Sir Thomas Molyneux

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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Molyneux, Sir Thomas, Bart., State Physician, younger brother of preceding, was born in Cook-street, Dublin, 14th April 1661. He was educated in Trinity College, and took out his degree of Bachelor of Medicine, and afterwards visited London, Oxford, Cambridge, and the Continental schools, to extend his knowledge. An interesting correspondence between him and his brother William, containing an account of his travels, is to be found in the University Magazine, vol. xviii. At Leyden he became acquainted with Locke and many persons of note. During the War of 1689-'91 he resided in Chester with his brother. They returned immediately after the battle of the Boyne. Thenceforward for some time Dr. Molyneux resided in the house with his father, and engaged in practice. His progress must have been rapid, for in 1693 he was enabled to purchase an estate worth £100 per annum, and in 1711 he founded the Molyneux Blind Asylum in Peter-street, Dublin, at a cost of £2,310 for the house and £2,341 for furniture.

In 1715 he was appointed State Physician, afterwards Surgeon-General to the army; and in 1730 a baronetcy was conferred upon him by Lord Carteret. He died in 1733, aged 72. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society in London, and a constant contributor to the proceedings of the Dublin Philosophical Society, being especially interested in antiquarian and zoological enquiries relating to Ireland. "He was allowed by all the learned world who knew him, to be a man of uncommon skill and ability in his profession.... It was not without good cause that John Locke chose him as his friend and adviser." The present Baronet is the 7th. An interesting reference to his fine statue by Roubilliac, standing in Armagh Cathedral, will be found in Notes and Queries, 3rd Series.

Sources

54. Burke, Sir Bernard: Peerage and Baronetage.

116. Dublin University Magazine (18). Dublin, 1833-'77.

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