Samuel Molyneux

Life
1689-1728; astronomer and politician; son of William Molyneux, MA TCD, 1710; FRS, 1712; Sec. to George Prince of Wales, and MP Bossiney (1715) and St. Mawes (1726); MP Dublin University 1727; endeavoured to determine stellar annular parallax; lord of admiralty 1727; privy councillor of England and Ireland; the Molyneux Papers are held in Southampton City Records Office while other manuscript writings including his accounts of Connaught, Ulster and Kerry are preserved in TCD Library. ODNB DIB OCIL

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Works
‘Natural History of Ireland, &c’ [TCD MS 883]; ‘Journey to Connaught’, April 1709 (TCD MS 884); ‘Journey to Kerry’, July 1709 (TCD MS 885); ‘Journey to the North’, August 1708 (TCD MS888/2 fols 183-88) [the last edited as by Thomas Molyneux in R. M. Young, ed., Historical Notices of Old Belfast, Belfast: Marcus Ward & Co. 1896, p.152.]

His “Journeys” rep. in R. M. Young ed., Historical Notices of Old Belfast (1896); A. Smith, ed., Miscellany of the Irish Archaeological Society, I (1846); and The Kerry Archaeological and Historical Society Journal, III (1970). [Note that the pieces on Connaught and Ulster are erroneously identified with Sir Thomas Molyneux in the first two of the above-named publications.]

A. Smith, ed., ‘Journey to Connaught, April 1709’, in Miscellany of the Irish Archaeological Society, 1 (1846), pp.161-178 [this text erroneously attributed to Thomas Molyneux by J. P. Leerssen under Roderic O’Flaherty, infra.]

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Quotations
Iar-Chonnacht
in 1709: ‘[N]or could I conceive an inhabited country so destitute of all signs of people and art as this is, yet here I learn, lived multitudes of barbarous, uncivilised Irish.’ (Cited in Kevin Whelan, ‘The Basis of Regionalism’, in Prionsias Ó Drisceoil, ed., Culture in Ireland, Regions, Identity and Power [Proceedings of the Cultures of Ireland Group Conference, 27-29 Nov. 1992] (QUB: Inst. of Irish Studies 1993), p.41.

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Commentary
W. B. Stanford, Ireland and the Classical Tradition (IAP 1976; rep. 1984) evades the problem of identifying which Molyneux is the author of the following quotation, remarking on a note of censure on Ireland’s rural Latinity in the [TCD] Molyneux papers: ‘The inhabitants of the county of Kerry - I mean those of them that are downright Irish - are remarkable beyond the inhabitants of the other parts of Ireland for their Gaming, Speaking of Latin, and Inclination to Philosophy and dispute therein ... . When they can get no one to Game with them, you shall often find them with a Book of Aristotle’s or some of the Commentators Logic which they read very diligently till they be able to pour out Nonsensical Words a whole day about universale a parte rei, ens rationis and suchlike all the while their Latin is Bald and Barbarous and very often not Grammatical for in the heat of a dispute they stick not at breaking Priscians head very frequently.’ (Molyneux Papers, TCD, MS. 1, 4, 19, f. 92 v; Stanford, op. cit., pp.26-27.)

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