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viscount Molesworth of Swordes in Ireland, an eminent statesman and polite

, viscount Molesworth of Swordes in Ireland, an eminent statesman and polite writer, was descended from a family, anciently seated in the counties of Northampton and Bedford in England; but his father having served in the civil wars in Ireland, settled afterwards in Dublin, where he became an eminent merchant, and died in 1656, leaving his wife pregnant with this only child, who raised his family to the honours they now enjoy. He was born in Dec. at Dublin, and bred in the college there; and engaged early in a marriage with a sister of Richard earl of Bellamont, who brought him a daughter in 1677. When the prince of Orange entered England in 1688, he distinguished himself by an early and zealous appearance for the revolution, which rendered him so obnoxious to king James, that he was attainted, and his estate sequestered by that king’s parliament, May 2, 1689. But when king William was settled on the throne, he called this sufferer, for whom he had a particular esteem, into his privy council; and, in 1692, sent him envoy extraordinary to the court of Denmark. Here he resided above three years, till, some particulars in his conduct disobliging his Danish majesty, he was forbidden the court. Pretending business in Flanders, he retired thither without any audience of leave, and came from thence home: where he was no sooner arrived, than he drew up “An Account of Denmark;” in which he represented the government of that country as arbitrary and tyrannical. This piece was greatly resented by prince George of Denmark, consort to the princess, afterwards queen Anne; and Scheel, the Danish envoy, first presented a memorial to king William, complaining of it, and then furnished materials for an answer, which was executed by Dr. William King. From King’s account it appears, that Molesworth’s offence in Denmark was, his boldly pretending to some privileges, which, by the custom of the country, are denied to every body but the king; as travelling the king’s road, and hunting the king’s game: which being done, as is represented, in defiance of opposition, occasioned the rupture between the envoy and that count. If this allegation have any truth, the fault lay certainly altogether on the side "of Molesworth whose disregard of the customs: of the country to which he was sent, cannot be defended.