Cape Molyneux is named after British naval Lieutenant Thomas Howard Molyneux who led an expedition from the HM Spartan to examine the course of the River Jordan and the valley through which it runs and to measure the depth of the Dead Sea.
Thomas Howard Molyneux was born in Ireland the son of John Adlercron Molyneux and the grandson of the Irish politician Sir Capel Molyneux of Castle Dillon.
In 1847 Molyneux arrived at Akko with three British friends and they transported their boat to Tiberias by camel and horse. They were joined by two local servants. Molyneux also tried to brave the Jordan falls but, having failed, followed its banks either having his boat carried by camels or rowing. He was ill-informed and with no good climatic and geographical information available, he chose to undertake the journey in August, the hottest and most difficult time of the year.
After many hardships and clashes with unfriendly Bedouins, they reached their destination but after only 2 days of navigation on the Dead Sea and managing to take only a few measurements in the north, Molyneux came down with malaria. Though his party successfully reached Jaffa, he died aboard a ship that was taking him from Jaffa to Beirut. He is buried in the American Missionary Cemetery in Beirut.
Cape Molyneux disappeared as the sea receded and is now mostly remembered as a place name by academics and geographers. Molyneux’s exploration was commemorated in a series of postage stamps issued by Israel in November 1987 entitled ‘19th Century Exploration of the Holy Land’.