Bio:Catherine Phipps

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Catherine Phipps - also Catherina - (c.1690-1737) was the wife of James Phipps, of the English Royal African Company, mother-in-law of Chauncy Townsend, Member of Parliament (MP) in England, and grandmother of James Townsend, MP and Lord Mayor of London, and Joseph Townsend, a medical doctor, geologist, vicar, and economist.

Catherine Phipps was the daughter of a Dutch soldier and a woman from what was later called the Gold Coast, in West Africa. James Phipps in his last will referred to her as having been born in "Morea" (certainly Moree), but being from Axim. Among her children (four daughters and a son) was Bridget Phipps Townsend, mother of James and Joseph Townsend.

Like her husband, Mrs. Phipps was involved in the slave trade. She passed away in Cape Coast in 1737.


  • Sparks, Randy J., 2014, Where the Negroes are Masters: An African Port in the Era of the Slave Trade, Harvard University Press, p. 84
  • Latsch, Wolfram, 2016, "A Black Lord Mayor of London in the Eighteenth Century?" Notes and Queries, 261(4), pp. 615-617. (via
  • Latsch, Wolfram. 2018, "Mrs. Phipps and her Daughters: Presences and Absences in an Eighteenth-Century Anglo-African Family," Paper presented at: ‘En-Gendering the Atlantic World’ Conference. New York University, April 20-21, 2018 (via