Philip of Oldcoates

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Philip of Oldcoates
Sheriff of Northumberland
In office
1212 – February 1220
Personal details
Diedshortly before 19 November 1220

Philip of Oldcoates (or Philip Oldcoates,[1] Philip de Ulcotes,[2] Philip de Ulecot; died 1220) was an English nobleman and royal official.

Philip first appears in the historical record in 1194 when he was deprived of his lands at Tickhill because he supported Prince John of England who had rebelled against his elder brother King Richard I of England. When Prince John became king in 1199, Philip was given lands in Northumberland.[3] Philip was captured in 1206 at Chinon Castle while in royal service. On his return to England from his captivity, the king rewarded him by making him one of the administrators of the vacant bishopric of Durham. This was a lucrative appointment as well as putting Philip in charge of a strategic location in Northern England.[4] He was also in charge of the isle of Guernsey, as he was supplied with provisions by Geoffrey fitzPeter, the justiciar.[5] Philip served John as a soldier and as Sheriff of Northumberland in 1212. He was given custody of Bamburgh Castle and Newcastle Castle, two royal castles.[3] During the civil war at the end of John's reign, Philip remained loyal to the king and in early 1216 held Durham Castle against the rebels.[1]

When John was succeeded by his underage son Henry III, Philip continued to be sheriff and to serve as a royal official. He lost his shrievalty in February 1220 and control of Mitford Castle in June 1220. In late 1220 Philip was sent to Poitou as seneschal, but he died before 19 November 1220 while on his way to take up that office.[3]

Philip married Johanna, the daughter of Robert de Meinil early in John's reign. He paid the king a fine of 100 pounds and a warhorse for the marriage. He had no legitimate offspring and his heirs were his five sisters.[3]

Roger of Wendover included Philip in his list of King John's "most wicked counsellors" in Roger's entry for 1211 in his chronicle Flores Historiarum and this judgement was echoed by Matthew Paris in Paris' continuation of the Flores.[6]


  1. ^ a b Warren King John p. 252
  2. ^ Warren King John p. 350
  3. ^ a b c d Todd "Oldcoates, Sir Philip of" Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  4. ^ Turner King John p. 47
  5. ^ West Justiciarship in England p. 129
  6. ^ Vincent "King John's evil counsellors" Oxford Dictionary of National Biography


  • Todd, John M. (2004). "Oldcoates , Sir Philip of (d. 1220)" ((subscription or UK public library membership required)). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/27983. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  • Turner, Ralph V. (2005). King John: England's Evil King?. Stroud: Tempus. ISBN 0-7524-3385-7.
  • Vincent, Nicholas. "King John's evil counsellors (act. 1208–1214)" ((subscription or UK public library membership required)). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  • Warren, W. L. (1978). King John. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-03643-3.
  • West, Francis (1966). The Justiciarship in England 1066–1232. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. OCLC 953249.