Molyneux, Richard (d.1459) (DNB00)

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MOLYNEUX, Sir RICHARD (d. 1459), soldier, was son of Sir Richard Molyneux (d. 1439), whose brother Adam Molyneux or Moleyns, bishop of Chichester, is separately noticed. The father served under Henry V in the French wars, and especially distinguished himself at Agincourt in 1415, after which he was knighted. He was lord of Haydike, Warrington, Burtonwood, and Newton-in-the-dale, all in Lancashire. In 3 Henry VI (1 Sept. 1424-31 August 1425) he had a feud with Thomas Stanley, and both were arrested for riot (Gregson, Portfolio of Fragments, p. 163). This Sir Richard died in 1439 at Sefton, Lancashire, where there is a monument to his memory (Bridgens, Church of Sefton). He married, first, Helene, daughter of Sir W. Harrington of Hombie, Lancashire, by whom he had two daughters ; and, secondly, Joan, daughter and heiress of Sir Gilbert Haydocke of Bradley, Lancashire, and widow of Sir Pyers Legh, by whom he had eight sons and three daughters (cf. pedigree in Visitation of Lancashire, 1567, Chetham Soc.) One of his sons, Sir Robert Molyneux, was in 1448 taken prisoner by the Turks (Hist. of Chantries, Chetham Soc., p. 110).

The eldest son, Richard, received, by patent dated 26 July 1446, the chief forestership of the royal forests and parks in the wapentake of West Derbyshire, the constableship of Liverpool, with which the family had long been connected, and stewardship of West Derbyshire and Salfordshire, a grant which was confirmed in 1459. He became a favourite of Henry VI, was usher of the privy chamber, and when, in 1458, a partial resumption of grants was made, a special clause exempted the lands of Molyneux. He sided with Henry in the wars of the Roses, and fell in 1459 at Bloore Heath (cf. Drayton, Polyolbion, song xxii). Some of the family sided with the Yorkists, and a confusion among them led to the statement that Sir Richard joined Salisbury on his march to Bloore Heath, and fought on the Yorkist side. Molyneux married Elizabeth, second daughter of Sir Thomas Stanley, and his son Sir Thomas fought against the Scots during Edward IV's reign, was knighted by Gloucester on 24 July 1482 at the siege of Berwick, and was one of the pall-bearers at Edward IV's funeral.

Sir William Molyneux (1483-1548), son of Sir Thomas, by his wife Anne, daughter and coheir of Sir Thomas Dutton, led a considerable force to serve in 1513 under his cousin Sir Edward Stanley at Flodden Field, where he took with his own hands two Scottish banners and the Earl of Huntly's arms; for this service he was personally thanked in a letter by Henry VIII. He joined Derby's Sallee expedition in 1536 (Gairdner, Letters and Papers, ii. 1251), and died in 1548, aged 65, being buried in Sefton Church, where there is a monument and eulogistic Latin inscription to his memory. He was twice married, and his son Richard by his first wife, Jane, only daughter and heir of Richard Rydge or Rugge of Ridge, Shropshire, was knighted at Mary's accession in 1553, served as sheriff of Lancashire in 1566, and died in 1569. He also was twice married, and by his first wife, Eleanor, daughter of Sir Alexander Radcliffe, was father of William, who predeceased him in 1567, and grandfather of Richard Molyneux, created baronet in 1611, who was father of Richard, first viscount Maryborough [q. v.] (Visitations of Lancashire, Chetham Soc. ; Baines, Co. Lancaster, iv. 216-17 ; cf. also Letters and Papers, ed. Brewer and ed. Gairdner, passim ; Ducatus Lancastrice, passim ; Hall, Chronicle, p. 240 ; Stow, p. 405 ; Strype, Index ; Metcalfe, Book of Knights; Weber, Battle of Flodden, and authorities quoted below.)

[The following of the Chetham Society's publications contain particulars of the Molyneux family: Correspondence of the third Earl of Derby, Lancashire Funeral Certificates, Visitations of Lancashire, 1533 and 1567, Wills and Inventories, Norris Papers, Hist. of Chantries; Proceedings of Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, vols. iv. v. vi.; Rymer's Fœdera; Holinshed's Chronicle, p. 649; Ramsay's Lancaster and York, ii. 215; Baines's Lancashire and Cheshire Past and Present, i. 377; Baines's County of Lancaster, passim; Bridgens's Church of Sefton; Ashcroft's Description of the Church of Sefton, pp. 14–24; Britton's Lancashire; Gregson's Fragments, passim.]

A. F. P.