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Barham, Charles Middleton, 1st Lord

Barham, Charles Middleton, 1st Lord (1726–1813). Middleton was a cousin of Henry Dundas, the future intimate of Pitt the Younger, treasurer of the navy and secretary at war. Hence Middleton had access to the centre of government almost from the time he became comptroller of the navy in 1778, when still in the rank of captain. His active naval career had been more profitable than distinguished, but he found his métier in the comptrollership, held until 1790 in weekly communication with Pitt and in combination with his parliamentary seat at Rochester. Appointed to the Admiralty Board in 1794 Middleton resigned in 1795; but 10 years later his enduring reputation brought him to the 1st lordship in succession to Dundas, when Middleton was created Lord Barham. His outstanding administrative record was crowned by a provident foresight which ensured the ship-strength available to Nelson at Trafalgar.

David Denis Aldridge

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