Phips, Sir William
- Jonathan M. Chu
Phips, Sir William (02 February 1651–18 February 1695), first royal governor of Massachusetts, was born in Woolwich, Maine, the son of James Phips and Mary (maiden name unknown). Apprenticed as a ship’s carpenter, Phips moved to Boston in 1673 to practice his trade. A self-made man, he married Mary Spencer Hull; they adopted one child. After becoming a contractor for the building of ships, his attention turned to the search for sunken treasure off the Bahamas. In 1687 Phips was extremely lucky to discover a large sunken treasure. In appreciation for its share of the find, worth about £30,000, the Crown appointed him provost marshal general, or head of military affairs and peacekeeping, in the Dominion of New England and awarded him a knighthood....