FLEETWOOD, John (1686-1745), of Great Missenden, Bucks.
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Family and Education
bap. 9 Mar. 1686, 1st surv. s. of William Fleetwood of Great Missenden, being 1st by 2nd w. Sarah, da. of Thomas Bridgwood, embroiderer, of London, wid. of William Whorwood of St. James Clerkenwell, Mdx. educ. Oriel, Oxf. 1702. m. 19 Jan. 1724, Elizabeth, da. of Richard Seare of Great Missenden, high sheriff of Bucks. 1712, s.p. suc. fa. 1691.1
Sheriff, Bucks. 1709–10.
Fleetwood was descended from William Fleetwood, who acquired the abbey of Great Missenden in 1574. The senior branch of the family, the Fleetwoods of The Vache in Chalfont, had represented Buckinghamshire since the reign of James I.2
Fleetwood was baptized in St. James Clerkenwell, and presumably spent much of his childhood in the capital, for two of his siblings were also baptized in that parish, and on his admission to Oxford he was listed as the son of William Fleetwood of London. But by 1706 he was residing at Great Missenden and in 1707 his cousin Lord Cheyne (Hon. William*) had to intervene to prevent him from being pricked as sheriff. Cheyne wrote to Secretary Harley (Robert*) asking that Fleetwood be excused as ‘his father served not long before he died [1688–9]; he is not 22 years of age, has a younger brother and sisters to provide for, and his mother keeps in jointure half the £1,000 per annum the estate is worth’. Having thus escaped once, he was not so fortunate in 1709. However, this turned to the advantage of the Tories when Parliament was unexpectedly dissolved in 1710, and he was in place as sheriff and able to assist Lord Cheyne in securing the return of Tory candidates for the shire. In 1711 his father’s personal and leasehold property, of which his mother had gained control in order to provide for her three younger children, together with her own property, reverted to him, although he had to provide his siblings with £2,000 apiece. Fleetwood now felt able to stand for the county himself, his successful campaign in 1713 being financed by Lord Cheyne. He was classed as a Tory on the Worsley list and in an analysis reclassifying MPs re-elected in 1715, but he does not seem to have been an active Member. Lord Cheyne reported on 27 Apr. 1714 that Fleetwood had left in haste for Buckinghamshire on the previous day, but he appears to have been at Westminster attending a committee on 14 May.3
Fleetwood retired from Parliament in 1722. He died on 17 or 19 Aug. 1745. Unlike his father, who had died intestate, Fleetwood left a will in which he confirmed his wife’s marriage settlement of £300 p.a. and added a legacy of £500. The chief beneficiary, however, was his young nephew John Ansell, who inherited his estates.4
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Authors: Eveline Cruickshanks / Stuart Handley
- 1. St. James Clerkenwell (Harl. Soc. Reg. ix), i. 315; Lipscomb, Bucks. ii. 376–7, 386–7; Vis. Bucks. 1634 (Harl. Soc. lviii), 55.
- 2. VCH Bucks. ii. 351.
- 3. St. James Clerkenwell, 315, 327, 331; HMC Portland, iv. 459; PCC 104 Young; BL, Verney mss mic. 636/55, Cheyne to Ld. Fermanagh (John Verney*), 27 Apr. 1714, Mary Lovett to same, 15 May 1714.
- 4. Lipscomb, 387; Gent. Mag. 1745, p. 444; PCC 247 Seymer.