Fleming, George (DNB00)

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FLEMING, Sir GEORGE (1667–1747), bishop of Carlisle, fifth son of Sir Daniel Fleming [q. v.] of Rydal, Westmoreland, and of Barbara, his wife, eldest daughter of Sir Henry Fletcher, bart., of Hutton, Cumberland, was born at Rydal Hall, 10 June 1667, the ninth of fifteen children. He succeeded his elder brother, Sir William, who died without heir-male, as second baronet of Rydal in 1736. He entered St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, June 1688. In 1690 he contributed to some congratulatory verses upon the king's safe return from Ireland. He proceeded B.A. 13 April 1692, and M.A. 7 March 1694. Leaving Oxford in 1699, he became domestic chaplain to Dr. Thomas Smith [q. v.], bishop of Carlisle, by whom he had been ordained, and who, 1695, presented him to the living of Aspatria, Cumberland. He resigned Aspatria on his collation by Bishop Nicolson [q. v.] in 1703 to the church of St. Michael, Stanwix, which he held as vicar till 1705 (Hutchinson, Hist. of Cumberland, ii. 285, 583). He was instituted to the second prebend in Carlisle Cathedral 7 March 1700–1. He was nominated by Bishop Nicolson to the archdeaconry of Carlisle 28 March 1705. Attached to the archdeaconry was the rectory of St. Cuthbert, Great Salkeld, which he held in conjunction with future preferment till his accession to the episcopate (Jefferson, Antiquities of Cumberland, i. 262, 266), a portion of this preferment being the living of Ousby, to which he was presented by Bishop Bradford, 1719, and to which a prebend was attached. According to the edition of Willis's ‘Survey of Cathedrals,’ containing the manuscript notes by W. Cole (i. 307), he succeeded Joseph Fisher [q. v.] as vicar of Brough or Burgh-under-Stanmore, Westmoreland. He was created LL.D. by diploma at Lambeth 10 March 1726–7 (Wotton MSS.) He was installed dean of Carlisle 7 April 1727; and 30 Oct. 1734 was nominated bishop. He was consecrated bishop at Lambeth 19 Jan. 1734–1735. On 1 May 1736 he lost his wife Catherine, daughter of Robert Jefferson, to whom he had been married 28 Oct. 1708. He had by her one son, William, a prebendary, and his successor in the archdeaconry, who died in 1743, during his father's lifetime, and four daughters (Gent. Mag.), the youngest of whom, Mildred, was married in 1737 to Edward Stanley, esq., of Ponsonby Hall, where there was a portrait of Fleming by Vanderbank.

When the Pretender entered Carlisle in November 1745, he installed Thomas Coppock [q. v.] as bishop. It seems (Gent. Mag. 1745, p. 575) that the bishop had accompanied the sheriff to oppose the rebels at Penrith, when the force ran away at the sight of a few highlanders. Fleming contributed his share (Hutchinson, Hist. of Cumberland, ii. 437) towards repairing and beautifying the episcopal palace, for he ‘laid new floors and wainscotted the drawing-room, dressing-room, and kitchen chambers.’ He died in his palace at Rose Castle 2 July 1747, and was buried at the east end of the south aisle of the cathedral, where there is a marble monument with a panegyrical inscription. Two letters of Fleming are in the Wotton MSS. in the British Museum (Add. MSS. 24120, ff. 331–2), in answer to a request for information from Thomas Wotton, author of the ‘Baronetage.’ The second letter gives full details about the Fleming family and his own life. His title and estates passed to his nephew William, son of his next brother, Michael, likewise deceased, the sixth son of Sir Daniel. This Sir William was father to Michael, the fourth baronet—the ‘brilliant baronet,’ incidentally noticed for his social and literary gifts by Sir W. Scott, in whose person the prefix ‘le,’ which had dropped out of the family name since the time of Edward IV, was revived at baptism (Burke, Landed Gentry).

[Wotton MSS. Brit. Mus. (Add. MSS. 24120, ff. 331–2, &c.); Gent. Mag. anno 1747; Le Neve's Fasti Eccles. Angl. (Hardy); Cat. of Graduates Oxon. 1851; Stubbs's Reg. Sacr. Angl.; Willis's Survey of Cathedrals, with manuscript notes by W. Cole; Jefferson's Hist. of Carlisle, and Hist. Antiquities of Cumberland; Willing's Carlisle Cathedral; Nicolson's and Burn's Hist. of Cumberland; Hutchinson's Hist. of Cumberland; Walcott's Memorials of Carlisle; British Chronologist; old newspapers, 1745–7.]

E. C. S.