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Middleton, John Middleton, 1st earl of

Middleton, John Middleton, 1st earl of [S] (c.1608–73). From Kincardineshire, Middleton was a soldier of fortune. He began his military career in France but joined the Scottish covenanting army in 1639. He transferred to the service of the English Parliament and was active during the Civil War, particularly in the south-west. Returning to Scotland, he fought against Montrose at Philiphaugh. Next he changed sides and fought for the king at Preston, where he was taken prisoner, and at Worcester (1651), where he was wounded. In 1654 he joined with Glencairn in the unsuccessful Scottish royal rising but was defeated by Monck at Lochgarry. He escaped from the Tower of London to join Charles II in exile. At the Restoration he was created earl and served in Scotland as commander-in-chief and as commissioner to the Parliament. But his political career was less successful and in 1663 he was dismissed at the instigation of Lauderdale. In 1668 he was made governor of Tangiers, where he died. Clarendon thought him the best of the Scottish generals. By the time Pepys met him in the 1660s, though a legendary figure, he was over the hill—‘a dull, heavy man … a good soldier but a debauched man, a drinking man’.

J. A. Cannon

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