MIDDLETON, Sir William, 3rd Bt. (c.1700-57), of Belsay Castle, Northumb.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
b. c.1700, 1st s. of Sir John Middleton, 2nd Bt., by Frances, da. of John Lambert of Calton, Yorks. and gd.-da. of the Cromwellian general. m. May 1725, Anne da. and coh. of William Ettrick of Silksworth, co. Dur., 1da. suc. fa. 17 Oct. 1717.
The Middletons were among the few big land-owning families in England who remained Presbyterians, and Sir William Middleton, a staunch Whig, received strong support from the Presbyterian element in Northumberland. He was also a member of the Jockey Club and owner of a first-rate stud, bred from newly imported Arabians. They were sold after his death, Lord Rockingham buying one of his best horses, Whistle-jacket, winner of many races. And not the horses alone were sold. ‘The tradition in the family is that Sir William was always borrowing money and always in debt. After his death all the goods and furniture down to the pots and pans of the kitchen were sold by auction to meet his debts.’1 In Newcastle’s secret service accounts he appears as receiving a pension of £800 p.a.;2 when it started is not known.
Middleton died 28 Sept. 1757.