no image

Ellen (Urswick) Molyneux (aft. 1367 - 1459)

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Ellen Molyneux formerly Urswick aka Urswyck, Urcewyk, Ursewick, Vrswyk, Molyneux, Mullins, Haryngton, of Tatham, of Fishwick, Vernon
Born after in Tatham, Lancashire, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
Wife of — married about (to ) [location unknown]
Wife of — married after (to ) [location unknown]
Wife of — married before [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died in Cheshire, Englandmap
Urswick-2 created 28 Jan 2011 | Last modified
This page has been accessed 2,101 times.
European Aristocracy
Ellen (Urswick) Molyneux is a member of royalty, nobility or aristocracy in the British Isles.
Join: British Isles Royals and Aristocrats 742-1499 Project



Ellen Urswyck (Urswick, Urcewyk, Vrswyk)[1] was probably born in Tatham, Lancashire, England, after 1367, at which time her father, Sir Robert Urswyk of Tatham, Lanc, was married to his first wife, and probably after 1372 by which time her father was married to his second wife, her mother, Ellen.[1] [2]

Ellen's father may have been either Robert or Thomas, so far there are two sources for Robert and two for Thomas or T. I am still investigating this.

Ellen was the daughter of Sir Robert Urswyck,[3] and his second wife Ellen.[2]

Note: The biography of Ellen's second son Adam Molyneux, Bishop of Chichester, in the Dictionary of national biography says that Ellen's father was Sir T Ursewick.[4]

Her father Robert's first wife was Margaret, "a valuable prize", the daughter and heir of Thomas Southworth of Upper Rawcliffe, widow of Robert Hornby of Middleton.[1] Robert was already married to Margaret by 1367, as in that year they sought a papal dispensation for their marriage as an impediment had come to light after their wedding.[1] Ellen had older half-siblings:

  1. Robert, oldest son and heir, died 1420;[1]

Ellen's father Robert was married by 1372 to his second wife Ellen, "an even greater prize", the widow of Sir John Dalton of Dalton Yorkshire and Bispham, co Lancs, who had been murdered in 1369.[1] From this marriage Ellen had siblings:

  1. Thomas;[1] [2] and
  2. a sister;[1]

Her mother had children from her previous marriage to Sir John Dalton, Ellen's half-brother:

  1. John Dalton[1]

Her father Robert married a third time to Joan by July 1398,[1]

Ellen's father, Sir Robert was "a dominant figure among the Lancashire gentry who had, moreover, acquired great prestige in Gaunt's [John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster] service".[3] Sir Robert was knighted by 28 October, 1386.[1] He was knight of the shire for the constituency of Lancashire 13 times between 1379 and 1401, and held many high-ranking offices, including Master forester of Amounderness, Quernmore and Wyresdale, and forester of Myerscough, Lancs. for John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, 5 Sept. 1374-c. Feb. 1399, then for Hen. IV c. Oct. 1399-d.[1] He was also chief steward of Lancashire for Gaunt 1392-3.[1]

Ellen married Richard Molyneux of Sefton co Lancs, born circa 1368, died 1397.[3] Richard was the son of Sir William Molyneux of Sefton and Agnes, the daughter of Sir Adam Hoghton of Hoghton (died 1385), and widow of Sir Thomas Banaster.[3] [1] In 1394, Ellen's husband Richard made two major settlements of most of the properties he held at the time, and the reversion of properties he hoped to inherit in the wapentakes of West Derbyshire and Amounderness.[3]

Ellen and Richard had children:

  1. Sir Richard Molyneux,[2] a baby when his father died, his wardship and marriage was obtained by Sir John Stanley in April 1398, mismanagement by the Stanleys of Richard's affairs are thought to have later caused Richard to "pursue an implacable vendetta" against his guardian's son, Sir John Stanley;[3]
  2. Adam, second son, Bishop of Chichester;[4]
  3. Robert, captured in 1448 by the Turks;[3]
  4. a daughter;[3]

Ellen's father Robert used his influence to have her husband Richard returned with him to the January Parliament of 1397 as a representative for the Lancashire constituency.[3] On 14 February 1397, her husband Richard was appointed sheriff of Lancashire.[3]

Later that same year, on 27 December 1397, Richard died.[3] Ellen and her father, Sir Robert, were executors of Richard's will, and they were still trying to recover outstanding debts owed to Richard's estate in 1401.[3]

Ellen then married again, to Sir James Haryngton.[3] [2] James, who was knighted by August, 1403, was the son of Sir Nicholas Haryngton and his first wife, Isabel.[2]

Ellen and Richard had three sons and two daughters:

  1. Richard, eldest son, married to Elizabeth, the daughter of Sir William Bradshagh of Blackrod;[2]
  2. Elizabeth, was married to William, the son and heir of Sir Henry Norreys of Speke;[2]
  3. William, married to Ann Parr;
  4. son;[2] and
  5. daughter;[2]

James inherited his father's "violent and lawless disposition".[2] Sir James was also a man of influence and a committed supporter of the House of Lancaster, holding among other offices, the constable of Liverpool castle, master forester of West Derby, steward of the wapentakes of West Derby and Salfordshire co Lanc.[2] He participated in the battle of Shrewsbury, capturing Archibald, earl of Douglas, who he sold to Henry IV for a rasom of 900 marks, and his valour in the battle was rewarded by the grateful King with an annuity of 100 marks from land in Blackburnshire.[2] Sir James represented the constituency of Lancashire in parliament in Oct 1404.[2] In 1408, Sir James called upon his wife Ellen's brother, Thomas, to testify to the loss of royal letters patent.[2] In 1412, Sir James was summoned to attend Henry IV as a member of the royal bodyguard.[2] King Henry V appointed James to deputize for Edward, duke of York, as warden of the east march, and part of the peace negotiations with Scotland.[2] He fought at Harlfeur and Agincourt, and was fatally wounded in an assault before the fall of Caen, in September, 1417.[2] Sir James was buried in the church of St Mary the Virgin, Lancaster, as was his eldest son and heir, Richard.[2] Before his death, Sir James had already arranged suitable marriages for his son Richard and daughter dElizabeth and the betrothal of his son William.[2]

