Frederick Philipse II was born on the island of Barbados on October 17, 1698, the son of Philip Philipse, eldest son of Frederick Philipse, Lord of the Manor of Philipsburg, and Maria Sparks, daughter of the Governor of Barbados. His mother died shortly after his birth. Following his father's death in 1700, young Frederick went to New York to live with his grandfather. When his grandfather died in 1702, Frederick was raised by his grandfather's wife, Catharine Van Cortlandt, who took him to England to be educated. He studied law in England, and upon reaching his majority, he inherited a large part of the Philipse estate and became the second Lord of Philipsburg.
Frederick Philipse II served as a Justice of the Peace, an Alderman and, between 1721 and 1728, Speaker of the Assembly. He was appointed Third Justice of the Supreme Court of Judicature in 1731. He took office as Second Justice in 1733, a position that he held until his death in 1751.
Justice Philipse was a member of the majority that found in favor of Governor Cosby in Cosby v. Van Dam, the 1733 case that precipitated the political crises that led to the Zenger trial. As Second Justice, Philipse participated in the 1741 New York Slave Conspiracy Trials which, based upon questionable testimony, resulted in death sentences for thirty-four defendants.
Eberlein, Harold D., and Cortlandt V. Hubbard. Historic Houses of the Hudson Valley. New York, 1942.
Pelletreau, William S. History of Putnam County, New York. Philadelphia, 1886.