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William Nassau Molesworth (1816-90) was an English clergyman and historian. He was born at Millbrook, near Southampton, graduated M.A. at Cambridge in 1842, and entered the English church. His father was Vicar of Rochdale and Molesworth became Vicar of nearby Spotland.

Molesworth was a strong advocate of co-operation and had an interest in the well-known experiment of co-operation in the industries at Rochdale becoming the Pioneers' arbitrator in 1862. He served as President of the second day of the 1870 Co-operative Congress, the second to take place.[1] He was sometimes called the 'Co-operative Parson'.

His most important writings are:

  • Essay on the French Alliance (1860)
  • A History of the Reform Bill of 1832 (1864)
  • History of England from the Year 1830 to 1874 (three volumes, 1874)
  • History of the Church of England from 1660 (1882)

External links


  1. ^ Congress Presidents 1869-2002, February 2002,, retrieved 2008-05-10  

This article incorporates text from an edition of the New International Encyclopedia that is in the public domain.


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