Hello Nick, and many thanks again for writing back.
I agree that it makes better sense that Alfred’s parents were Thomas Phillips and Elizabeth Coniam, rather than Thomas Phillips and Elizabeth Watkins. But, to be sure of this, you will need recorded proof, other than Alfred’s middle name. I recommend ordering Alfred’s birth cert from the GRO to see if his father's occupation is listed as a tailor and that his mother’s maiden name was Coniam, or some variant spelling of Coniam.
Kington, as you know, was located in the Civil Parish of Presteign. I found only one Alfred Phillips whose birth was recorded in the Presteign district between the years 1843 and 1861. The index, from the FreeBMD website, shows that Alfred’s birth was recorded in the Presteign Registration District for the March quarter of 1853. His birth record can be found in Volume 11b, Page 161 of the GRO registers:
Birth June Quarter 1853
Registration District: Presteigne
If you do order Alfred's birth cert from the GRO would you kindly write back and let me know if his father’s occupation is listed as a tailor, and if his mother’s maiden name was Coniam.
Thanks again Nick for your prompt reply.