DIARIES AND PAPERS OF THE FAMILY OF MOLYNEUX OF SEFTON
|Title:||DIARIES AND PAPERS OF THE FAMILY OF MOLYNEUX OF SEFTON|
Diaries, travel diaries and albums, game books, household records, photographs and drawings.
|Held by:||Liverpool Record Office, not available at The National Archives|
The collection is arranged as follows:
* 920 SEF/1 Diaries of Henry Hervey Molyneux (1842-1915), 48 volumes, 1870-1915
* 920 SEF/2 Diaries of Charles William Hylton Molyneux ("Mull") (1867-1901) 5th Earl of Sefton, 3 volumes, 1888, 1889, 1894
* 920 SEF/3 Diaries of Lady Rose Molyneux (1870-1905), 3 volumes, 1886, 1888, 1889
* 920 SEF/4 Diaries of Lady Helena Mary Molyneux, Countess of Sefton (1875-1947), 49 volumes, 1898-1917, 1919-1947
* 920 SEF/5 Travel Diaries and albums etc. of Lady Helena Mary Molyneux, Countess of Sefton, 52 volumes, 1898-1917, 1919-1947
* 920 SEF/6 Diaries of Sir Frederick Molyneux (1873-1954), 37 volumes, 1891-1900, 1901, 1918-1922, 1925-1953 920 SEF/7 Game Books, records of shooting, coursing etc, 17 volumes, 1815-1945
* 920 SEF/8 Records relating to the household, 23 bundles, 3 volumes, 1841-1843, 1867-1897
* 920 SEF/9 Photographs, drawings etc, 12 volumes, 2 bundles, 7 items, 19th, 20th centuries
* 920 SEF/10 Miscellanous papers, 14 items, 1818-1945
|Extent:||192 volumes, 25 bundles, 21 items|
Accession Numbers 2547, 5626
In or around the year 1100 the manor of Sefton was granted by Roger of Politou to a member of the Molyneux family, probably Robert de Molyneux. Croxteth came into the possession of the Molyneux family in the 15th century and Toxteth Park in the early part of the 17th century. The family acquired its first hereditary title in 1611 when Sir Richard Molyneux was elevated to the new rank of baronet. His son, also Sir Richard, became Viscount Molyneux of Maryborough in 1628. Charles (1748-1795), the 8th Viscount Molyneux, was created 1st Earl of Sefton in 1771, in the peerage of Ireland. In 1831 William (1772-1838), 2nd Earl of Sefton was created a peer of the United Kingdom as Baron Sefton of Croxteth. Hugh, 7th Earl of Sefton, died in April 1972 without heirs and the title became extinct.
Early hereditary title granted to the family included the offices of Constable of Liverpool Castle and master forester of the forests and park of West Derby. Details of the family's involvement in the history of Liverpool and Lancashire may be found in a number of the printed works listed below.
Croxteth Hall in Croxteth Park, West Derby, the family seat, was acquired by the Molyneux family during the reign of Henry VI (1422-1461) and by 1540 it had become one of the family's chief residences. The Hall appears to have enlarged or rebuilt c.1575-1600 but at that time was still probably a small and unelaborate building. In 1702, William, second Viscount Molyneux, added the principal and "...spectacular west front...of an unusual Queen Anne design..." to the Hall "...marking the time when Croxteth Hall became the main family seat" (see 'Buildings of Liverpool', p.259). The sporting interests of the Molyneux family are reflected in many of the diaries and papers in this collection. On the death of the last Earl of Sefton in 1972, Croxteth Hall and Park were given to the City of Liverpool. Croxteth Hall is open to the public in the summer months and the Country Park is open all year.
In the later part of the 19th century, the Earl of Sefton "...gave up his Scottish grouse shoots and bought extensive moors...above Over Wyresdale..." (see Lofthouse, p.69) between the Forest of Bowland and Lancaster. This large estate was centred on Abbeystead where the house "...was built some years ago by the Earl of Sefton as a shooting lodge. He ... erected a handsome residence overlooking the Abbeystead compensation reservoir. Here shooting parties were gathered during the season and excellent sport was provided..." (see obituary of Lady Rose Molyneux in 'Liverpool Obituary Notices', 1905, Vol.23, p. 166, Eq 330). The cottages in the small village of Abbeystead were rebuilt, also some of the decayed farmhouses of the estate. Since the death of the widow of the last Earl of Sefton, the estate has been owned by the Duke of Westminster.
For many years the London home of the family was Sefton House in Belgrave Square. In Liverpool in the late 18th, early 19th centuries, the Molyneux had owned "...and imposing house on the north side of Lord Street, built in 1789" (see undated typescript notes, listed below). This building became business premises, as Commerce House and was destroyed in the May blitz of 1941. Burke's Peerage over the years lists other homes of the Molyneux family.
|Immediate Source Of Acquisition:||
|Conditions of access:||
Access will be granted to any accredited reader
|Link to NRA Record:|