manuscript), which seems likely to be the principal original source of both the Dering and Clarke Manuscripts, as well as, ultimately for the 1664 edition. A tabulation showing the comparative ordering of the poems in most of the principal printed and manuscript sources is given in Thomas, I, 65-8.

Katherine Philips's ‘Society’

The exact nature of Katherine Philips's ‘society of friends’ (apparently symbolised by two intermixed burning hearts) — as well as the period in which it flourished (it is questionably assumed by the editors of The Female Spectator, p. 155, that it had ‘died out’ by 1661) — are subjects of continuing interpretation and conjecture. Still using their literary soubriquets, Sir Edward Dering nostalgically recalled some months after her death (in his letter to ‘Lucasia’ on 7 February 1664[/5]) that Orinda ‘conceived the most generous designe, that in my opinion ever entred into any breast, which was to unite all those of her acquaintance, which she found worthy, or desired to make so…into one societie, and by the bands of friendship to make an alliance more firme then what nature, our countrey or equall education can produce…’ (Dering's letterbook, at the University of Cincinnati, Part I, letter No. 47, quoted in Thomas, I, 11). Lucy Brashear, on the other hand, has argued (in ‘The Forgotten Legacy of the “Matchless Orinda”’, Anglo-Welsh Review, 65 (1979), 68-76) that Orinda's ‘society’ was a disparate group of people Philips cultivated to a large extent as a sympathetic audience and as a means of gaining literary recognition, her professed horror of publication only a face-saving strategy. Elizabeth Hageman (1987, pp. 571-2) has likewise wondered whether the ‘society’ was much more than a loose network of polite friends in view of the fact that, in his letter cited, Dering was in effect explaining the matter to ‘Lucasia’ as if she did not know what the ‘society’ was already (though his account might, of course, be construed as a formal recapitulation and tribute rather than explanation). The sense of isolation, almost desperation, which occasionally manifests itself in Orinda's letters to Cottrell — when she felt exiled from the great world at large — at once explains why literary communication was so important to her, but also, perhaps, why much of her ‘society’ may have been a matter of her own imagination. It is, in any case, questionable how exclusive the ‘society’ was, and a later caricature by Mrs Manley indicates that Philips rendered herself susceptible to ridicule by her willingness to send out large numbers of copies of her poems to all and sundry (see Thomas, I, 30). If the dramas, tensions and relationships implicit in the poems themselves are taken at face value, Philips's ‘society’ would appear, for the most part, to have been analogous to a Royal Court, complete with changing favourites and renegades, with Orinda herself presiding firmly at the centre as the ruling sovereign.

Even the precise identity of the members of her ‘society’ is not entirely clear. She commonly bestowed upon them pseudonyms or soubriquets taken from plays and romances. From references in poems and letters, at least some of them can be identified; others can be guessed at, while pseudonyms of yet other definite members of her circle remain unrecorded. For evidence of those identifications currently recognised, see discussions in Souers, passim; in Mambretti's 1979 dissertation, pp. v-viii; in Thomas, passim; in Patrick Thomas, ‘Orinda, Vaughan, and Watkyns: Anglo-Welsh Literary Relationships during the Interregnum’, Anglo-Welsh Review, 62 (1976), 96-102; in Lucy Brashear, ‘Gleanings from the Orinda Holograph’, American Notes & Queries, 23 (1985), 100-2; in Lucy Brashear, ‘“The Matchless Orinda's” Missing Sister: Mrs. C.P.’, Restoration, 10 (1986). 76-81; in Claudia A Limbert, ‘Katherine Philips: Another Step-father and Another Sibling, “Mrs. C.P.”, and “Polexr”’, Restoration, 13 (1989), 2-6, and ‘Katherine Philips's Friend Regina Collyer’, Restoration, 13 (1989), 62-7, and ‘“The Unison of Well-Tun'd Hearts”: Katherine Philips' Friendships with Male Writers’, English Language Notes, 19 (1991), 25-37 (the last somewhat speculative); and see also the list given in the notebook of Nicholas Crouch, M.D. (fl.1640-90) at Balliol College, Oxford (MS 336, f. 6v), printed in Thomas (I, 46).

