MOLYNEUX, John (c.1624-91), of Becconsall, Lancs.
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Family and Education
b. c.1624, 1st s. of Sir Francis Molyneux, 2nd Bt., of Tevershall, Notts. by Theodosia, da. of Sir Edward Heron of Cressy Hall, Lincs. educ. Mansfield g.s. (Mr Halliwell), Christ’s, Camb. adm. 26 June 1640, aged 16. m. c.1652, Lucy, da. of Alexander Rigby of Middleton in Goosnargh, Lancs., baron of the Exchequer 1649-50, wid. of Robert Hesketh of Rufford, Lancs., 2s. (1 d.v.p.) 2da. suc. fa. as 3rd Bt. 12 Oct. 1674.1
Commr. for militia, Lancs. Mar. 1660; j.p. Lancs. Mar. 1660-Apr. 1688, 1689-d., Notts. Feb. 1688-d. commr. for assessment, Lancs. Sept. 1660-80, 1690, Notts. 1677-80, recusants, Lancs. 1675; dep. lt. Notts. 1676-d.; freeman, Preston 1682.2
Molyneux came from a cadet branch of an ancient Lancashire family which had held the manor of Sefton since about 1100, and first represented the county in 1312. His direct ancestors, who had resided in Nottinghamshire since the 15th century, accepted the Reformation, unlike the elder branch. His father supported Parliament in the Civil War and held county office under the Commonwealth, and again after the Restoration. Molyneux renewed contact with Lancashire by marrying into a strongly parliamentarian family, and lived on his wife’s jointure till his father’s death. He was returned to the Convention, no doubt on the Rigby interest after the general election at Wigan had been declared void, and became a moderately active Member, being named to eight committees. Probably a supporter of the Opposition, he was added on 10 Nov. 1660 to the committee to prepare the militia bill, and appointed on 23 Nov. to that to draft the excise clauses in the bill to abolish the court of wards.3
Molyneux never sat again, though his loyalty was well enough established by 1676 for the 2nd Duke of Newcastle (Henry Cavendish) to recommend him as a deputy lieutenant for Nottinghamshire, and he was marked ‘right’ on the militia list of 1680. He recorded no answers on the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws in 1688, having gone to London, and was removed from the Lancashire bench. He died in October 1691 and was buried at Tevershall. His son sat for Newark from 1690 to 1700, and later for Nottinghamshire, as a Whig.
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Authors: M. W. Helms / Irene Cassidy
- 1. Vis. Notts. (Thoroton Soc. xiii), 62; Vis. Lancs. (Chetham Soc. lxxxv), 135, 246; HMC Kenyon, 167.
- 2. Lancs. RO, QSC 62-106; CSP Dom. 1676-7, p. 4; Preston Guild Rolls (Lancs. and Cheshire Rec. Soc. ix), 191.
- 3. G. Molineux, Molineux Fam. 30; VCH Lancs. iii. 67; vi. 113; Palatine Note Bk. iii. 187.