FLEMING, Michael (1668-1718).
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Family and Education
b. 12 July 1668, 6th s. of Sir Daniel Fleming† of Rydal, Westmld. by Barbara, da. of Sir Henry Fletcher, 1st Bt., of Hutton Hall, Cumb., sis. of Sir George Fletcher, 2nd Bt.*; bro. of William Fleming*. educ. Hawkshead sch. 1683–5. m. Dorothy Benson of Yorks., 1s. 1da.1
Ensign of ft. James Stanley’s* regt. (later 16th Ft.) 1693, lt. 1694–7, 1699–1701, capt. 1697–9, 1701, maj. 1708.
Fleming was the sixth of 11 sons, and from the early 1690s his father was keen to find him some gainful employment which would lessen Fleming’s financial dependence upon the family estate. Having failed in attempts to find him employment in both the navy and the excise office, Sir Daniel Fleming succeeded in January 1693 in gaining the promise of an ensign’s commission for his son in the regiment of Hon. James Stanley*. Fleming arrived in London in March the same year, accompanied by the 20 men he had raised for the regiment, only to find that no commission had been prepared for him. Following the intercession of Sir John Lowther, 2nd Bt. II*, with William Blathwayt*, and further assistance from his brother William, Richard Kirkby* and Sir George Fletcher, Fleming was informed he would receive the next vacant commission and in May, while in Flanders, was appointed ensign. Fleming served in the Low Countries for the remainder of the Nine Years War, fighting at Landen and Namur, and slowly progressed through the ranks. Fleming’s company was disbanded in April 1699 following the Peace of Ryswick, but his hopes for a further commission were satisfied in July when he was appointed a lieutenant in one of the remaining companies of Stanley’s regiment. In April 1700 his father was concerned that Fleming would again find his company disbanded, but such fears were groundless and in 1701 Fleming regained the rank of captain; and following the renewal of hostilities in 1702 he again served in the Low Countries, being one of those wounded at Blenheim. Fleming owed his return to the Commons in 1707 to the interest of his brother William. Unable to persuade Daniel Wilson’s* grandfather to allow Wilson’s candidacy, and unwilling to stand himself due to poor health, William Fleming secured his brother’s unopposed return for Westmorland at the by-election of February 1707. Little is known of Fleming’s brief parliamentary career. He arrived in London by 4 Mar. 1707 and later that month Bishop Nicolson recorded the congratulations he received from Fleming following the passage of the cathedrals bill. However, he left little mark upon the records of the Commons and an analysis of the House dating from early 1708 was unable, or unwilling, to give him a party label. Fleming did not stand for re-election later that year, making way for his nephew Daniel Wilson, who by this time had secured family approval for his candidacy. Fleming returned to his military career, being promoted to major in May 1708 and a year later, following the efforts of his brother William, to regimental major. He died at Kingston-upon-Hull in about May 1718, leaving a son ‘with nothing to maintain him’, for whom his brother William claimed to have provided subsequently.2
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Author: Eveline Cruickshanks
- 1. Add. 24120, f. 345; Fleming Mems. (Trans. Cumb. and Westmld. Antiq. and Arch. Soc. tract ser. xii) 76; HMC Le Fleming, 399, 401–2.
- 2. Cumbria RO (Kendal), Le Fleming mss WD/Ry 4267, Sir Daniel Fleming to Sir John Lowther, 2nd Bt. I*, 8 Jan. 1691–2; 4275, same to Fletcher, 29 Jan. 1691–2; 4541, same to [–], 18 Jan. 1692–3; 4565, Stanley to Sir Daniel Fleming, 9 Feb. 1692–3; 4590, Michael Fleming to same, 21 Mar. 1692–3; 4609, 4616, Sir Daniel to Michael Fleming, 6, 12 Apr. 1693; 5524, same to William Fleming, 4 July 1700; HMC Le Fleming, 331–9, 353; Bagot mss at Levens Hall, William Fleming to Mr Ingesson, 7 Feb. 1706–7; Add. 70197, same to [Robert Harley*], 23 Feb. 1706[–7]; 24120, ff. 329, 345; Nicolson Diaries ed. Jones and Holmes, 422, 463, 491.