A list of those pseudonyms used by Philips may be listed for convenient reference:

Amaranta = ?

Amestris = Frances Courtenay (née Boyle), Lady Roscommon (d.1673)

Antenor = James Philips (d.1674), Katherine Philips's husband [formerly identified as the elderly man who lived from 1594 to 1675, but this now seems unlikely]

Ardelia = ?

Argalus = ?

Artaban = ? [someone leaving Dublin for England c.October 1662]

Berenice = probably Lady Elizabeth Ker

Calanthe = Lucasia = Anne Owen (née Lewis), afterwards Lady Dungannon (1633-92), second wife of ‘Memnon’

Cassandra = Cecily Philips (Mrs John Lloyd), Katherine Philips's sister-in-law

Celimena = Lady Elizabeth Boyle, afterwards Lady Thanet (1636/7-1725)

Charistus = John Owen (1633-55), first husband of ‘Lucasia’

Cimena = Mary Carne

Cratander = Sir John Berkenhead (1617-89)

Juliana = ?

Lucasia = Calanthe = Anne Owen (née Lewis), afterwards Lady Dungannon (1633-92), second wife of ‘Memnon’

Memnon = Colonel Marcus Trevor (1618-70), Baron Trevor of Rose Trevor and first Viscount Dungannon, second husband of ‘Lucasia’

Musidorus = ? James Tyrrell (1642-1718)

Orinda = Katherine Philips

Palamon = Jeremy Taylor

Palæmon or Palemon = Francis Finch (d.1660), of the Inner Temple

Parthenia = ? just possibly Mary Harvey, Lady Dering (1629-1704), but also applied at one time to a Lady Fletcher

Pastora = ?

Philaster = Colonel John Jeffries (d.1688) [not to be confused with ‘J.J.’, J. Jones, Orinda's libeller]

Philoclea = Mallet Stedman (née Margaret Owen), later wife of Hector Philips, Katherine Philips's brother-in-law

Polexander = ? just possibly Sir William Temple (1628-99)

Poliarchus = Sir Charles Cottrell (1615 - 1702)

Polycrite = Mary Butler (1646-1710), Lady Cavendish

Regina = Regina Collyer, wife of John Collyer, merchant, ‘servant and cozen’ of Orinda's father

Rosania = Mary Aubrey (1631-1700), wife of William Montagu

Silvander = Sir Edward Dering, second Baronet (1625-84)

Thyrsis = possibly a soubriquet commonly applied to the composer Henry Lawes (1596-1662)

Valeria = Lady Anne Boyle, later Lady Hinchingbrooke, sister of ‘Celimena’.

Other members of Orinda's inner circle would certainly have included such friends as Anne Barlow. Moreover, her literary circle of correspondents, if not ‘society’, appears to have extended to figures such as Abraham Cowley, Wentworth Dillon, Earl of Roscommon, Roger Boyle, Earl of Orrery, John Davies of Kidwelly, Thomas Flatman, Dorothy Temple (née Osborne), the mysterious ‘Philo-Philippa’, Sir Peter Pett, Dr Wedderburn, and even perhaps Henry Vaughan, Edmund Waller, John Dryden and Jeremy Taylor.

For all its lacunæ, hers is, nevertheless, one of the best documented centres of manuscript circulation in the seventeenth century. It was a literary community of sorts whose measure of cohesion depended upon such activity. Various of Philips's poems and letters infer the specialness of the very act of writing and sending copies of those poems to members of their coterie, and, on occasions, they lament the consequences of ‘papers’ falling into the wrong hands. Particular scribes are sometimes specified (such as that ‘so slow a Transcriber’ ‘Artaban’, who, before 11 December 1662, delivered a manuscript of two acts of Pompey to Cottrell, ‘the rest of the Play being written in his hand’), and their circle is even occasionally reminiscent of that of Henry King earlier in being a centre for the distribution of manuscript texts by others. She reports on 12 April 1662, for instance, having lost a ‘Book’ in which she had copied two songs Cottrell gave her, and on 20 August 1662 mentions sending Cottrell ‘some Translations from Virgil by Mr. Cowley’ (? his Sors Virgiliana). References are found elsewhere to her receiving, and sometimes passing on, manuscript texts of works by Lord Orrery, Jeremy Taylor, Francis Finch, Sir Roger L'Estrange, the Comtesse de la Suze and others, some of them sent to her by those authors or, in the case of Orrery's verses, ‘copy'd’ by ‘Philaster’.

