||In black ink, this bookplate consists of an annexed escutcheon, vair (argent [silver] and azure [blue]), with a martlet at the honour point ; and an inescutcheon, argent with a sinister hand, couped and gules (red) at the fess point. Baronets of the United Kingdom bear the red hand of Ulster. The escutcheon's bordure is gules, and contains eight cross crosslets, or (gold), three over two over three. Atop the escutcheon is a helmet of a baronet, front facing with beaver open. The helmet is crested by a curved wreath and a a sinister arm, vambraced, and holding a cross crosslet, or. Below the escutcheon is a banner containing the Latin motto.
||Sir William Molesworth, 8th Baronet (1810-1855), was born in Upper Brook Street, London on 23 May 1810, son of Sir Arscott-Ourry Molesworth. He succeded to the baronetcy in 1823. Molesworth studied at Edinburgh University (1824-27) and Cambridge University (1827-28). At Cambridge, he had a quarrel with his mathematics tutor, and soon after left for Germany. The dispute eventually resulted in a duel, but resulted in neither psarticipant being injured. Molesworth returned to Britain in 1831. Influenced by the religious and political ideas of Jeremy Bentham and James Mill, Molesworth joined the parliamentary struggle over reform and was elected as an MP for the East Cornwall in 1832. As a Radical, he championed such causes as national education, free trade, the secret ballot, removal of property qualifications for MPs, abolition of the House of Lords, colonial self-government, and he favoured religious tolerance. In April 1835 he founded, together with John Stuart Mill, the London Review, and two years later, Molesworth and Mill purchased the Westminster Review and merged the two journals. Molesworth was not particularly popular with his wealthier, landowning constituents due to his radical views, and his 1839 decision to commence and carry to completion, at a cost of £6000, a reprint of the entire miscellaneous and voluminous writings of Hobbes, did nothing to improve his reputation. The reprints, however, were placed in most of the English university and provincial libraries. He supported the Whig government of Lord John Russell and when the Lord Aberdeen became prime minister in 1853, he appointed Molesworth as First Commissioner of Works, a position which would bring his name to prominence after the completion of the new Westminster Bridge. He also was the first to open Kew Gardens on Sundays. In July 1855, he was made Colonial Secretary, but died on 22 October 1855. He is buried at Kensal Green Cemetery, London. The UBC Library catalogue contains a number of items relating to Sir William Molesworh, including parliamentary speeches and his infamous reprint of the works of Thomas Hobbes.
1) William Molesworth," <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Molesworth> (27 February 2008).
2) National Portrait Gallery, "Sir William Molesworth," <http://www.npg.org.uk/live/search/person.asp?LinkID=mp03118> (27 February 2008).
3) "William Molesworth," <http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/PRmolesworth.htm> (27 February 2008).