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Colonel Molesworth Phillips

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Britain (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1820-32 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Geddes, Andrew, born 1783 - died 1844 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Etching on copper, printed on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by John Sheepshanks

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case EE, shelf 157

Physical description

Etching on copper, printed on paper, depicting Colonel Molesworth Phillips in old age. Before letters. First state with the partially completed background.

Place of Origin

Britain (made)


ca. 1820-32 (made)


Geddes, Andrew, born 1783 - died 1844 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Etching on copper, printed on paper


Height: 8.9375 in, Width: 5.8125 in

Descriptive line

Etching by A. Geddes depicting Colonel Molesworth Phillips. Great Britain, ca. 1820-32.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Lieutenant Colonel Molesworth Phillips was born in Swords, Co. Dublin on 15th August 1755. He was the son of John Phillips and Henrietta Eccleston.
He is best known for accompanying Captain Cook on his last voyage and was supposedly responsible for killing the Hawaiian native who killed Cook during their fight on February 14th 1779. Upon his return, he became engaged to Susan Elizabeth Burnley from London in 1781 and married in 1782. They had three children: Frances, Norbury and William.
In 1795 he inherited an Irish estate from his uncle and moved to Belcotton, Termonfeckin, County Louth.
Later, his wife and two other children, Frances & William reluctantly joined him in Ireland. His wife's health declined in Louth and her family convinced Phillips to allow Susan to return to England. She died aged 44, following a final courageous journey across the Irish channel made in the depths of winter.
The same year on 4th October 1800, he married 26 year old Anne Maturin. He later resided at Boulogne till after the French Revolution and on returning to France in 1802 was seized by Napoleon and detained until 1814. He later returned to England and lived as a recluse, dying of cholera at his home in Lambeth, London on 11th September 1832.


Paper; Ink


Etching; Printing

Subjects depicted

Colonel; Portrait; Elderly


Prints; Portraits; Scotland


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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