Nathaniel Middleton (1750-1807), one of the several children of the Reverend Samuel Middleton and Mary Middleton of Whitmore, Staffordshire, made his fortune in the service of the East India Company in the late 18th century. Nothing is known of his early life or education but he was in India by the end of 1769. He was a close associate of Warren Hastings, Governor of Bengal, who in 1773 appointed Middleton as Resident at the court of the ruler of Oudh in Lucknow. Middleton became involved in the lengthy dispute between Hastings and the rulers of Oudh which eventually led to Hastings’ impeachment and trial before the House of Lords (he was eventually acquitted in 1785).

Middleton resigned from the East India Company in 1784 and returned to England to set up home in Wimpole Street, London. In 1798 he purchased the Townhill Park estate in Southampton. At some time during his ownership the original house burnt down and a smaller one, the nucleus of the existing Townhill Park House, was built in its place.

Middleton seems to have been a respected member of the social elite of the town. He had joined the exclusive Royal Southampton Archers by 1793 and was appointed Sheriff of Hampshire in 1800. He died in 1807 at his home in St James Square, London, where he had lived since 1804. His wife Anne Frances Morse may have continued to live at Townhill Park as the tenant of the next owner until c.1820. Her death was announced in the Hampshire Chronicle, 6 December 1823.

Middleton Close off Wakefield Road was named after Nathaniel Middleton.

Nathaniel Middleton

Image Unavailable

Portrait of Middleton (seated) by Tilly Kettle, c.1784

See also:

Townhill and Townhill Park

Further reading:

Stories of Southampton Streets, by A. G. K. Leonard, p95-97 (HS/h)
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004, Volume 38


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