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John Middleton

1st Earl of Middleton
John Middleton, 1st Earl of Middleton.jpg
Bornc. 1608
Died3 July 1674(1674-07-03) (aged 66)
Tangier, Morocco
AllegianceScottish Covenanters - Charles II
Coat of Arms of the Earl of Middleton

John Middleton, 1st Earl of Middleton (c. 1608 – 3 July 1674) was a Scottish army officer, who belonged to a Kincardineshire family which had held lands at Middleton in Aberdeenshire since the 12th century.

John was born around 1608. He was the eldest son of Robert Middleton of Caldhame and his wife Catherine Strachan; the elder brother of Alexander Middleton and uncle of Alexander's first son George Middleton DD, both of whom served as Principal of King's College, Aberdeen; great uncle of George's son John Middleton (1678–1739); and great-great uncle of Charles Middleton, 1st Baron Barham.[1][2]

Military career

In early life he served as a soldier in France; later he fought against Charles I both in England and in Scotland, being especially prominent at the Battle of Philiphaugh and in other operations against James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose.

He held a high command in the Scottish army which marched to rescue the king in 1648, and he was taken prisoner after the Battle of Preston. He joined Charles II when that monarch reached Scotland in 1650, but he was soon at variance with the party which at that time was dominant in church and state and was only restored to favor after doing a public penance at Dundee. He was a captive for the second time after the Battle of Worcester, where he commanded the Royalist cavalry, but he escaped from the Tower of London to Paris.

In 1653, Middleton was chosen by Charles II to head the projected rising in Scotland. He reached Scotland in February 1654, but the insurrection was a complete failure. Its leader, who could not be held responsible for this result, remained in Scotland until 1655, when he rejoined Charles II, who created him Earl of Middleton in 1656 with the subsidiary title Lord Clermont and Fettercairn.

Political career

Following the Restoration he returned to England with the King in 1660 and was appointed commander-in-chief of the troops in Scotland and Lord High Commissioner to the Parliament of Scotland, which he opened in January 1661. He was an ardent advocate of the restoration of episcopacy, this being one reason which led to serious dissensions between the Earl of Lauderdale and himself, and in 1663 he was deprived of his offices. From 1663 to 1667 he was appointed Governor of Rochester Castle and Lieutenant-General of the Kent militia. In 1667 he was appointed governor of English Tangier on the coast of Morocco, where he died on 3 July 1674.


John Middleton married (contract July 1639), Grizel Durham, who died in September 1666. They had five children together:

Middleton's second wife was Lady Martha Carey (1635/6–1706), married 16 December 1667 at St. Andrew's, Holborn, daughter of Henry Carey, 2nd Earl of Monmouth and his wife Martha Cranfield. They had two children:

  • John Middleton (1668-1696). Died unmarried without issue.
  • Lady Elizabeth Middleton (1672-1748), married William Spelman. They had one child who died young.

See also


  1. ^ M. R. R. M'Gilchrist Gilchrist, Sir James Balfour Paul ed., The Scots Peerage, volume VI (Edinburgh, 1909) pages 177-180.
  2. ^ Bennett, Magnus (28 April 2011). "Royal wedding: Prince William 'has Middleton ancestry'". BBC Scotland news website. BBC. Retrieved 29 April cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output q{quotes:"\"""\"""'""'"}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-free a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}


  • Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Middleton, Earls of". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.

Further reading

 "Middleton, John (1619-1674)". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.

Peerage of Scotland
New creation Earl of Middleton
Succeeded by
Charles Middleton
Parliament of Scotland
Preceded by
None during the Commonwealth
Lord High Commissioner
Succeeded by
The Earl of Rothes
Military offices
Preceded by
Henry Norwood
Colonel of the Tangier Regiment
Succeeded by
The Earl of Inchiquin
Governor of Tangier
1669–1670 (first term)
Succeeded by
Hugh Chomondeley
Preceded by
Hugh Chomondeley
Governor of Tangier
1672–1674 (second term)
Succeeded by
The Earl of Inchiquin

2 Annotations

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

John Middleton, Earl of Middleton, General of the Forces in Scotland

Bill  •  Link

MIDDLETON, JOHN, first Earl of Middleton (1619-1674), pikeman in Hepburn's regiment in France; major in covenant army, 1639; lieutenant-general in parliamentary army; second in command at Philiphaugh, 1645; negotiated Montrose's submission, 1646, suppressed royalist rising, 1647; as lieutenant-general of the Scottish cavalry distinguished himself at Preston, 1648; wounded and taken prisoner at Worcester, 1651; escaped from the Tower to France; captain-general of a highland force, dispersed by Monck, 1654; joined the king at Cologne; created an earl by Charles II, 1656 (the creation confirmed at the Restoration); commander-in-chief, governor of Edinburgh Castle, and lord high commissioner to the Scottish parliament, 1660; urged restoration of episcopacy in Scotland, 1661; accused of withholding letters from the king, consenting to measures without authority, and taking bribes, 1663; deprived of his offices; subsequently became governor of Tangier, where he died.
---Dictionary of National Biography: Index and Epitome. S. Lee, 1906.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.