3 Annotations

First Reading

Pedro  •  Link

Middleton, Col. Thomas
L&M say...
(d.1672). Navy Commissioner, Portsmouth 1664-7; Surveyor of the Navy 1667-72; Navy Commissioner, Chatham 1672.
Little is known of his background except that he had risen to rank of colonel in the Parliamentary Army, had traded with the West Indies and New England, and had travelled both in the New World and the Mediterranean, becoming a member of the Council for Plantations in 1660... (Further info has spoilers)

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Middleton, Col. Thomas after 1660.
L&M say...
Hiis wartime letters from Portsmouth show him as a vigorous officer and a stern disciplinarian. His remedy for desertion (and he expected that seamen would be bound to desert when their ships came in) was to recommend that gallows be set up in every town between Portsmouth and London and that every tenth deserter be hanged. He broke up a mutiny in Nov. 1665 by the use of a 'good cudgel', and reported to the Board thart he had not been troubled since. Both Pepys and Coventry thought highly of his work in the dockyard. As a Surveyor, however, he proved incapable in Pepys's view of paying attention to detail. In fact after his appointment to the Board in 1667 he spent most of his time at Chatham, and was obviously at his happiest at the workface.
His (first) wife was Elizabeth, who died in 1669.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Col. Thomas Middleton was one of the mariners who fought on land in the Parliamentary army during the Civil War, and retained his military title after the Restoration.

Col. Thomas Middleton was appointed the Commissioner of the Navy at Portsmouth in 1664, and Surveyor of the Navy from 1667 until his death.

There are many references to him in Pepys’ Diary. Pepys speaks of a meeting at the Navy office on 19 December, 1667, when Middleton first took his place at the Board as Surveyor of the Navy, and thought he would be an excellent officer.

Later, when Middleton appeared overscrupulous in investigating the terms of contracts, Pepys’ opinion of him declined.

Col. Thomas Middleton owned considerable shipping, as well as some plantations in Barbados and Antigua, in the West Indies.

Major Nehemiah Bourne was asked to give Col. Thomas Middleton’s son his best advice; if the latter died without issue Middleton’s estate was to go to the Trinity House for the benefit of poor seamen.

Although Col. Thomas Middleton held office under the Crown he was “a known Protestant and zealot,” but probably was not as extreme in his views as Bourne.

Highlights from a 1952 paper presented by Captain William Robert Chaplin, of the Trinity House, London.

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