MOLESWORTH, SIR WILLIAM, BART. English politician, son of the 7th baronet, was born on May 23, 1810 in London. After succeeding to baronetcy in 1823, he studied at Edinburgh, Cambridge, Offenbach, Rome and Naples. On the passing of the Reform Act of 1832 he was returned to parliament for the eastern division of Cornwall. He made the acquaintance of Grote and James Mill, and in April 1835 founded, in con junction with Roebuck, the London Review, as an organ of the "Philosophic Radicals." After the publication of two volumes he purchased the Westminster Review, and for some time the united magazines were edited by him and J. S. Mill. From 1837 to 1841 he sat for Leeds, and acquired considerable influence in the House of Commons by his speeches and by his tact in presiding over the select committee on transportation. But his Radicalism made little impression either on the house or on his constituency. From 1841 to 1845 he had no seat in parliament, occupying his leisure time in editing the works in Latin and English of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury, a recreation which cost him no less than i6,000. In 1845 he was returned for Southwark, and retained
that seat until his death. On his return to parliament he devoted special attention to the condition of the colonies, and was the ardent champion of their self-government. In January 1853 Lord Aberdeen included him in the cabinet as first commissioner of works, the chief work by which his name was brought into promi nence at this time being the construction 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 he died on Octo ber 22. He married in 1844, but had no children, and the baron etcy passed to a cousin.
The titles of his speeches and works are given in the Bibl. Cor nubiensis, vol. i. and iii. See also Mrs. Grote's The Philosophical Radi cals (1866) and Mrs. Fawcett's Life (1903) .