Richard Molesworth 1680-1758

From Book Owners Online

Richard MOLESWORTH, 3rd Viscount Molesworth 1680-1758

Biographical Note

Born at Swords, co. Dublin, second son of Robert Molesworth, 1st Viscount Molesworth; he succeeded his elder brother John, the 2nd Viscount, to the title in 1726. He was admitted at the Middle Temple in 1700 but soon left to pursue a military career with the English army in the Netherlands, where he was a captain by the time of the Battle of Blenheim in 1704; in 1706 he was aide de camp to the Duke of Marlborough at the Battle of Ramilles, where he saved the Duke's life. He continued his military career until the disbanding of his regiment in 1718; he was elected MP for Swords in 1714. After a period of financial uncertainty through the 1720s his military career began again in the 1730s and he rose through a series of senior ranks until becoming a field marshal in 1757. His efforts to make a usable naval chronometer led to his election as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1722.


Molesworth used an engraved armorial bookplate, made sometime after his inheritance of the viscountcy in 1726 (Franks 20783). The extent of his library is not known; in his will, he left all his "goods and chattels of whatsoever nature" to his wife.