Molyneux, Caryll – Viscount

Caryll Molyneux, Viscount Molyneux of Sefton, a devout Catholic and Royalist, was the leader of James’s attempts to impose his reforms on Lancashire and so was deeply resented by the county’s Tory Anglicans, many of who were forced out of office when Molyneux was appointed lord lieutenant in 1687. The Anglican resentment was directed in particular at attempts to repeal the penal laws and was the reason for Rawstorne withdrew from the office of deputy lieutenant. Molyneux was shortly to be replaced as lord lieutenant by the Earl of Derby, as part of James’s attempts to appease the county’s Tories. After the Revolution he was accused of treason and put under house arrest. He lost all his official positions because of his refusal to swear allegiance to William and Mary. [1]

When James II eased the restrictions on Catholics, Viscount Molyneux leased the Fishwick Hall estate to the Benedictines, who built a chapel there and worship continued there into the early 18th century. [2]

[1] Malcolm Gratton, ‘Molyneux, Caryll, Third Viscount Molyneux of Maryborough (1623/4–1700)’, in The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, ed. David Cannadine, on-line (Oxford: OUP, 2004),
[2] Henry Fishwick, The History of the Parish of Preston (Rochdale: The Aldine Press, 1900), 306.