Phillips, Richard (1767–1840)

Author and publisher, initially in Leicester and from 1795 in London. In 1796 he founded the progressive Monthly Magazine, employing firstly John Aikin and from 1806 George Gregory as its editor. A radical and republican, Phillips himself wrote anti-government articles for the periodical under the signature ‘Common Sense’. Phillips’s business prospered in the first decade of the nineteenth century. In 1807 he was elected a sheriff of London and in 1808 he was knighted. His fortunes declined in the 1810s and he retired to Brighton in 1823, dying there in 1840. Southey contributed poems and letters to the Monthly Magazine from 1796 and thus had a professional relationship with Phillips. However, he did not have a high opinion of him. In 1812 he cautioned that the publisher was ‘one of the most accomplished rogues in his majestys dominions’. Southey also shared Coleridge’s view of Phillips’s vegetarianism: ‘whatever might be thought of innate Ideas, there could be no doubt to a man who had seen Phillips of the existence of innate Beef.’

Mentioned in

34 pages