Adolphus Philipse

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Adolphus Philipse (1665–1749), son of Frederick Philipse, first Lord of the Manor of Philipsborough
Map of Philipse Patent (showing the Oblong and Gore)

Alophus Philipse (1665–1750) was a wealthy landowner of Dutch descent in the Province of New York.

Early life[edit]

Alophus Philipse was born in 1665, the second son of Frederick Philipse, the first Lord of the Manor of Philipsborough, a Dutch immigrant to North America of Bohemian heritage who had risen to become one of the greatest landholders in the New Netherlands.


In 1697, Philipse purchased a tract of land which ran along the northern Westchester County border, which received Royal sanction as the "Highland Patent".[1] Spanning from the Hudson River to the then Connecticut Colony[2] it encompassed some 250 square miles.

Philipse' elder brother Philip, heir to the manor and title, died in 1699.[3]

Upon Frederick's death in 1702, Adolphus received all the Manor north of Dobb's Ferry, including the present town. He was also named proprietor of a tract of land on the west bank of the Hudson north of Anthony's Nose and executor of Philip's estate.[4] The balance of the Manor, the hereditary title, and family commercial holdings were bequeathed to his nephew, Frederick Philipse II.[5]

After the bachelor Adolphus' death in 1749 (Smith, others 1750), his Manor holdings and the Highland Patent passed to Frederick II, his only heir-at-law, who became the second Lord of the Manor at Philipsborough.[6][7]

During the American Revolution the Patent lands, in time known as the "Philipse Patent", were confiscated by the Provisional New York government's Commissioners of Forfeiture.[8] Sold afterwards, they became today's Putnam County.

Philipse Patent[edit]

The Hudson Highlands are among the scenic highlilghts of the Philipse Patent

In 1697 Philipse purchased a tract of land from Dutch traders Lambert Dortlandt and Jan Sybrandt, who had bought it a few years before from several Wiccopee chiefs.[5] This became known as the Highland Patent,[1] and extended approximately 13 miles along the east shore of the Hudson River, from Annsville Creek to the Fish Kill, and eastward some 20 or so miles to the border of the Colony of Connecticut, including Pollopel Island in the Hudson.[9]

Shortly after purchasing it, Philipse, whose residence was the Philipse Manor Hall near Tarrytown, and who maintained only a bachelor shooting lodge on Lake Mahopac in the Highland Patent, opened the tract to tenant settlers. Thus began a policy that lasted throughout his lifetime and his heirs' so long as they owned the land,[5] to rent rather than sell, a practice which led to stunted growth for two and a half centuries to come.

After Philipse's death in 1750 (Smith, 1749), the Highland Patent was inherited by his nephew, Frederick Philipse II, his only heir-at-law, who became the second Lord of the Manor at Philipsborough in Westchester County.[6][7]


Philipse Manor Hall, the Lower Mills manor house

Adolphus Philipse was the second son of Frederick Philipse, the first Lord of the Manor of Philipsborough, and Margareta Hardenbroeck. He was the younger brother of Philip Philipse,[10] Annetje Philipse, Adolph Phillipse, Anna Philipse, Rombout Philipse, Frederick Phillipse, Charles Phillips, Hendrick Phillips, Catherine Phillips, and William Phillips; and half brother of Eva Maria Phillips de Vries.[11]


  1. ^ a b Historical and Genealogical Record Dutchess and Putnam Counties New York, Press of the A. V. Haight Co., Poughkeepsie, New York, 1912; pp. 62-79 [1] "Adolph Philipse having thus acquired the title from the original owners, proceeded at once to take the necessary steps for obtaining a patent for his lands, and presented a petition to Benjamin Fletcher, who was then governor of the Province of New York, which was granted June 17, 1697."
  2. ^ Historical and Genealogical Record Dutchess and Putnam Counties New York, Press of the A. V. Haight Co., Poughkeepsie, New York, 1912; pp. 62-79 [2] "While the Indian deed to Dorlandt and Sebring and the subsequent transfers only conveyed the land extending back from the Hudson River to a marked tree on the line of the Rombout Patent, or "Land of Cortlandt and Company," the patent of Governor Fletcher conveyed all the land between the river and the boundary line between New York and Connecticut. To confirm his title to this additional tract Adolph Philipse obtained a new Indian deed in 1702."
  3. ^ Morris, F.O., Philipse of Philipsburgh, in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, vol. 10 (1856), p. 26: PHILIP PHILIPSE, of Philipsbourg, born in 1656, who married, at Barbadoes, in 1697 (whither he had been sent by his father to an estate he had there, called Spring Head, and where he quickly recovered his health, having been before of a very delicate constitution), Maria, youngest of the four daughters of ? Sparkes, Esq., governor of Barbadoes, by Joyce, his wife, daughter of ? Farmer, Esq., (two of whom had retumed to their father's estate in Worcestershire, and the others accompanied their parents to the island), and, dying in 1700, left a son and successor. She also died in 1700.
  4. ^ Glenn, p. 258: "By the will of Frederick Philipse "all that portion of the manor north of Dobb's Ferry, including the present town, became vested in Adolphus Philipse, his second son. This individual " was also proprietor" of a great tract of land north of " Anthony's Nose " and the executor of his brother Philip Philipse's estate, the latter having died in 1714. Adolphus died without issue in 1750, and the whole manor of Philipsborough descended to his nephew, Frederick Philipse, the nearest male heir of the grandfather. This nephew was born in 1698 upon the island of Barbadoes, at an estate called Springhead belonging to his father."
  5. ^ a b c Putnam County Historical Society [3] Adolphus Philipse profile
  6. ^ a b Philipse family history: At the death of Frederick Philipse in 1751, the Highland Patent was inherited by his son, Philip Philipse, and three daughters, Susannah (wife of Beverley Robinson), Mary (late wife of Col. Roger Morris), and Margaret, who died intestate. Margaret's portion was, by terms of her father's will, equally divided among her brother and sisters, and in 1751, after a survey of the whole tract, it was geographically divided into nine Lots; three on the river; three in the interior; three on the eastern (Connecticut) border. Each of the three heirs inherited a lot in each division.
  7. ^ a b Pelletreau, William, S, History of Putnam County, New York – With Biographical Sketches of its Prominent Men, W.W. Preston & Company, Philadelphia, 1886 [4]
  8. ^ Description of the Abstract of Sales, Commissioners of Forfeiture
  9. ^ Smith, Philip Henry, General History of Putnam County: From 1609 to 1876, inclusive, published by the author, Pawling, NY, 1877, p. 44
  10. ^ Philipse Manor Hall State Historic Site website: [5] Philip Philipse, oldest son of Frederick Philipse I, and his wife, Mary, both died in Barbados in 1689 (on September 14 and October 18, respectively). Their death notices, signed by the rector of nearby St. James Church, list cause of death as "belly ake", aka dysentery, a frequent cause of death during that time period on the island.
  11. ^ Philipse profle [6] at

External links[edit]