Print Publication of Philips's Verse

Ostensibly, at any rate, Philips's poems were written for limited and controlled circulation and not intended for publication. ‘I never writ any line in my life with an intention to have it printed’, she claimed. Her anonymous editor in 1667 supported her stance at face value, stressing ‘how averse she was to be in print’ (Poems, preface), even though it may readily be suspected that publication was her secret ultimate aim, her only impediment being a sense of embarrassment over her literary status as a woman (the Duchess of Newcastle, for instance, had attracted considerable ridicule by publishing her works in 1653). In a letter of 29 January 1663/4 Philips accordingly expressed shock over the unauthorised publication by Richard Marriot two weeks earlier, on the 14th, of seventy-four of her poems, the text taken, she supposed, from one of those collections of her ‘fugitive Papers’ which had escaped to wider circulation (‘for some infernal Spirits or other have catch'd those Rags of Paper, and what the careless blotted Writing kept them from understanding, they have supply'd by Conjecture, till they have at length put them into the Shape wherein you saw them, or else I know not which way 'tis possible for them to have been collected, and so abominably printed as I hear they are…’). Although Cottrell and his friends did indeed manage to suppress the 1664 edition (see Thomas, I, 19-20) — not, however, before ‘many of the books were privatley sold’ (Poems, 1667, preface) — it has been clear to later commentators that this edition is not as ‘abominably’ corrupt — as full of ‘falseness…very ridiculous and extravagant’ (Preface, Poems, 1667: Thomas, II, 128-31, No. XLV) — as (evidently from hearsay) Philips supposed. Its text cannot have been so far removed from her autograph versions (as preserved largely in the Tutin Manuscript), and, in short, it deserves equal consideration with the surviving manuscript collections noted above.

It is interesting here to note also Philips's reference in a letter of 15 April 1663 to another earlier unauthorised printing of one poem, when she speculates that without supervision her play Pompey ‘will be as false printed as was my Copy of Verses to the Queen’ (Poliarchus, No. LXXVII). By this she possibly means her poem To the Queene on her arrivall at Portsmouth. May. 1662 (see PsK 478-81) which is now known to have been published in 1662 as a broadside. One other apparently ‘unauthorised’ publication, Poems, by Several Persons (Dublin, 1663), included three poems by Philips (see further below). Otherwise the only poems by her known to have been published before 1664 are her verse tribute to William Cartwright (see PsK 140-5), published in 1651; her eulogy To the truly noble Mr Henry Lawes (see PsK 512-516), published in Lawes's Second Book of Ayres and Dialogues (which was dedicated to Mary Harvey) in 1655; and one of her Lucasia poems, Friendship's Mysterys (see PsK 110-114), published in Henry Lawes's setting also in his collection of 1655.

The Canon

The canon of Philips's surviving works was largely established by the posthumous 1667 edition of her Poems, containing 121 poems and two plays. It has been traditionally assumed that her ‘literary executor’, responsible for this edition, was Sir Charles Cottrell (see, for instance, Souers, pp. 174-5, where Cottrell is taken to task for ‘failing’ his friend by letting corrupt readings go through unchanged). While Cottrell may conceivably have had a hand in it, there is no evidence of his participation apart from the inclusion in the Preface of one of Orinda's letters to him (as noted above) and what might perhaps be construed as Philips's hint to Cottrell, on 29 January 1663/4, that ‘a true Copy’ of her poems was needed to replace the 1664 piracy. (See also Thomas, II, 193, 208-10 for arguments against the likelihood of Cottrell's editorship). Indeed the only other concrete indication we have of who might have undertaken such an edition lies in the address to ‘Rosania’ (Mary Aubrey) in the Rosania Manuscript, where ‘Polexander’ tries to persuade her that ‘an Edition, now, would gratify her admirers’ (the textually variant and perhaps ‘edited’ Rosania Manuscript itself, however, was not the basis for the 1667 edition). Whoever the eventual editor in 1667 was, he or she allegedly tried to ‘make this Collection as full and as perfect as might be’. Nevertheless, the editor admitted that there might well be other poems by Orinda which had escaped (‘though some of her Pieces may perhaps be lost, and others in hands that have not produc'd them; yet none that upon good grounds could be known to be hers, are left out’).

