The schoolmaster of Marygreen, and young Jude Fawley's role model. He never realizes his dream of getting a university degree and marries Sue Bridehead, twenty years his junior. He leaves his job as a schoolmaster in the small town where Jude lives to pursue his dreams of becoming a scholar in Christminster. As we discover, this doesn't pan out for him: like Jude, he finds it impossible to break into the elite ranks of the university there, and Phillotson winds up struggling to make ends meet as a teacher just outside the city.
Richard Phillotson in the Essays