Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Molineux Curse

Beatrice de Villiers
Birth c. 1138 in Little Crosby, Lancashire, England
Death at age 27, in 1165 in Bewsey, Warrington, England


Beatrice de Villiers is my 26th great grandmother. And of all the ancestors I have discovered in my genealogical search, none so far have intrigued me more than she.

In my Book, she was not much more than a name. But as she was said to be an heiress, and attached to a husband with the title, a Sir, who also was written to be Lord of Sefton, I was much more curious than average to find out if there was anything more to know about her.

As I was looking through online articles and family trees that referred to Beatrice, I came across the story of her marriage to Sir Robert Molyneux.

From "Molyneux Genealogy" by Nellie Zada Rice Molyneux 1904)

"Robert de Molyneux,

son of Adam de Molyneux and Annota de Garnett, married temp. King John,

"The Lackland" Beatrix de Villiers, dau. and heiress of Sir Robert de

Villiers, son of Richard de Villiers, a crusader under Edward I of Little.

Robert aquired the estate of Little Crosby, Co. Lancaster.

Beatrix de Villiers, ambitious to be a queen, in love with King John,

loath to leave him, but by him (King John) given in marriage to one of his

barons (temp.) Sir Robert Molyneux. She did bitterly curse the House of

Molyneux and all that bear the name, calling down maledictions of

misery, blasting their loves with tragedy. Descending from the issue of

this marriage are the Earls of Sefton, Ireland, Teversall, and


This curse utterred by Beatrice, of Robert Molineux and all that bore his name. This tale of woe that came to pass near a thousand years ago, it remains. It is a jewel from the past, that I could have my imagination fully captured by thier stories, and know I am descended from this line, and in a small way, a part it, it is among the rarest type of gift.

The Book

I was given a book by my grandmother, the year before she died.
My family as a rule has been involved with genealogy. And interestingly enough, even on both sides, and from different backgrounds and outlooks, I still have roots that are rich with genealogy, reasearching ancestry from long ago.

The Book is beautiful in it's plainness and simplicity. And equally beautiful in it's contents.
It is a 3 ring binder and old style b+w xerox pages with holes punched along each sheet of paper. Inside is 100+ pages of family genealogy. The title of the book, 'The Family History of John & Guinevere McQueen', these are the names of my father's parents.