FLEMING, John I (?1746-1829), of 104 Gloucester Place, Mdx.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1820-1832, ed. D.R. Fisher, 2009
Available from Cambridge University Press



1818 - 1820
14 June 1820 - 1826

Family and Education

?bap. 2 Jan. 1747, s. of William Fleeming1 of South Leith, Edinburgh and Helen, da. of William Cleghorn of Cramond. educ. ?Edinburgh. unm. d. 17 May 1829.

Offices Held

Asst. surgeon E.I. Co. (Bengal) 1768, surgeon 1771, head surgeon 1786; member, medical board 1786, pres. 1800-11; MD Edinburgh 1804; res. Nov. 1813.


Fleming, a former surgeon in the Indian medical service, was described at the time of his election as a fellow of the Royal Society in 1813 as ‘a gentleman well versed in various branches of science and learning’. A large collection of Indian botanical drawings assembled by him was later purchased by the British Museum.2 He was returned for Gatton in 1818 on the interest of Sir Mark Wood† as a supporter of Lord Liverpool’s ministry, but his unreliable voting record meant that he was obliged to retire in 1820. He was returned unopposed for Saltash at a by-election that June on the interest of Michael George Prendergast, a former East India merchant, who had chosen to sit for Galway.

His votes are often difficult to distinguish from those of John Willis Fleming, Tory Member for Hampshire, but his record was apparently as inconsistent as before. He probably divided in the minorities against the aliens bill, 7 July, and the barrack agreement bill, 17 July 1820. He certainly voted to defend ministers’ conduct towards Queen Caroline, 6 Feb. 1821. It is likely that he divided for Catholic claims, 28 Feb., as his namesake later voted against this measure. He may have voted with ministers against disfranchising civil officers of the ordnance, 12 Apr., and was definitely with them against Hume’s economy and retrenchment motion, 27 June. However, he was almost certainly against them for the omission of arrears from the duke of Clarence’s grant, 8, 18 June. It was presumably he who divided to abolish the death penalty for forgery, 4 June 1821. He voted against more extensive tax reductions, 11, 21 Feb., but for reduction of the number of junior lords of the admiralty, 1 Mar., and possibly for abolition of one of the joint-postmasterships, 13 Mar., and reduction of the navy victualling grant, 18 Mar. 1822. He may have divided against inquiry into the right of voting in parliamentary elections, 20 Feb. 1823. He probably voted for information regarding Catholic burials, 6 Feb., and was perhaps the ‘J.S. Fleming’ who voted to permit defence by counsel in felony trials, 6 Apr., and repeal of the usury laws, 8 Apr. 1824. He is less likely to have been the one who divided for the duke of Cumberland’s annuity, 6 June 1825. It was said of him at this time that he ‘appeared to attend frequently and vote sometimes with, and sometimes (though more rarely) against ministers’.3 He retired at the dissolution in 1826.

Fleming died in May 1829 and in his will made bequests totalling £79,700 to 20 friends and relatives, leaving the residue to his ‘dear friend’ Thomas Wilkinson of Fitzroy Square; his personalty was sworn under £160,000.4

Ref Volumes: 1820-1832

Author: Terry Jenkins


  • 1. Spelt thus in IGI (Scotland). In his will, Fleming stated that he was an orphan, brought up by his maternal uncle, John Cleghorn of Granton, Cramond. The IGI confirms that William Cleghorn had a son named John.
  • 2. R. Soc. Certs. of Election, vi. 227; Jnl. of Botany, liv (1916), 301-2.
  • 3. Session of Parl. 1825, p. 464.
  • 4. PROB 11/1755/284; IR26/1193/200.