MIDDLETON, John (1678-1739), of Seaton and Fettercairn, Aberdeen.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1713 - 1715
22 July 1715 - 1722
25 Oct. 1722 - 4 May 1739

Family and Education

b. 27 Sept. 1678, 6th but 2nd surv. s. of George Middleton, D.D., principal of King’s College, Aberdeen, by Jane, da. of James Gordon of Seaton. m. c.1712, Elizabeth, da. of William Cunningham of Enterkin, Ayr, 2s. 5da.

Offices Held

Capt. 3 Ft. 1709; lt.-col. 25 Ft. 1711-17; brevet col. 1711; lt.-gov. Tynemouth castle 1715-17; col. 25 Ft. 1721-32, 13 Ft. 1732-d.; brig.-gen. 1735; gov. Holy Is. bef. 1739; purveyor of coal and candle for Edinburgh garrison by 1739.


Middleton belonged to an Aberdeen family, related to the earls of Middleton, whose forfeited peerage he hoped to have revived in his favour.1 One of the signatories of George I’s accession proclamation at St. James’s on 1 Aug. 1714, he served during the Fifteen on the staff of the Duke of Argyll.2 Returned as a Whig for Aberdeen Burghs on petition against a Jacobite, he voted for the septennial bill in 1716, but followed Argyll into opposition in 1717, when he voted for the motion against Lord Cadogan, at the cost of being turned out of his military appointments. He also voted against the Government on the repeal of the Occasional Conformity and Schism Acts in 1719, after which he followed Argyll back to the Government, voting for the peerage bill later that year. Appointed colonel of his regiment in 1721, he was once more returned on petition in 1722, this time against the brother of the Duke of Roxburghe, the head of the anti-Argyll faction in Scotland, known as the Squadrone, which was regarded as ‘a great victory for the Duke of Argyll’.3 Thenceforth he was re-elected without opposition, voting with the Government in all recorded divisions. He was said to have secured the interest of Lord Arbuthnott, a non-juror, who controlled one of the constituent burghs, ‘by drinking the Pretender’s health, and used to ask a dispensation from Sir Robert Walpole to preserve an interest so dishonourably procured’.4 In 1733 he and Andrew Fletcher (Lord Milton) were described as the ‘great favourites’ of Argyll’s brother, Lord Ilay, who relied on them for managing elections in Scotland.5 He died 4 May 1739.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: J. M. Simpson


  • 1. Anna C. Biscoe, Earls of Middleton, 383.
  • 2. P. Rae, Hist. Rebellion of 1715, pp. 60, 219.
  • 3. Ld. Finch to Ld. Nottingham, 29 Oct. 1722, Finch mss.
  • 4. NLS, gen. col. 4, 34. 1. 7.
  • 5. Spalding Club, Misc. iii. 48.