After Sir James' death, Ellen had another will to execute.[2] She shared this duty with James' two brothers, Sir William and Nicholas, his stepson, Sir Richard Molyneux, and his father's former ward, Richard Shirburne, and his brother-in-law, Thomas Urswyk.[2]

Ellen then married for a third time to Cheshire landowner, Sir John Savage,[3] before 1426. Sir John's first wife, Maud Swynnerton, had died before 1424. Sir John died 1 August 1450.[5]

Ellen passed away about 1459 in Lancashire, England.[6]

~Plantagenet Ancestry, Douglas Richardson, pg. 480, ". . . James Harington, Knight, of Fishwick, Lancashre, Knight of the Shire for Lancashire, constable of Liverpool castle" married "Ellen, daughter of Robert Urswick, of Tatham, Lancashire. 821 ~Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America before 1700, 34:34, "Sir James Harington, Knight, of Blackrod, Justice of the Peace, and soldier at Agincourt, 1415; m. Ellen Urswick, daughter of Thomas Urswick, Esquire, of Urswick. 160

Research Notes

"She has usually been identified as Ellen (née Urswyk), who had previously been the wife first of Robert Molyneux and then of Sir James Harrington. But claims have also been made for her having been the daughter of Sir Ralph Vernon of Shipbrook, and although the evidence for the second identification is meagre, it would help to explain the settlement of Vernon estates upon Sir John and his wife that was made early in Henry VI's reign."[7]


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 C R, "URSWYK, Sir Robert (c.1336-1402), of Tatham, Lancs. and Badsworth, Yorks.", The History of Parliament: British Political, Social & Local History, Crown copyright and The History of Parliament Trust 1964-2014, ( 1964-2014), .
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 C R, "HARYNGTON, Sir James (d.1417), of Fishwick, Lancs.", The History of Parliament: British Political, Social & Local History, Crown copyright and The History of Parliament Trust 1964-2014, ( 1964-2014), .
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 C R, "MOLYNEUX, Richard (c.1368-1397), of Sefton, Lancs.", The History of Parliament: British Political, Social & Local History, Crown copyright and The History of Parliament Trust 1964-2014, ( 1964-2014), .
  4. 4.0 4.1 Sidney Lee, ed., Dictionary of national biography, Vol. XXXVIII Milman-More, (London: Smith, Elder, & co., 1894), pp.131-3.
  5. Douglas Richardson, Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, Royal Ancestry series, 2nd edition, 4 vols., ed. Kimball G. Everingham, (Salt Lake City, Utah: the author, 2011)
  6. First-hand information as remembered by Roten Cooper, Thursday, February 6, 2014.
  7. Tim Thornton,‘Savage family (per. c.1369–1528)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2007

See also:


This page has been edited according to Style Standards adopted January 2014. Descriptions of imported gedcoms for this profile are under the Changes tab.

More Genealogy Tools

Sponsored by MyHeritage

Searching for someone else?
First: Last:

No known carriers of Ellen's mitochondrial DNA have taken an mtDNA test.

Have you taken a DNA test for genealogy? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Family Tree DNA.

  • Login to edit this profile.
  • Private Messages: Contact the Profile Managers privately: Katherine Patterson, Michael Warner, and Roten Cooper. (Best when privacy is an issue.)
  • Public Comments: Login to post. (Best for messages specifically directed to those editing this profile. Limit 20 per day.)
  • Public Q&A: These will appear above and in the Genealogist-to-Genealogist (G2G) Forum. (Best for anything directed to the wider genealogy community.)

On 29 Jun 2016 at 05:18 GMT Maryann (Thompson) Hurt wrote:

Both Richard Molyneux, her husband, and his son Richard were foresters:
At Brandun, on 28 July, 1446, Henry VI granted to Sir Richard Molyneux, and Richard his son and their heirs male, the offices of Master Forester of Westderbishir, steward of Westderbishir and Salfordshir, and Constable of Lyverpoll Castle. After cancellation of grants for life made 10 Feb. 1441. DDM/3/1 Molyneux, Earls of Sefton; Appointments and Royal Grants, Henry VI to Sir Richard Molyneux, and Richard his son and their heirs male, Lancashire Archives, Lancashire County Council.

On 21 Mar 2016 at 10:22 GMT RJ Horace wrote:

Urswick book

Does nothing to resolve the confusion.

Marlyn Lewis

gives Ellen's mother as Ellen Radcliffe, citing Richardson, but Richardson doesn't say that, he only calls her "Ellen". Urswick book thinks she was a Southworth, following Dodsworth, but giving a date 47 Edw III (1373) from somewhere else. Also gives a date 12 Jul 18 Rich II (1394) for the Radcliffe marriage (but isn't sure which Robert married her. Probably the son? Hist. Parl. reckons both father and son were Foresters).

On 29 Jan 2016 at 06:10 GMT Liz (Noland) Shifflett wrote:

added marriage dates to datafields based on text in the profile.

Ellen is 20 degrees from Kevin Bacon, 18 degrees from Joseph Broussard, 24 degrees from Helmut Jungschaffer and 18 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II Windsor on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

U  >  Urswick  |  M  >  Molyneux  >  Ellen (Urswick) Molyneux