Recorded in over one hundred spelling forms including Phillipus, Philip, Phipps, Phelps, and Pherps, and found throughout what is known as Christendom, this is a famous surname of ultimately Ancient Greek origins. However spelt it derives from the personal name "Philippos", from "philein" meaning to love, and "hippos", a horse; and hence "lover of horses". Philip of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great, was the first famous bearer of the name, and its popularity throughout Greece and Asia Minor was largely due to him. The name was borne by five kings of France, including Philip 1st, who reigned from 1060 to 1108. It seemingly entered England following the famous Norman Conquest of 1066, and appears as the personal name of Filippus in the regiester known as the "Documents relating to the Danelaw", for Lincolnshire in the year 1142. Other early recordings include Henry Phelipe in the Hundred Rolls of landowners of the county of Norfolk in 1273, whilst the patronymic form being a reduced form of "son of" as in John Phippes, registered in the Calendar of Plea and Memoranda Rolls in 1364. The Phipps family being the marquesses of Normandy and earls of Mulgrave, are descended from Constantine Phipps (1656 - 1723), Lord Chancellor of Ireland. A slightly more humble cousin Sir William Phipps (1651 - 1695), was born in Maine, America, where his parents had emigrated. He was originally a ship's carpenter, but was knighted by Charles 11nfd in 1680 and rose to become Governor of Massachusetts. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alicia Philippes. This was dated 1273, in the Hundred Rolls of Huntingdonshire. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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