Molesworth, William, 8th Baronet

BORN 23 May 1810, London: Upper Brook Street - DIED 22 Oct 1855, London
GRAVE LOCATION London: Kensal Green Cemetery, Harrow Road, Kensal Green (056/PS (12766))

William Molesworth succeeded his father Arscott Ourry Molesworth to the baronetcy in 1823. He studied at Cambridge, where he fought a duel with one of his tutors. After continuing his studies at the University of Edinburgh he became a member of parliament for Eastern Cornwall. After the Reform Act of 1832 he entered Parliament for East Cornwall.

In 1835 he founded the London Review and soon afterwards he bought the Westminster Review. The magazines were united and he edited them together with J.S. Mill. In 1837 he became a MP for Leeds (until 1841). Between 1839 and 1845 he collected, edited and published the writings of Hobbes in eleven volumes. This had the result that his opponents accused him of being in favour of a despotic government like Hobbes. In 1842 he served as High Sherrif of Cornwall and in 1845 he returned to Parliament for Southwark (until his death).

On 9 July 1844 he had married the former singer Andalusia Grant Carstairs after an engagement of one month. His family was against the marriage because she didn't have a noble background and was perhaps too old to have children. She became a well known society hostess, receiving Charles dickens, Arthur Sullivan and Louis Napoleon Bonaparte at Pencarrow House in Cornwall.

Molesworth was strongly in favour of self rule for the colonies and in 1853 he became First Commissioner of Works in Lord Aberdeen's cabinet. After Russel stepped down he became Colonial Secretary in July 1855. He died five months afterwards. Andalusia continued her activities as a hostess and had a mausoleum constructed for at Kensal Green Cemetery in 1869. She died on 16 May 1888.

• Wife: Molesworth, Andalusia (1844-1855, London: St George, Hanover Square)


The grave of Sir William Molesworth at Kensal Green Cemetery, London.
Picture by Androom (26 Jun 2009)


Winkler Prins Encyclopedie (editie 1909), 1909
Wikipedia (EN):

Molière, Jean-Baptiste

Published: 03 Nov 2006
Last update: 13 Mar 2024