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National Maritime Museum

Middleton, Susannah Maria (fl 1805)


Reference code(s): GB 0064 MDT

Held at: National Maritime Museum

Title: Middleton, Susannah Maria (fl 1805)

Date(s): 1805-1808

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 55 files

Name of creator(s): Middleton | Susannah Maria | fl 1805


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Middletons had been married for three years when they left Portsmouth on the ATLANTA to travel to Gibraltar, where Capt Middleton had been appointed to run the Navy Yard. Susannah Middleton's father John Martin Leake was Comptroller of Army Accounts and her brother William had been posted in 1805 from the Artillery to the Eastern Mediterranean. Robert Gambier Middleton was the son of George Middleton, former Comptroller of Customs for the port of Leith and elder brother of Sir Charles Middleton, Lord Barham and First Lord of the Admiralty. Robert Middleton had been taken under the wing of his uncle and entered the navy at the age of 12 seeing action with the Mediterranean fleet under Lord Hood. He was made post-Captain in 1794 and in 1803 he was placed in charge of the North Foreland District of the Sea Fencibles. In 1805 he was posted to Gibraltar as Superintendent of the Navy Yard. The Middletons remained in Gibraltar for three years before returning home in 1808. Susannah travelled home on the ILLUSTRIOUS in May 1808 prior to Capt Middleton who returned to England shortly after to take up a position in the Navy Board in London. In 1830 he was appointed Storekeeper-General to the Navy and retired in 1832 with the rank of Rear-admiral. Following their return to England, Susannah had the first of 10 children, 7 of whom reached adulthood.


Scope and content/abstract:

The collection consists of 55 letters from Susannah Maria Middleton, wife of Captain Robert Gambier Middleton, to her sister Miss Marion Leake, during her residence in Gibraltar from 1805-1808. The letters describe the every day life of Susannah as a young wife of a naval officer stationed away from home for the first time. They include descriptions of the voyage to and from Gibraltar, the running of her house and farmyard, difficulties in obtaining supplies and receiving packages from England, problems with servants, naval officers stationed in Gibraltar, social activities including balls and dinners, and numerous excursions to the Rock and into Spain. The collection also includes a short unpublished biography of the Middletons and further information about the letters by Michael Middleton entitled "Letters from the Rock, 1805-1808".


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Finding aids:

Detailed catalogue online at the: National Maritime Museum website .


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

These letters were presented to the Museum in 2002.



Archivist's note: Edited by Sarah Drewery, Sep 2011.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: 2010-12-21

Napoleonic Wars (1800-1815) | Wars (events)

Personal names
Middleton | Susannah Maria | fl 1805

Corporate names

Gibraltar | Western Europe | Europe
Spain | Western Europe | Europe