Molesworth History


The Molesworths are one of a few families that can trace their lineage back to its beginning. Our family can also be traced back to the royal families of Brittan and France, and from there, to most of the royal lines in Europe. The Molesworth family lineage is regularly used to trace Royal blood lines, for instance, Diana Frances Spencer’s (Princess Diana) 5th Great Grandmother was a Molesworth, and subsequently is also the ancestor of William and Harry. Others are Sophie Rhys-Jones (Wife of Prince Edward) whose grandmother was a Molesworth and Sisters and film stars, Olivia De Havilland and Joan De Havilland (Joan Fontain) whose grandmother was also a Molesworth.

Apart from the royal lineage the Molesworths have distinguished themselves in the military with a Field Marshal, Generals, Admirals and many other ranks. In politics Molesworths have served in parliament as well as ambassadors and Governors, there are Clergy at many levels in the church, Judges, sports and the arts. The second Viscount was also involved in the commissioning of art from several well-known Florentine baroque artists of his day and not forgetting a furniture maker Thomas Canada Molesworth  whose furniture is so unique it has been declared art, and is sought after by museums and private collections.

 The writings of Sir William Molesworth and his theories also influenced the U.S.A. Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights.

 The first Molesworth was a Crusader travelling with eleven other knights and their armies with Prince Edward to Palestine. There joining with the knights Templar in their quest for a period until Prince Edward was called back to England to take over the throne on the death of his father.

 The Molesworth family has played important rolls in many aspects of the history of a number of countries and still is, Molesworths in history appear to be the influence behind the scenes and seldom present in the limelight but rather working in the background to make a difference.

The following is from the forward in the book on the Molesworth family by Russell Molesworth.

The Molesworths are an ancient family whose line can be traced back to the Lindsay’s at the time of the Norman Conquest. A glance at our entry in Burke’s or Debrett’s, one of the longest and most complicated not only shows the wealth of the many distinguished Molesworths living today, but also their settlement of every corner of the English-speaking world. In 1999 when 1 had the honor to be invited to Windsor Castle to represent the family at the marriage of Prince Edward to Sophie Rhys-Jones, who is a descendant of the 1st Viscount, Debrett’s famously commented that had every Molesworth attended, no other guest could have been accommodated!

by the Right Honourable the

Viscount Robert Molesworth

12th Viscount of Swords, Barron of Philipstown.

Related Images:

18 thoughts on “Molesworth History”

  1. I remember that your family claimed High station in England and your 40Acres in Victoria

  2. We sure did claim High station. We also own the town Molesworth in Tasmania.

  3. The Town in Tasmania was named in honor Of Molesworth Jeffrey who with his son (also Molesworth Jeffrey) was on the town council serving as chair for many years. When they decided to name the town he requested that it be named in honor of his grandfather the Viscount Molesworth. It was decided to name it Molesworth but after him and his son for their long years of work for the district. He later migrated to Victoria in Alexandra. The Victorian town of Molesworth got its name from Sir Robert Molesworth the supreme court judge in Victoria.

  4. Hi, requesting help.
    In my family tree Richard Nassau is a 6th G/grandfather to me.
    Q- some history facts tells me that Richard passed away in 1793, unmarried.
    Other sources inform me that he married a Isabella Margaret Lever in 1790.
    Can you please advise which alleged history is relevant?
    Kind regards

  5. I am away at the present time and all of my records are at home. I will look him up when I return. The final word on most Molesworths can be found in Debretts Essential Guide To The Peerage. They keep the official family tree

  6. Hi Peter I aM away at the moment and don’t have access but the short answer is yes I would have to work out which branch. I wull get back to you later

  7. Hi Phillip,

    I’m the mother of Peter Simon (see above), and my grandfather was William McKinnon (not Mckenna) Molesworth, and we are definitely part of the family. descended from Major Edward Molesworth (fourth son of the first Viscount). Major Edward’s grandson was John Edward Nassau Molesworth, Vicar of Rochdale, who married Harriet McKinnon (that’s where the McKinnnon connection comes in). His son was also a Vicar in Rochdale, and one of his sons was John Molesworth, who married Mary Newall, and had a whole passel of children, one of whom was my grandfather, William McKinnon Molesworth. Another of them was Laurence Teesdale Molesworth, who was the grandfather of Sophie Rhys-Jones, whom you mention above.
    When I was in Australia, sometime in the 1980s, I saw that there was a town called Molesworth and thought that we must be related somehow, but we were never in that area of the country, so I didn’t have the opportunity to pursue it. I’m glad to know what our connection is, and happy that my son has discovered you and your website. He is working on our branch of the family and will send you the information soon. I’m not sure if the books of peerage go as far as my children and nieces and nephews; my name is in Debrett’s (or used to be, when I last looked), but not in Burke’s (my mother’s generation is the last to appear in Burke’s). So it’s very nice that you’re keeping up the family history. Thank you.

  8. Hi again Phil,

    I mispoke in my previous post. Laurence Teesdale Molesworth was the GREAT grandfather oF Sophie Rhys-Jones.
    I think there is also a Molesworth line in New Zealand, as there’s a Molesworth sheep ranch on the South Island. Best, Jane

  9. You are correct about the station in New Zealand. It is now a national park on the southern top of the south island

  10. Hi, I am the granddaughter of Suzette Irene Molesworth who was the daughter of Robert Francis Stuart Nassau Molesworth, the son of the Rev William Nassau Molesworth (married Margaret Murray) , the son of John Edward Nassau Molesworth who married Harriet Elizabeth McKinnon and so on. It is good to see so many cousins 🙂 . My grandmother was disowned by her father about 100 years ago for being a naughty girl and ended up in Australia. The funny thing is that my daughter in law is also descended from the Viscount and she is from New Zealand. Robert Francis Stuart Nassau Molesworth is in Burkes Peerage but I am unable to find his death date. A bomb dropped behind or on his last known address during the blitz so I am wondering if that is how he died. No death certificate.

  11. I’m sorry my records don’t have a death date for Robert Francis Stuart Nassau Molesworth either.

  12. I am Molesworth Jeffery’s great great grandaughter. His name was spelled Jeffery as were the 3 generations before him. His mother was Wilhelmina Molesworth daughter of Hon Richard Molesworth and Catherine Cobb

  13. I am well aware of Molesworth Jeffery. Settled in Tasmania before coming to Victoria. There is a town in Tasmania that is named Molesworth and according to their local history it was named in honor of Molesworth and his son Molesworth. The book on the Molesworth history also has a section on him and some of his poems.

  14. I’m from Daingean, County Offaly Ireland formerly Philipstown Kings County. Philipstown was part of the Molesworth estate in the 18th century, it then passed on to the Ponsonby family. Louisa Molesworth married Lord William Ponsonby. Our grand canal bridge is called Molesworth Bridge and connects to Molesworth Street. I was wondering if the family has any old paintings or images of Philipstown!

  15. Sorry we don’t have any images at all. The only person I can think of that might have any is William Molesworth the current Viscounts brother who has all the portraits etc. But unfortunately I don’t have any contact details for him other than he lives in London.

Comments are closed.

error: Content is protected !!