In 1951 Elmen added to the canon, from the apparently unique text in the autograph Tutin Manuscript, her Epitaph on Mr John Lloyd of Kilrhewy in Penbrokeshire (*PsK 78), unaware, as it happens, that it had been published earlier, not only by Tutin in 1905 but also by J.R. Phillips in 1867. In 1977 Ronald Lockley was the first to draw attention to the autograph Orielton Manuscript containing three pieces of juvenilia by Philips (*PsK 1, *PsK 218, *PsK 572), works more fully explicated by Claudia Limbert in 1986. Some slight doubt is raised about the authorship of the first of these poems by the discovery that ‘A marryd state’ was incorporated in a much longer anonymous poem, beginning ‘Madam / I cannot but Congratulate’, now found in at least seven manuscript volumes (Bodleian, MSS Eng. misc. c. 292, f. 110r; Bodleian, MS Firth c. 15, pp. 335-7; Folger, MS W.a.135, ff. 72v-3v; Ohio State University, Spec. MS Eng. 15, pp. 216-18; University of Nottingham, Pw V 40, f. 242r-v, and University of Nottingham, Pw V 41, pp. 149-50; and Princeton, RTCO1 No. 35, pp. 264-6). Although this longer poem may conceivably have been in part an adaptation of ‘Philips's’ poem from some other text, it is equally possible that the shorter poem was itself an adaptation of the anonymous longer poem and may even have had an independent circulation, and — in a manner hardly unusual in this period — was simply copied out by the youthful Katherine Philips for her own purposes without her actually being the author. These texts are discussed, and edited, in Claudia A. Limbert and John H. O'Neill, ‘Composite Authorship: Katherine Philips and an Antimarital Satire’, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 87 (1993), 487-502.

Again, in 1977 the anthology The Female Spectator, edited by Mary R. Mahl and Helene Koon, included the poem To Rosania & Lucasia Articles of Friendship which is ascribed to ‘Orinda’ in an apparently unique contemporary copy now in the Huntington (PsK 450). The fact that the manuscript lacks ostensible authority, coupled with its uncharacteristic ‘sentiment and mood’ and ‘poor quality’, leads Thomas and Greer cautiously to relegate this poem to the category of ‘Doubtful Poems’ (I, 254-6, 319). It might be added that poems were not readily ascribed to Orinda in contemporary sources without good reason. On the other hand, from comments in her poem To the truly noble Sir Ed: Dering (the worthy Silvander) on his dream, and navy (see Thomas I, 86-7, 332-4), it seems that Dering himself wrote at least one poem ‘in the persona of Orinda’. The sentiments of the ‘doubtful’ poem, advocating open friendship between Rosania and Lucasia, bear interesting comparison with those extolling the ‘perfections’ of ‘that illustrious paire’ found in Dering's letter of 3 January 1662[/3] (University of Cincinnati, DA 447f. D4 A3 R.B., Part I, letter No. 4).

