The Museum of Richmond’s collection contains many items and information on the Georgian period. In order to join the celebrations marking the beginning of this important era, the museum is organising the following talk:

“Phippy” Jonathan Wathen Phipps/Waller – Eye surgeon to George III, Groom of the Bedchamber to William IV

A talk by Ruth Hayward, 7.30pm Monday 2 June 2014 at The Parish Church of St Mary Magdalene, Paradise Road, Richmond.

“The Museum of Richmond is especially delighted to be able to participate in the nationwide events to celebrate the Georgian period” says the Curator Natascha Wintersinger, "The talk by Ruth Hayward, author of “Phippy” promises to be fascinating!"


In 1796, “Phippy” – (Jonathan) Wathen Phipps – was appointed eye-surgeon to George III and began to move in Court circles. He became a life-long confidant and friend to three of the King’s sons. In 1812 he married, as his second wife, Sophia Charlotte, the Baroness Howe. The Prince Regent sanctioned a name change and conferred a baronetcy on him. He became Sir (Jonathan) Wathen Waller and took up residence in a newly-built Thames-side mansion on the site of Pope’s Villa in Twickenham. Wathen was a regular patron of the Richmond Theatre and his son attended the Delafosse School on Richmond Green. Drawing on confidential royal and family letters Ruth Hayward has uncovered a unique story of court and private life against the backdrop of late 18th century England with very local connections.

Ruth Hayward has lived in the Borough of Richmond for more than forty years. After working as a translator in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, she taught languages at St Paul’s and Tiffin Girls’ Schools. In her retirement she embarked on her first historical biography, Phippy.

More Information

  • Tickets – £8 (£5 RLHS members, £4 Museum Supporters, – join the Supporters when you buy your ticket for an immediate reduction and all the other advantages of membership). – Apply in person or by post, enclosing a cheque and stamped addressed envelope, to: Museum of Richmond, Old Town Hall, Whittaker Avenue, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 1TP. For enquiries only: phone 020 8332 1141.
  • Proceeds towards the Museum’s Refurbishment Appeal
  • Museum of Richmond Registered Charity no. 295164