Middleton, the name of a family noted in the history of South Carolina.
Edward, its founder, was a native of Twickenham, England, where he inherited a large property. He removed to South Carolina, and was a member of the council under the lords proprietors in 1680, 10 years after its settlement. He evinced decided republican tendencies, and maintained popular rights in opposition to the government.
Arthur, son of the preceding, was a member of the council in 1712. His influence was exerted in favor of popular claims, opposing the close borough system of the lords proprietors, and finally he headed the revolution which threw off the proprietary government and placed the colony under the immediate protection of the crown (1719). He was governor of the colony from 1725 to 1731, after which he remained in the royal council.
Arthur, son of the preceding, born at the family seat on Ashley river in 1743, died Jan. 1, 1787. He was educated at Harrow and Westminster schools, and the universitv of Cambridge, and became a revolutionary leader. He was one of the most efficient members of the first council of safety. In 1776 he was sent as a delegate of the state to congress, and as such affixed his signature to the Declaration of Independence. He held his seat in congress till 1777, declined the governorship of South Carolina in 1778, took the field for the defence of Charleston in 1779, saw his plantation devastated by the British, was made a prisoner after the fall of Charleston in 1780, and was one of the leading citizens who were confined as hostages. His estate was sequestered, and he was confined in the castle of St. Augustine, and afterward in the Jersey prison ship. Exchanged in the latter part of 1780, he served till the close of the war as a delegate in congress, and was afterward elected to the state senate. He was a stenographer, and took down many of the debates in which he participated.
He wrote effective political essays under the signature of "Andrew Marvell".
Henry, son of the preceding, born in 1771, died in Charleston, June 14, 1846. He was a member of the state legislature from 1801 to 1810; was governor of the state in 1810-'12; a representative in congress from 1815 to 1819; and in 1820 was appointed minister to Russia, which post he held till 1831.