In 1977 also Mambretti added to the canon a characteristic ‘public’ poem, On The Coronation (PsK 245), found ascribed to ‘Mrs Philips’ (sandwiched, moreover, between two other poems on the same occasion certainly by her) in a miscellany once owned by John Locke, a literary figure not himself known to have been a member of Philips's circle but who was certainly acquainted with persons who were (such as his friend James Tyrrell). At the same time Mambretti printed (as she thought, for the first time) To the Right Honourable, the Lady Mary Butler, at Her Marriage to the Lord Cavendish, which appears in the Rosania Manuscript (PsK 466). This poem had, as it happens, already been published in the miscellany Poems, by Several Persons (Dublin, 1663), where it is attributed to ‘a Lady’. The apparently unique surviving exemplum of this publication (printed by the King's Printer John Crooke for Samuel Dancer) — one not until recently known to Philips's editors — is in the Folger (C6681.5). The miscellany also includes Philips's The Irish Grey-hound (PsK 173-174) and An ode upon retirement, made upon occasion of Mr. Cowley's on that subject (PsK 219-224), as well as other poems relating to her, by Cowley and Lord Orrery, while yet other writers represented include Sir Peter Pett and Dr Henry Paman. The miscellany could very well derive from one or more manuscripts produced within her circle during the prolonged period when she was staying in Dublin. She herself refers to the publication, on 15 May 1663, as ‘a Miscellaneous Collection of Poems, printed here; among which, to fill up the Number of his Sheets, and as a Foil to the others, the Printer has thought fit, tho' without my Consent or Privity, to publish two or three Poems of mine, that had been stolen from me’, and she sent an exemplum of it to Cottrell (Poliarchus, No. XXX). Again, she may not have been entirely ingenuous here, since the inclusion of her poems in a miscellany clearly associated with the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland's court at Dublin Castle can only have been flattering.

In his unpublished dissertation in 1982 (and subsequently in his edition of 1990) Thomas was able to add to the canon three early poems by Philips which he discovered in the Cardiff Manuscript: namely, Juliana and Amaranta, a Dialogue (PsK 175), On Argalus his vindication to Rosania (PsK 225), and To Sir Amorous La Foole (PsK 456), verses which he was subsequently the first to publish in his 1988 booklet on Orinda.

Two poems ascribed to ‘Domina Phillips agro Pembrokiae’ occur on a single folio leaf in a composite volume of chiefly printed ballads once owned by Sir Charles Firth (1857-1936), a collection now in the Bodleian (MS Firth b. 20, f. 140). They are Upon his Majesties most happy restauration to his Royall Throne in Brittaine (‘Awake Britannia, rouse thy selfe, and say’) and Upon the Hollow Tree unto wch his Mitie escaped after the unfortunate Battell at Worcester (‘Haile aged Tree; Jove keepe thee from all harmes’). Although included in Thomas's edition as ‘Doubtful Poems’ (I, 256-7, poems 132-3), they were rejected by Mambretti in 1977 (pp. 450-1) on stylistic grounds. Mambretti's assumptions, at least in regard to the first of these two poems, were questioned, in an elaborate exposition of editorial theorising, by Gerald M. MacLean in ‘What is a Restoration Poem? Editing a Discourse, Not an Author’, Text, 3 (1987), 319-46 (pp. 331 et seq.). Had MacLean concentrated more on the evidence of the manuscript itself he might have found that Mambretti's rejection of Orinda's authorship can be supported. The ascription to ‘Domina Phillips agro Pembrokiae’ might possibly be read as ‘Mistress Philips of Pembrokeshire’ (although Orinda actually lived in the more northern county of Cardiganshire), but is much more likely to mean ‘Lady Phillips’, in which case the ascription would better fit Orinda's stepsister-in-law, Katherine, Lady Philipps: i.e. Katherine (or Catharine) Darcy (1640/1-1713), second wife of Sir Erasmus Philipps, Bt. (c.1623-97), of Picton, Pembrokeshire. It was she who, incidentally, was the ‘K Philippes’ who wrote to Mrs Evelyn on 17 August 1700, a letter endorsed ‘From my lady Philips’, one which William Upcott later evidently believed to be by Orinda (British Library, Add. MS 78688, ff. 118r-19r). Yet other autograph letters by this Lady Philipps, signed ‘K Philips’, both addressed to her husband and endorsed ‘from the Lady Cath: Philipps’, are to be found among her family muniments in the National Library of Wales (Picton Castle 1491 and 1597). It is this Lady Philipps whom Lucy Brashear discusses in ‘“The Matchless Orinda's” Missing Sister: Mrs. C.P.’, Restoration, 10 (1986), 76-81, although she is mistaken in identifying her as the ‘dear Sister Mrs. C.P.’ (‘Cassandra’) on whose marriage Orinda wrote an epithalamium (PsK 405-410), for, as Thomas has shown convincingly (I, 337-8), ‘Cassandra’ can be identified as Orinda's sister-in-law Cecily (or Cicely) Philips, who married John Lloyd of Kilrhewy on 31 October 1653. (See also on this subject C.A. Limbert, ‘Katherine Philips: Another Step-father and Another Sibling, “Mrs. C.P.”, and “Polexr:”’, Restoration, 13 (1989), 2-6). No other examples of poems written by Lady Philipps of Picton, Pembrokeshire, are known at present, although, from the evidence of her letters, she was obviously a literate woman. Of course, it is not inconceivable that the Firth Manuscript is a transcript of Lady Philipps's copy of two poems actually by Orinda — and it might even be suggested that the poems could be by Orinda's mother, Dame Katherine (d.1678), whose third husband was Sir Erasmus Philipps's father, Sir Richard Philipps (d.1648) — but the principle of the validity of the most economical explanation would appear to be applicable here.

