Robert Molesworth, 1st Viscount Molesworth

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About Robert Molesworth, 1st Viscount Molesworth,_1st_Viscount_Molesworth

Robert Molesworth, 1st Viscount Molesworth PC (7 September 1656 – 22 May 1725) came of an old Northamptonshire family. He married Letitia Coote, daughter of Richard Coote, 1st Lord Coote of Coloony and Mary St. George.

His father Robert (d. 1656) was a Cromwellian who made a fortune in Dublin, largely by provisioning Cromwell's army; Robert Molesworth the younger supported William of Orange and was made William's ambassador to Denmark. In 1695 he became a prominent member of the Privy Council of Ireland. The same year he stood for Dublin County in the Irish House of Commons, a seat he held until 1703. Subsequently he represented Swords until 1715. In the following year, he was created Viscount Molesworth, of Swords, in the Peerage of Ireland.

Molesworth's An Account of Denmark, as it was in the Year 1692 (published 1694) was somewhat influential the burgeoning field of political science in the period. He made a case for comparative political analysis, comparing the political situation of a country to the health of an individual; a disease, he reasoned, can only be diagnosed by comparing it to its instantiation in other people (Thompson, 495).

Molesworth is one of the ancestors of Sophie, Countess of Wessex, who married Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, the youngest son of Elizabeth II.

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