FLEMING, John (1743-1802), of Stoneham, Hants.
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Family and Education
b. 1743, 2nd s. of Thomas Willis by his 2nd w. Frances Robinson of Cranesley, Northants, and gd.-s. of Browne Willis, the antiquary. educ. Eton 1758-64. m. 1774, Elizabeth, da. of Valentine Knightley of Fawsley, Northants. s.p. suc. half-bro. Thomas in the Fleming estate of Stoneham 1767, and assumed name of Fleming.
In 1774, Fleming, ‘a neighbouring gentleman of considerable fortune and independent principles, raised so formidable an opposition’ at Southampton1 that Hans Stanley, who for the last 20 years had represented the borough with Government support, agreed to their standing jointly, both being treated as ‘friends of Government’; and the opposition which Lord Charles Montagu was offering to Fleming, was discountenanced by Lord North. In the division over Wilkes’s motion of 22 Feb. 1775, Fleming voted, however, with Opposition, as did a number of independent country gentlemen. Still, his name does not appear in the next four extant minority lists, and in Robinson’s division list on the contractors bill, 12 Feb. 1779, he was classed as an absent friend. He was again absent from the two divisions on Admiral Keppel, 3 and 8 Mar. 1779, voted with Opposition over the list of pensions, 21 Feb. 1780; was absent on 8 and 13 Mar. (abolishing the third secretary and the Board of Trade); and voted with Opposition on Dunning’s motion, 6 Apr., and on the motion concerning prorogation, 24 Apr. 1780. In 1779 the Public Ledger described him as ‘a country gentleman of Tory principles’ who ‘never votes against the minister’. But Robinson in his electoral survey compiled in July 1780 classed him as ‘contra’, and clearly wished to see him ousted—which he was at the general election.
In 1784 he stood with the support of the Pitt Administration; was classed in William Adam’s list as ‘doubtful’; was absent from the division on Richmond’s fortifications plan, 27 Feb. 1786; and voted with Pitt over the Regency bill, 1788-9. He did not stand again in 1790. There is no record of his having spoken in the House.
He died 28 Feb. 1802.
Ref Volumes: 1754-1790
Author: Sir Lewis Namier
- 1. English Chron. in its note on Hans Sloane.