Frederick Adolphus Philbrick was born on the 20th June 1835 and Christened at Lion Walk Meeting-House Colchester on the 6th August 1835. His father was Frederick Blomfield Philbrick (Born 7 Oct 1810, birthplace given as Saint Mary At The Wall, Colchester) and his mother was Judith Sheldrake.

In the 1861 Census, our Frederick Philbrick was a Queens Councillor and living at Oldfield Bickley Park, Kent. He was by then a widower and living with his three dausghters, Madeline, Evelyn and Edith, together with a Governess and six servants, two of whome were Swiss!

Grandparents of Frederick Adolphus were Samual Philbrick and Mary Blomfield who had nine children and were based in Colchester Essex (Mary’s father was Bazaleel Blomfield).

Frederick married Jemima Caroline Cockburn in 1870. They raised two boys, Earnest and Arthur both of whom went to school at Rugby, and three girls two of whom were unmarried in 1901 and living with their father in Colchester. In 1881 the Philbricks were living at Oldfield Bickley Park, Bromley, Kent. The Census of that year records:-

Frederick A. Philbrick
Queens Councellor (in practice)
Madeline F. E.
Evelyn C.M.
Edith C.C.
Eliza Thelwall
Amy Taylor
Constant Chapin
Valet (Switzerland)
Mery Chapins
Cook (Switzerland)
Jane Bailey
Beatrice Parkinson
Eliza Batchelor
Under housemaid

The two boys were away at boarding school and from the address and the number of servants Frederick had, it is reasonable to assume that he was comparatively well off.

The first Festival of the Order [Secret Monitor] was held at the Hotel Victoria, Northumberland Avenue, London, S.W. on July 15, 1887. It was also the inauguration meeting of Alfred Meadows Conclave No. 1, which having worked without a warrant until the following November was then issued with its warrant.

At the meeting of No. 1 Conclave, no less than thirty new members were admitted, including Lord Halsbury, P.G.W. Craft, a renowned scholar, Lord Chancellor of England (who, it is recorded, “left the woolsack to attend the meeting”); the Rt.Hon. the Earl of Warwick, Dep.G.M. of the Craft; Sir Francis Burdett, Prov.G.M., Middlesex Craft; Sir Morel’ Mackenzie, a distinguished laryngologist; Rear-Admiral R. C. Mayne, C.B., M.P.; Sir J. Monckton, P.G.W. Craft; and many other high-ranking Freemasons.

On the same day (July 15) University of London Conclave No.2 was founded, with His Honour Judge F. A. Philbrick as first Supreme Ruler, the warrant was dated September 15, 1887.

The first Constitutions of the Order, drafted by Judge Philbrick and adopted at the first meeting of Grand Council in 1887.

Searching the Lodge Returns to the Clerk of the Peace at Chelmsford (required under the Geo.III Sedicious Oaths Act.) we find that the returns for the 5th February 1895 show that F. A. Philbrick was second in the list of members for two Lodges. Three Friends and the Lodge of Gooodfelowship No. 276 meeting at the White Hart Hotel Chelmsford. Unfortunately, the Secretary has recorded his second name as Arthur. The first member listed for these ltwo Lodges is The Right Honourable the Earl of Warwick. It may be speculated that Philbrick and Warwick were well acquainted and through the Mark and Secret Monitor degrees, and maybe founders of both Lodges.

There is an interesting record of a document, signed by Queen Victoria, granting permission for Frederick Adolphus Philbrick Esq., licence to plead on behalf of J. R. Nash in his trial for perjury.

(Obituary - Judge Frederick Philbrick - Philatelist - London Philatelic Society)
With the deepest regret we have to record the death of His Honour Judge Frederick Adolphus Philbrick, K. C., which took place at Colchester on Dec. 25, [1912] at the age of seventy-five.

This sad news will be received throughout the entire philatelic world with the most profound sorrow and appreciation of the great services rendered to philately by Judge Philbrick.

The sad intimation of his death having only reached us on the point of publication, we are compelled to defer until our next issue a full appreciation of the important role played by Judge Philbrick in British philately. As the first Vice President and second President of the London Philatelic Society, and as the acknowledged leader of the pursuit for many years in this country, Judge Philbrick’s name will always be honoured and remembered as one of the greatest in the history of philately. - London Philatelist. Judge Philbrick was one of the veterans of our hobby. Born in 1836, the eldest son of Frederick B. Philbrick, of Colchester, he was educated at London University, became a barrister of the Middle Temple in 1860, and ‘took silk’ in 1874. He became Recorder of his native town of Colchester, and ultimately, after a busy career at the Bar, he was appointed to a County Court judgeship in 1895.

As a philatelist, Judge Philbrick’s name will live in the annals of our hobby as that of the joint author of “Philbrick & Westoby.” He made many fine collections, and he had had through his hands, at one time or another, nearly all the great rarities known to the catalogue. By reason of his strong personality, his past association with the London Philatelic Society, and his connection as a lawyer with more than one of the causes celèbres of the stamp world, he will not readily be forgotten by the philatelic fraternity.