Dates of office: 1889 - 1892
Born in York on 5 October 1846, John Henry Middleton was the only surviving child of John Middleton and Maria Margaret, daughter of James Pigott Pritchett and his first wife, Peggy Maria Terry. As a child he travelled to Italy where he was initially educated. He acquired a love for Italy and its language which lasted throughout his life.
On returning to Britain his parents settled in Cheltenham, where his father practised as an architect and where he attended Cheltenham College. In 1865, he was matriculated at Exeter College, Oxford.
The following year, however, he suffered a severe depression accentuated by the sudden death of a close friend at Oxford. This led to him confining himself to his room for six years. During this time, through reading and study he laid the foundations of his extensive knowledge of art and archaeology.