Molyneux, Sir John and Thomas

Sir John Molyneux (1623-91) was the son and heir of Sir Francis Molyneux of Teversall in Nottinghamshire (the family was a junior branch of the Molyneuxs of Sefton). He married Lucy, daughter of Alexander Rigby, of Middleton. [1] His sister, Anne, married Rigby’s son, Edward. [2] Two of Molyneux’s sons became MPs: his eldest son Francis, who inherited the title and the Nottinghamshire estate, and his third son, Thomas, who was MP for Preston from 1695 to 1700 and again from 1701 to 1702, consistently supporting the Whigs. Thomas, who was a merchant in the Levant trade, claimed to have been an early supporter of William of Orange’s invasion. [3] His only daughter, Mary, was the second wife of William Bushell, founder of the Goosnargh hospital. [4]

Sir John Molyneux owned a substantial property on the south side of Fishergate (see plan). In addition, he appears to have bought the extensive estate of the Preston family to judge by a document dated 1683 which details a mortgage for £2,500 on the properties involving himself and his brother-in-law Edward Rigby. [5] These properties included Preston Hall, at the bottom of Friargate, Peel Hall and Arram House. Arram’s Backside, probably a portion of the last property, occupied an extensive space between St John’s Lane and Church Street, inherited by Thomas Molyneux, who developed it to create Molyneux Square and the new shambles. [6]

[1] J. Burke, A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Extinct and Dormant Baronetcies of England, by J. and J.B. Burke (London: Scott, Webster and Geary, 1838), 361,
[2] Henry Fishwick, The History of the Parochial Chapelry of Goosnargh (Manchester: Charles Simms & Co, 1871), 182,
[3] ‘Molyneux, Thomas | History of Parliament Online’, accessed 7 July 2017,; ‘Molyneux, Sir Francis  | History of Parliament Online’, accessed 7 July 2017,
[4] Fishwick, Goosnargh, 120.
[5] ‘DDPD/11/45:    Mortgage to Secure £2500’, Lancashire Archives Catalogue, 30 June 1683,
[6] Peter. Whittle, The History of the Borough of Preston, in the County Palatine of Lancaster, Vol. 1 (Preston: Whittle, 1837), 116–17,