Clement-Jones family v2/21 - Person Sheet
Clement-Jones family v2/21 - Person Sheet
NameMargaret GAMBIER, 4963
ChildrenDiana , 4958 (-1823)
Notes for Margaret GAMBIER

Margaret, Lady Middleton helped make possible “the most important event in the early history of the anti-slavery movement,” but she hardly sets foot in the history books. The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (DNB) confines her to brief mentions in her husband’s, her daughter’s, and James Ramsay’s entries. No one even knows the year Margaret was born, only that sometime around 1741 she stepped on board her uncle’s ship the Sandwich and fell in love with Charles Middleton, who was working as a servant.

Defying her father

She must have been ten, at least. Middleton was fifteen. Even when he became captain of his own ship Middleton could not afford to marry. Margaret defied her father, refusing to marry any other man, and waited for him. She fled to Teston, in Kent, to live with her childhood friend Elizabeth Bouverie.

Marriage and painting

Finally, on December 21, 1761, after Middleton had made his fortune, they married. He was 35. Their daughter was born nine months later.

We have no letters or accounts of their marriage. Their discretion exceeds Jane Austen’s.

We know only that Middleton declined another seagoing appointment and they lived in their London house at Hanover Square and in Teston at Barham Court with Elizabeth, whose house was big enough to share with friends. Middleton expertly farmed Elizabeth’s land while remaining close enough to London and the Chatham dockyard to keep in touch with naval affairs. Margaret painted and took care of the people and animals around her.
Last Modified 30 Apr 2011Created 11 Dec 2021 using Reunion for Macintosh