One other poem possibly by Philips is now added to the canon, with all the usual caveats. A translation beginning ‘In vain (Dear Thirsis) thou wouldst claime’ is clearly attributed to ‘ye fam'd Orinda’ in one manuscript (PsK 160.5). Either it is another of Philips's various translations from French poems, which seems quite likely, or else the ascription is someone's guess precisely because of his or her familiarity with those translations.

Dramatic Works

Of the two plays written — or rather translated — by Orinda, one, Horace (PsK 573-574), remained unfinished; while the other, Pompey (PsK 575-584) — completed in Dublin allegedly at the urging of Lord Orrery after ‘By some Accident or other my Scene of Pompey fell into his Hands’ (Poliarchus, No. XIV) — constituted the biggest literary success of her life. After its production in Dublin, probably on 10 February 1662/3, an edition of five hundred exempla was printed by 15 April, yet, apparently even this number did not meet the demand. In addition, Philips herself was busily sending manuscript copies of Pompey to various of her friends, notwithstanding which much of her correspondence at this time was preoccupied with her attempts to control the distribution of manuscript texts of her play (‘There are’, she writes, ‘tho' much against my Will, more Copies of it abroad than I could have imagin'd; but the Dutchess of Ormond would not be refus'd one, and she and Philaster have permitted several Persons to take copies from theirs’ (Poliarchus, No. XIX). She urgently wanted Cottrell's textual, and later proof, corrections so that she could correct all her own copies before leaving Dublin (ibid.). In particular she was worried about getting a proper copy made for the play's dedicatee, Anne Hyde, Duchess of York (1637-71). She wrote to Cottrell, for instance, on 11 December 1662, ‘I am not a little troubled that Artaban has yet brought you but two Acts; for at this rate when is it likely to be presented to the Dutchess?…Had I suspected that he would have been so slow a Transcriber, I would have sent you an intire Copy from hence, well enough scribbled over for you to correct; and then you might have gotten it fairly written for her Highness’ (Poliarchus, No. XXI), She explained, ‘For in spight of all I could do to prevent it, so many Copies are already abroad, that the particular Respect intended to the Dutchess, will be lost by a little Delay’ (Poliarchus, No. XX). At present, besides the texts in the Rosania and Folger Manuscripts, and independent copies of certain of the songs generally in musical settings, only one contemporary manuscript copy of Pompey (*PsK 575) bears witness to the fashionable flurry of manuscript distribution in the 1660s. This, however, is of no little interest in that it can be identified as bearing various corrections in Philips's own hand, most especially seven autograph lines by her at the end of Act III. A transcript, with variant readings, made probably before the actual performance of the play, this manuscript may well represent a prototype of the fair scribal copy which Orinda planned to present to the Duchess of York, but which she was frustrated in completing before ‘Artaban’ left for England. This manuscript was itself marred and disqualified from serving that purpose because her scribe neglected to employ ink containing sufficient soot, so that the writing had, probably from the start, a rather faded look. Since ‘Artaban’ is the only person known to have produced a complete copy of the play under Philips's own supervision (see Poliarchus, No. XVIII), he must be the leading candidate for the identification of the scribe of this manuscript, while what would seem to be Orinda's abortive attempt to correct the faded script by writing over it in darker ink may lend some connotation to her reference on 11 December 1662 to having an adequate complete copy ‘well enough scribbled over’.

