John Phillips (bishop of Sodor and Man)

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Styles of
John Phillips
Mitre (plain).svg
Reference style The Right Reverend
Spoken style My Lord
Religious style Bishop

John Phillips (1555? – 7 August 1633)[1] was the Anglican Bishop of Sodor and Man between 1604/5 and 1633. His most notable contribution to society was the writing down of the Manx Language.

Early life[edit]

He was born in Wales and educated at St Mary Hall, Oxford, graduating B.A. in 1579 and M.A. in 1584.


In 1579 he became rector of Sessay in the North Riding of Yorkshire and in 1583 rector of Thorpe Bassett in the East Riding of Yorkshire. He was collated Archdeacon of Man in 1587 and made rector of Andreas in the Isle of Man. In 1590 he was appointed chaplain to Henry Stanley, 4th Earl of Derby. In 1591 he was made rector of Slingsby in the North Riding of Yorkshire and in 1601 appointed archdeacon of Cleveland. In 1605 he followed George Lloyd as bishop of Sodor and Man, retaining in commendam the archdeaconry of Man and his English preferments.

He died in 1633 at Bishop's Court, in the parish of Ballaugh and was buried in St Germans Cathedral, Peel.

Writing Manx[edit]

In order to preach to the Manx peasantry, he dictated that the Book of Common Prayer, and later the Bible be translated, and a new writing system was invented.

It is thought to be based on phonetic of Yorkshire English, which suggests it was written by someone else as opposed to him, as he was Welsh born.


  1. ^ Horn, Joyce M.; Smith, David M.; Mussett, Patrick (2004), Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1541–1857, 11, pp. 146–150