MIDDLETON, Sir William, 5th Bt. (1738-95), of Belsay Castle, Northumb.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1774 - 7 July 1795

Family and Education

b. 6 June 1738, 1st s. of Sir John Lambert Middleton, 4th Bt., formerly a merchant, by Anne, da. of Sir Nathaniel Hodges, wid. of Warner Perkins, attorney; nephew of Sir William Middleton, 3rd Bt.  m. 20 Apr. 1774, Jane, da. and h. of Lawrence Monck of Caenby, Lincs., 3s. 2da.  suc. fa. 2 Mar. 1768.

Offices Held

Cornet R. Horse Gds. 1756, lt. 1759, severely wounded at Minden, 1 Aug. 1759, which left him lame for life; capt. 1762; ret. 1774.


The issue in the Northumberland election of 1774 was whether the Duke of Northumberland, to whom one seat was conceded by the gentlemen of the county, should be allowed to interfere in the choice of the second candidate. Middleton obtained 1099 votes against 1083 for the Duke’s second candidate, Sir J. H. Delaval. He kept his promise given at the county meeting of 26 July 1774 to act an independent and disinterested part. He was described by the Public Ledger in 1779 as following ‘the dictates of his own judgment, voting sometimes with the ministry, but often against’. On the issue of the American war he consistently opposed Administration after 1778. He voted for Shelburne’s peace preliminaries, 18 Feb. 1783, and did not vote on Fox’s Last India bill. In the survey prepared in December 1783 John Robinson wrote: ‘Sir William Middleton does not attend much, but his part is ... doubtful.’ In Stockdale’s list of 19 Mar. 1784 he was placed among the ‘absentees’. In the Parliament of 1784 he opposed Pitt. There is no record of his having ever spoken in the House.

He died 7 July 1795.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Sir Lewis Namier