In addition, manuscript copies of Roscommon's Prologue (‘The mighty Rivalls whose destructive rage’) and Dering's Epilogue to Pompey (‘Pleasd, or displeasd, Censure as you think fit’) were sent to Joseph Williamson by Sir Nicholas Armourer (as he promised in a letter of 9 May 1663: ‘…to incurage Mr ogelby, & his comedyans I am this verie day Giueing a play to the kings whole Companie, the Prolouge & Epylouge shall come to you by the Next…’). These manuscripts are now among the State Papers for Ireland in the National Archives, Kew (SP 63/313/382-383 and [the letter] 295). It is not known what happened to the copy of the complete play which Cottrell finally managed to present to the Duchess of York by 10 January 1662/3 (Poliarchus, No. XXIII); nor what happened to the printed exemplum he presented, by 22 May 1663, to Charles II (Poliarchus, No. XXXI), a volume no longer to be found in the Royal Library.

The text of Philips's other play, her unfinished Horace, in the Rosania Manuscript (PsK 573) is of no less interest in that it bears considerable differences from the text subsequently published in 1667. After being completed by Sir John Denham, the play is known to have been subsequently performed at Court (Evelyn records it in his Diary on 4 February 1667/8). It is to this occasion that two contemporary cast lists belong, both written in exempla of Philips's Poems (1667): one at Harvard (fEC65.P5397.667p), the other in Trinity College, Dublin (Old Library V. ee. 4, sig. Aaaav). The players included the Duchess of Monmouth, Lady Castlemaine, Henry Savile, and Mr Fenton. The Prologue to Horace, spoken by the Dutchess of Monmouth at Court (beginning ‘When Honour flourish'd ere for price 'twas sold’) was printed in Covent Garden Drollery (London, 1672) [ed. G. Thorn-Drury (London, 1928), pp. 80-1], and a manuscript copy also appears in the Trinity College volume (after p. 112) noted above. To the same occasion also belongs an Epilogue to the King (beginning ‘Sr, at yor Feet, I willingly lay Downe’). Two manuscript copies of this also appear in exempla of her Poems (1667): one in the Trinity College volume (after p. 112); the other in the Victoria and Albert Museum (Dyce catalogue No. 7416; Pressmark D. 23.A. 33 Folio).

An account of this court performance, with facsimiles of the cast lists, prologues and epilogues noted above, is given in Peter Beal's chapter ‘“The virtuous Mrs Philips” and “that whore Castlemaine”: Orinda and her Apotheosis, 1664-1668'’ in In Praise of Scribes (1998), pp. 147-91 (pp. 179-91).

