Earls of Wigton (1342)


1st Earl of Wigton, Malcolm Fleming, b.?, a.1342, d.c.1363


The first Fleming, Baldwin, is said to have come to Scotland before 1150. As a supporter of the Bruce, Malcolm Fleming was given the barony of Kirkintilloch and other lands in Lennox and Wigtownshire, and became Sheriff of Dumbarton and Keeper of Dumbarton Castle. After the Battle of Homildon Hill he escaped back to Dumbarton and aided in sending King David II from Dumbarton safely into exile in France. When David returned, Malcolm was given more lands in Galloway and created 1st Earl of Wigtown, which was in fact the first new earldom created in more than a century. In 1346, he was captured at the Battle of Nevilleís Cross, but escaped the following year. His wife became King Davidís nurse.


2nd Earl of Wigton, Thomas Fleming, b.?, a.1363, d.c.1382


Grandson of the 1st Earl and son of John Fleming (b.?, d.1351). As an earlís heir, he was used as an hostage on several occasions, and especially after the Treaty of Berwick spent many years in captivity. He was re-granted the earldom in 1367, but the resurrection of the Lordship of Galloway put him in an awkward position. He knew that he could not keep control of Galloway on his own, and he was so poor, possibly as a result of having to pay ransom, that he eventually sold the earldom to Archibald Douglas, Lord of Galloway, in 1371.


The Black Douglas earls held the title until they were attainted.



Lords Fleming (1451)


1st Lord Fleming, Robert Fleming, b.?, a.1451, d.1491


Robert Fleming was a descendant of a collateral branch of the Fleming family, both sides stemming from the father of the 1st Earl of Wigtown. This line, based in Biggar, was close to royalty, Robertís mother being Elizabeth Stewart, daughter of Robert Stewart, 1st Duke of Albany. His father, Sir Malcolm Fleming (b.?, d.1440), was with William Douglas, 6th Earl of Douglas, when the latter was murdered by James II, and was hurriedly executed for treason shortly afterwards. Robert Fleming petitioned against the sentence and forfeiture of his father, and the King was obliged to lift the forfeit.


2nd Lord Fleming, John Fleming, b.1465, a.1491, d.1524


Grandson of the 1st Lord and Janet Douglas, daughter of James Douglas, 7th Earl of Douglas, and son of Malcolm Fleming and Eupheme Livingston, daughter of James Livingston, Lord of Callendar. He was one of the nobles who supported the young James IV against his father James III, and later became a Guardian to the infant James V. He served as Ambassador to the French Court and became Chamberlain of Scotland in 1517. He was later assassinated.


3rd Lord Fleming, Malcolm Fleming, b.c.1494, a.1524, d.1547


Son of the 2nd Lord and Eupheme Drummond (b.?, d.1501-1502), daughter of John Drummond, 1st Lord Drummond (for whom see the earls of Perth). He also became Chamberlain of Scotland and made Sheriff of Peebles. He was captured at the Battle of Solway Moss in 1542, and released for a ransom. Initially siding with the English Party who wanted to see Queen Mary marry Prince Edward of England, he later rejected this and became a loyal supporter of Mary. He died at the Battle of Pinkie.


4th Lord Fleming, James Fleming, b.1534, a.1547, d.1558


Son of the 3rd Lord and Janet Stewart (b.c.1511, d.1560), daughter of King James IV. Close to the Queen, he accompanied her to France in 1548 and followed his father and grandfather as Chamberlain. He was one of the Scottish delegation sent to Paris to negotiate the marriage of Mary Queen of Scots to the Dauphin in 1558, and was one of the ones who was poisoned, although he did not die immediately, returning to Paris with hopes of recovering, before dying weeks later.


5th Lord Fleming, John Fleming, b.?, a.1558, d.1572


Younger brother of the 4th Lord. He followed his brother as Chamberlain, Sheriff of Peebles and Governor of Dumbarton Castle. He fought for the Queen at the Battle of Langside and accompanied her flight to Carlisle. He held out at Dumbarton Castle for several years before being forced to flee to Europe. He died of wounds received during a salute fired by French soldiers entering Edinburgh.


6th Lord Fleming, John Fleming, b.1567, a.1572, d.1619


Son of the 5th Lord and Elizabeth Ross, a grand-daughter of Ninian Ross, 3rd Lord Ross of Halkhead. A supporter of James VI, he was created 1st Earl of Wigton in 1606.



Earls of Wigton (1606)


1st Earl of Wigton, John Fleming, as above


2nd Earl of Wigton, John Fleming, b.1589, a.1619, d.1650


Son of the 1st Earl and Lilias Graham (b.?, d.1606), daughter of William Graham, 3rd Earl of Montrose. He was a member of the Committee of Estates in 1641 and became a Privy Counsellor and supporter of Charles I.


3rd Earl of Wigton, John Fleming, b.?, a.1650, d.1665


Son of the 2nd Earl and Margaret Livingston, daughter of Alexander Livingston, 1st Earl of Linlithgow. He fought alongside Montrose at Philiphaugh.


4th Earl of Wigton, John Fleming, b.?, a.1665, d.1668


Son of the 3rd Earl and Jane Drummond, daughter of John Drummond, 2nd Earl of Perth.


5th Earl of Wigton, William Fleming, b.?, a.1668, d.1681


Younger brother of the 4th Earl. He became a Privy Counsellor to Charles II and was Sheriff of Dumbarton and Governor of Dumbarton Castle.


6th Earl of Wigton, John Fleming, b.c.1674, a.1681, d.1744


Son of the 5th Earl and Henrietta Seton, daughter of Charles Seton, 2nd Earl of Dunfermline. He was a Jacobite and opposed the Treaty of Union. During the 1715 Rebellion he was held as a prisoner at Edinburgh Castle.


7th Earl of Wigton, Charles Fleming, b.c.1675, a.1744, d.1747


Younger brother of the 6th Earl. On his death, the earldom became extinct, the estates inherited by his niece Clementina, who married Charles Elphinstone, 10th Lord Elphinstone.


(Last updated: 13/11/2009)