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William Philip Molyneux was born on 18 September 1772, the son of Charles William Molyneux, first Earl of Sefton and Isabella, daughter of the second Earl of Harrington, which made him a second cousin to Lord Petersham. Sefton was educated at Eton and Oxford. On 1 January 1792, he married the Hon Maria Margaret Craven (26 April 1769 - 9 March 1851), daughter of William Craven, 6th Baron Craven in London . They had four sons and six daughters. The family seat from the early 1700's was the Elizabethan Croxteth Hall near Liverpool. Sefton also resided at Stoke Farm, Berkshire and at 21 Arlington Street, London. Lord Sefton was Maria Fitzherbert's half-Uncle and he and his wife who was an Almack's founder and patroness, sponsored Maria in London society.
Sefton was known as 'Lord Dashalong' because of his fondness for fast driving in a carriage and four through London. He was a sportsman, gambler and friend of the Prince Regent. Along with Lord Worcester, Lord Barrymore, Sir John Lade, and Colonel Berkeley, Sefton was a founder member of the Four-Horse ( Four-in-Hand) Club. Sefton had a passion for field sports especially racing, hunting, coursing and steeplechasing. He was master of the Quorn Hunt from 1800 to 1805 and was MP for Droitwich in Worcestershire from 1816 to 1831. He unsuccessfully stood for Liverpool in 1818. He was created Baron Sefton of Croxteth on 20 June 1831. He also accepted the Stewardship of the manor of East Hundred, county Berkshire.He entertained Charles X of France. Sefton was described by Captain Gronow as a "gigantic hunchback who ... lost largely on all occasions."
In 1836, Sefton founded the Waterloo Cup for coursing at Altcar, an event which was very popular in its heyday and attracted large crowds. He was a member of White's club in London. Sefton opposed the surveying of the Liverpool-Manchester railway line in 1824, and did his best to prevent it. He died in 1838, eight years after the railway's opening in 1830.
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