MIDDLETON, John I (1671-1745), of Muntham Court, Findon, Suss.
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Family and Education
bap. 5 Oct. 1671, 1st s. of Thomas Middleton of Hangleton and Muntham by Mary, da. of (Sir) Henry Goring (2nd Bt.†) of Highden, Suss., sis. of Henry Goring†. unm. suc. fa. c.1695.1
Middleton’s family had been settled in Sussex since the mid-16th century, acquiring property in and around Horsham, which his great-grandfather, Thomas Middleton†, had represented in the Parliaments of 1640 and 1660. Middleton himself successfully contested a by-election for Bramber in 1703, but in the following January his election was declared void. He did not contest the ensuing by-election and did not stand again until 1710, when he was returned in a by-election for Horsham. Classed as one of the ‘worthy patriots’ who detected the mismanagements of the previous administration in the 1710–11 session, he was a member of the October Club. His activities are difficult to distinguish from those of the MP Thomas Middleton, but it is clear that he was not an active Member. In 1713 he was again returned for Horsham when he was joined in the House by John Middleton II. He voted on 18 June 1713 for the French commerce bill, and it was probably he, rather than his namesake, who was the ‘Mr Middleton’ who told on the Court side on 30 June 1714 against George Lockhart’s motion to refer the Scottish militia bill to a committee of the whole. Classed as a Tory in the Worsley list of this Parliament, he took little part in public life after the accession of George I, the new regime requiring him to sell an estate to help pay some £4,000 of a debt owed to the Exchequer by Charles Eversfield*, former paymaster of the ordnance, for whom Middleton had acted as surety. During his last years he resided at Dorking, Surrey, where he was buried on 9 Nov. 1745.2