MYDDELTON (MIDDLETON), Sir Richard, 3rd Bt. (1655-1716), of Chirk Castle, Denb. and Soho Square, Westminster.
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Family and Education
b. 23 Mar. 1655, 4th s. of Thomas Myddelton by his 1st w.; bro. of Sir Thomas Myddelton, 2nd Bt. educ. Brasenose, Oxf. 1670; travelled abroad. m. 19 Apr. 1686, Frances (d. 24 June 1694), da. and coh. of Sir Thomas Whitmore of Bridgnorth, Salop, wid. of her cos. William Whitmore of Balmes House, Hackney, Mdx., 1s. 2da. suc. bro. 5 Feb. 1684.1
Commr. for assessment, Denb. 1677-80, Denb. and Merion. 1689-90, Flints. 1690; dep. lt. Denb. ?1681-Feb. 1688, 1703-d., j.p. 1680-Apr. 1688, Oct. 1688-?96, 1700-d., custos rot. 1684-Apr. 1688, 1690-6, 1702-d., capt. of militia horse 1684-?Feb. 1688, common councilman, Denbigh 1684-d., recorder 1684-?Feb. 1688, alderman 1685-6; sheriff, Denb. Jan.-Nov. 1688; steward, lordship of Denbigh 1702-d.2
Myddelton was educated for the Church, but travelled abroad after two of his elder brothers had died, returning shortly before the general election of 1681. Although he had not yet inherited the estate, he stood for the county seat, but was defeated by Sir John Trevor. The order for his petition, alleging misconduct of the poll, to be heard at the bar of the House suggests that he was regarded as a country Member; but the Oxford Parliament was dissolved before a decision could be reached. In September he unsuccessfully applied for his opponent’s removal from the commission of the peace; but in 1685, at the instance of the Duke of Beaufort (Henry Somerset), he agreed to support Trevor in the boroughs, while he was himself returned for the county at the cost of £63 13s.6d. He held the seat for the rest of his life, attending the House assiduously as long as his health permitted. Listed among the Opposition in James II’s Parliament, he supported the demand of Sir John Lowther III for representations to the King against the forfeiture of borough charters. A moderately active committeeman, he was appointed to four committees, of which the most important was for the general naturalization of Huguenot refugees. His title to part of his estate was questioned on behalf of the crown in 1686, and Danby again included him among the Opposition ‘in the country’. He was one of the Welsh sheriffs pricked in January 1688 to preclude them from standing for the abortive Parliament. To the lord president’s questions on the Test Act and Penal Laws he replied that ‘he was at present in judgment’ against repeal, but he could not say whether his opinion might not be altered ‘by the debate of the House, if chosen a Member’. Consequently he would not undertake to support court candidates, and was removed from his other local offices.3
Myddelton’s unopposed return in 1689 cost him only £21 12s.2d. An inactive Member of the Convention, he voted to agree with the Lords that the throne was not vacant, and was appointed to the committees to investigate the authors and advisers of grievances, to inquire into the lack of government credit, to appoint new oaths of supremacy and allegiance, and to draft an address of thanks to the King for promising to maintain the established Church. On 22 May he undertook to inform the nonjuror Francis Cholmondeley that he must attend the House in three weeks. His remaining committees were to inspect the Journals for references to the Popish Plot and to consider the bill for reversing Walcot’s attainder. On 23 Nov. he complained that his London house had been searched for arms on the perjured information of a maidservant; her employer, who was regarded as the principal offender, was sent to the Gatehouse and not released till the New Year.4
Myddelton remained a Tory under William III and Anne, refusing the Association in 1696, but he did not oppose the Hanoverian succession. He died on 8 Apr. 1716, and was buried at Chirk. His daughter described him as a compound of ‘politeness and sincerity, the courtier and the man of honour’, and in his epitaph claimed for him ‘the penetration and abilities of a statesman, the integrity and firmness of a patriot’. The baronetcy became extinct shortly afterwards, but the estate was inherited by a cousin, and the Chirk Castle interest dominated Denbigh Boroughs throughout the 18th century.5
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Author: A. M. Mimardière
- 1. Misc. Gen. et Her. (ser. 3), ii. 228-9; W. D. Pink, Notes on Middleton Fam. 28.
- 2. J. Williams, Recs. of Denbigh, 140, 141, 145; CSP Dom. 1680-1, p. 476; 1684-5, p. 4; 1687-9, p. 134; 1689-90, pp. 477, 509; T. Dingley, Beaufort’s Progress, 82; Cal Treas. Bks. xvii. 247; xxviii. 137.
- 3. Pink, 28-30; W. M. Myddelton, Chirk Castle Accounts 1666-1753, pp. 175, 191-2; CJ, ix. 706; CSP Dom. 1680-1, pp. 476-7; Cal. Treas. Bks. viii. 758. Lonsdale Mems. 7; HMC Downshire, i. 286.
- 4. Myddelton, 241; CJ, x. 293, 298, 318, 325.
- 5. Pink, 29-30.