MOLESWORTH, Sir John, 4th Bt. (1705-66), of Pencarrow, Cornw.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1734 - 1741
12 Dec. 1744 - 1761

Family and Education

bap. 28 Feb. 1705, 1st s. of Sir John Molesworth, 3rd Bt., by Jane, da. of John Arscott of Tetcott, Devon.  m. 1728, Barbara, da. of Sir Nicholas Morice, M.P., 2nd Bt., 2s. 1da.  suc. fa. June 1723.

Offices Held


Molesworth was a Tory; and was returned unopposed for Cornwall in 1744 and 1747.

The prospect of an election contest seemed greatly to affect him. In 1753, faced by an opposition which was soon withdrawn, he expostulated with his fellow-Member, James Buller, for having left home ‘whilst this affair was in agitation and when so much application is to be made ... I will not presume to take the affair wholly on myself, neither ... am I able, being much out of order.’1 And when at the county meeting on 10 Oct. 1760 Admiral Edward Boscawen declared his candidature, Molesworth despondingly wrote to Buller on the 13th that if the gentlemen and clergy ‘will not solicit the freeholders in their several neighbourhoods and endeavour to secure them in our behalfs, why ... ’tis in vain to think you and I can do everything’. He concluded: ‘I get cold and am now much out of order, my eyes and nerves so bad that I can hardly see.’ Three days later he declined the contest.

He died 4 Apr. 1766.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Sir Lewis Namier


  • 1. 11 Oct. 1753, Buller mss at Antony.