Guilliam Desmolines the first British ancestor of the Molyneux family, is reputed to have been a nobleman in the army of William Duke of Normandy who invaded in 1066
The Molyneux's powerful allegiances led to an acquisition of lands and wealth throughout the period 1100 - 1700 when the family were Lords of the manor at Sefton.
Family fortunes gradually improved and theri status increased until Sir Richard Molyneux became a Baronet in the early 17th century.
The line of succession is traced from Sir Richard Molyneux, 1st Baronet through to Sir Hugh William Osbert Molyneux, the 7th (last) Earl of Sefton.
Sir Richard Molyneux 1st Baronet (d.1622/23) Succeeded at the age of 10 - becoming the 1st Baronet in 1611
Succeeded by his eldest surviving son Sir Richard Molyneux 1st Viscount (d.1636) -in peerage of Ireland, Dec, 1628 by title of Viscount Molyneux of Maryborough. Sherriff of Lancs. Married Mary daughter of Sir Thomas Caryll
Succeeded by son Sir Richard Molyneux 2nd Viscount (1619 - 1654) Succeeded at 17. Fought on royalist side in Civil War (Worcester & Newbury) in cause of Charles 1 Married Francis Seymour daughter of Duke of Somerset.
Succeeded by brother Sir Caryll Molyneux 3rd Viscount (1622 - 1697/99/1700) (buried at Sefton Church) James I constituted him Lord Lt of Lancs & Admiral of the Narrow Seas - outlawed by Parliament for Catholic royalist tendencies. * Married (1650) Mary, daughter of Sir Alexander Barlow. Eldest son Richard (b. approx. 1650 - 1672) died before his father. married to lady mary herbert, daughter of Marquis of Powis.
Succeeded by his brother *Sir William Molyneux 4th Viscount (b. approx. 1655 - 1717). built Queen Anne wing at Croxteth Married to Lady mary herbert, daughter of Marquis of Powis.
Succeeded by his brother. *Sir William Molyneux 4th Viscount (b. approx. 1655 - 1717). built Qheen Anne wing at Croxteth Married twice a) Bridget daughter of Robert Lucy and b) mary daughter of Gen. Skelton
Succeeded by son Sir Richard Molyneux 5th Viscount (1679 - 1738) *Married Mary, daughter of Lord Brudenell Sir Richard's son died in 1706 and the line of succession passed to his brother Caryll
Succeeded by brother Sir Caryll Molyneux 6th Viscount (1683 - 1745) aged 45 when he succeeded - not married
Succeeded by brother Sir William Molyneux 7th Viscount (1684 - 1759) A Jesuit Priest, he released the estate to his younger brother Thomas of Croxteth Hall.
Son of younger brother Thomas (d. 1756).
Succeeded by nephew *Charles William Molyneux 8th viscount (1748 - 1794/5)
*Charles William Molyneux 8th Viscount (1748 - 1794/5) & 1st Earl of Sefton Married Isabella 2nd daughter of Earl of Harrington in 1768. A protrait of isabella by Thomas Gainsbrough hangs in the Walker Art Gallery. She was reputed to be a woman of great strength of character and persuaded her husband to convert from Roman Catholicism to that of the Established Church in 1768. After this was advanced by royal favour to the status of Earl in 1771 - in the peerage of Ireland.
Succeeded by son Sir William Philip Molyneux 2nd Earl of Sefton (1772 - 1838) Known as 'Lord Dashalong' he was a man with a passion for field spots especially racing and hunting. He was master of the Quorn Hunt from 1800 to 1805 and was MP for Droitwich after an unseccessful bid to represent Liverpool. He was created Baron Sefton of Croxteth in 1831. he entertained Charles X of France, whose protrait hangs in the Ante Room. *Married Marie Margaretta, daughter of 6th Baron Craven in 1792.
Succeeded by son *Sir Charles William Molyneux 3rd Earl of Sefton (1796 - 1855) MP for South Lancashire and Lord Lieutenant of Lancs. - a keen patron of field sports and artist who painted sporting subjects. *Married Mary Augusta daughter of Robert Grege Hopwood of Hopwood hall, Lancs. neice of 6th Viscount Torrington.
Succeeded by son *Sir William Philip Molyneux 4th Earl of Sefton (1835 - 1897) A Captain of the Grenadier Guards and Lord Lieutentant of Lancs. Built additions to Croxteth including the Nursery Wing and Abbeystead, the family's other country residence in Lancashire. Married Cecil Emily 5th daughter of Baron Hylton Capt. Grenadier Guards.
Succeeded by brother Sir Charles William Hylton Molyneux 5th Earl of sefton (1867 - 1901) ADC to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland 1889 - 1892 A riding accident in 1897 left him an invalid - his engagement was subsequently called off and he eventually died from his injuries.
Succeeded by brother *Sir Osbert Cecil Molyneux 6th Earl of Sefton (1871 - 1930) Master of the Horse to King Edward VIII. Built new front wing at Croxteth in 1902. Married lady Helena Bridgeman, daughter of Earl of Bradford.
Succeeded by son *7th Earl of Sefton - Sir Hugh William Osbert Molyneux (1898 - 1972) Was ADC to Govenor General of Canada and to Viceroy of India. Friend and companion of King Edward VIII. *Married Josephine Armstrong Gwyne d. 1980. Lord Mayor 1944 - 1945. Younger brother Cecil Richard (1899 - 1916) Killed 'in action' off Jutland. younger sister Evelyn Mary (1902 - 1917) lived at Abbeystead.
With the death of he last Earl in 1972 and the Countess in 1980 the line of succession ended.