Coterie Remains

Apart from those items already mentioned, the literary remains of Philips's principal friends offer few materials directly relating to her. The library of Sir Charles Cottrell (‘Poliarchus’) was dispersed at auction by Edmund Curll on 8 January 1710/11 (an exemplum of the catalogue, Bibliotheca Cotterelliana, is in the British Library, S.C.319(6)). Among the lots of some 1273 of Cottrell's books and manuscripts then offered, at least three of his own exempla of Philips's Poems were featured: namely, the 1667 edition among ‘English Books in Folio’ (No. 78), and the 1669 edition among ‘Folio English Works’ (No. 70) and ‘English Books in Folio’ (No. 4: ‘Cowley and Mrs. Phllips's Poems…1669’). The small handful of manuscripts offered in this sale included ‘A Collection of Poems’ (No. 9 in ‘Manuscripts in Quarto’) and ‘A Collection of Poems, Satires, Songs, &c.’ (No. 1 in ‘Manuscripts in Octavo’); but no details of contents are given. A substantial correspondence by Cottrell, as well as other members of his family, is present among the papers of Sir William Trumbull (1639-1716), which were offered at Sotheby's on 14 December 1989 (lot 63) and are now in the British Library (Add. MS 72516). These letters relate, however, to family matters of much later date and appear to contain no references to Philips or to literary matters. Other family papers of Sir Charles Cottrell are preserved by his descendant, C. Cottrell-Dormer, at Rousham, Oxfordshire, among them a later family transcript of The Virgin (PsK 552).

The library and papers of Philips's ‘noble Silvander’, Sir Edward Dering, were principally sold by auction at Puttick & Simpson's on 8 June 1858. Both they and such papers as remained in the hands of various scattered branches of the Dering family following the sale of Surrenden-Dering in 1928 are now widely dispersed. Notable repositories of Dering manuscripts include the Centre for Kentish Studies, Maidstone (various purchases and deposits); the British Library; the Parliamentary Archives; the Folger Shakespeare Library; the Huntington Library; Massachusetts Historical Society, and (at least until recently) the private collection of Philip H. Blake. Two of Dering's journals of the 1670s were sold at Sotheby's on 21 July 1992, lots 208-9, to Maggs. A few of Dering's journals have been edited in The Diaries and Papers of Sir Edward Dering Second Baronet 1644 to 1684, ed. Maurice F. Bond (London, 1976). Apart from the Dering Manuscript of Philips's poems at Texas, his letterbook at Cincinnati, and Philips's sole extant letter to him (*PsK 585), the most notable memento of Orinda among Dering's recorded papers would appear to be his touching autograph entry in one of his household books now in the British Library (Add. MS 70887, f. 10v): ‘1664: June 22: Wednesday: my very deare friend Mrs Katharine Phillips a woman of excelling worth & Vertues & of a prodigious wit, fruitfull in many incomparable poems, departed this life, to the uniuersall losse of this nation, at London of the small pox’.


Souers records (p. 91) a note by John Pavin Phillips of Haverfordwest (‘The “Matchless Orinda” and her Descendants’ in N&Q, 2nd Ser. 11 (13 March 1858), 202-3) recording the existence of a family Bible in his possession once owned and annotated by Katherine Philips's daughter, Katherine, Mrs Lewis Wogan. (Thomas, I, 13. This bible is also described in Francis Green, ‘The Wogans of Boulston’, Y Cymmrodor, 15 (1902), 97-149 (pp. 135-7). It has not been seen in more recent years.

Poems on, or relating to, Orinda by other writers, as well as possible imitations of her work, including a number of unpublished items, abound in both printed and manuscript sources, and bear clear witness to her reputation both before, and for years after, her death. Examples (not given entries here) range from laudatory tributes (by Cowley, for instance) to vitriolic attacks on her (such as John Taylor's truculent satire printed in Beal, In Praise of Scribes, p. 282-4, with facsimile examples on pp. 152-3). Any editorial attempt to bring all these texts together would result in a substantial compendium.

Another substantial undertaking would be to trace and record all extant exempla of seventeenth-century editions of Orinda's Poems, if not also her plays, that bear inscriptions by contemporary owners. This exercise too would throw light on her readership (principally women?), as well as on her reputation. It might also reveal interesting readers' annotations, including further supplied text for lacunæ.

John Aubrey's autograph ‘brief life’ of Katherine Philips is in the Bodleian (MS Aubrey 8, ff. 38r-v, 40r) and is edited in his Brief Lives, ed. Andrew Clark, 2 vols (Oxford, 1898), II, 152-5. Some notes on Katherine Philips by the Rev. Joseph Hunter (1783-1861), in his Chorus Vatum Anglicanorum (Volume IV), are in the British Library (Add. MS 24490, ff. 228v-9r).

Peter Beal