Rev George Phillips was born 4 May 1593 in Raynham Hall, West Raynham, Norfolk, England, United Kingdom to Christopher Phillips (1565-1621) and Agnes Abram (1565-1613) and died 1 July 1644 Watertown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States of unspecified causes. He married Elizabeth Sergeant (1599-1630) February 1618 in England, United Kingdom. He married Elizabeth Bond (1591-1681) 1631 in Watertown, Middlesex County, England.


Rev. George Phillips. Graduate of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge (two degrees). Preached at Boxted, Essex, England (not Boxford). Came to New England in the Arbella in 1630.

George Phillips was settled for a time in the ministry in Suffolk County, but suffering from the storm of persecution which then threatened the non-conformists of England, he determined to leave the mother country and take his lot with the puritans.[1/910] John Maidstone, a nephew of John Winthrop's second wife, was among George's parishoners (and later an officer in Cromwell's household) and wrote Winthrop on 4 Nov 1629 stating that Phillips was resolved to go to Massachusetts and highly recommending him.

George was one of the seven signers of The Humble Request, which is dated April 7, on the eve of sailing, and which was printed that same year. There seems to be some ground for believing that George Phillips drafted this noble statement.

"He was the earliest advocate of the Congregational Order and discipline." His views were for a time regarded as novel, suspicious and extreme, and he with his ruling elder, Richard Brown, stood almost unaided and alone, until the arrival of John Cotton, maintaining what was and still is the Congregationalism of New England. It is not now easy to estimate the extent and importance of the influence of Rev. Phillips in giving form and character to the civil and ecclesiastical institutions of New England.

1630 Winthrop Fleet

Arrival of the Winthrop Colony, by William F. Halsall

He was a passenger on the in the Winthrop Fleet in 1630, part of The Great Migration. It was the largest fleet ever assembled to carry Englishmen overseas to a new homeland. It was a well planned and financed expedition comprising eleven ships that carried 700 immigrants from England to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The group, led by Governor John Winthrop, sailed from April to July of 1630. The fleet landed at Salem. Of the 700 on board, 200 died during the voyage, and 100 returned to England soon after arrival. Some of the 400 remaining settlers stayed in Salem, but many moved on to Boston, Watertown, or other settlements.

Watertown Founders Monument

Watertown Founders Monument

He is listed on Watertown Founders Monument, commemorating the first settlers of Watertown, Massachusetts. The town was first known as Saltonstall Plantation, one of the earliest of the Massachusetts Bay Colony settlements. Founded in early 1630 by a group of settlers led by Richard Saltonstall and George Phillips, it was officially incorporated that same year. The alternate spelling "Waterton" is seen in some early documents.

He was the first minister at Watertown MA, founded the Congregational Church there, and was "especially gifted and very peaceful in his place."

Marriage and Family

1st Marriage: Elizabeth Sergetant

First wife was (Unknown) Sergeant, daughter of Richard Sergeant. (Note some sources erroneously give her the first name of Elizabeth but according to Robert Charles Anderson her first name is not known. Arrived with him on the Arbella and died at Salem soon after arrival.

Phillips and his first wife had two children, Samuel & Elizabeth, both who were born in England. In July 1630, Phillips relocated to Watertown and continued in his ministerial role until his death 14 years later.

2nd Marriage: Elizabeth Bond

Second wife was Elizabeth (Unknown) Weldon, widow of Robert Weldon. Some give her maiden name as Bond but according to the Great Migration Project her maiden name is unknown.

He married a second time in 1632 to Elizabeth Bond Weldon. The couple had seven children: Zerobabel, Jonathan, Theophilus, Annabel, Ephraim, Obadiah and Abigail. (only) He died in Watertown in 1644.


Offspring of Rev George Phillips and Elizabeth Sergeant (1599-1630)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Samuel Phillips (1625-1696)
Elisabeth Phillips (1628-1696)
John Phillips (1629-)

Offspring of Rev George Phillips and Elizabeth Bond (1591-1681)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Zerubabel Phillips (1632-1687)
Jonathan Phillips (1633-1704)
Theophilus Phillips (1636-1717)
Annabell Phillips (1637-1638)
Obadiah Phillips (1639-1641)
Ephraim Phillips (1640-1640)
Abigail Phillips (1643-1672)




Footnotes (including sources)