The Clan History
FLEMING: This name derives mainly from persons of Flanders origin who settled throughout Britain and thus Scottish ancestry should not be claimed unless there is a familiy tradition of such descent. They first appear in Scotland in the time of David I (1124-53) in whose reign, Baldwin, ancestor of the Flemings of Biggar, acquired lands in Lanarkshire. They soon rose to eminence for, by the reign of Alexander III (1249-86), Sir Malcolm Fleming was sheriff of Dumbarton, and another ancient family had established itself at Barochan in Renfrewshire. It appears also that there was a great influx of their countrymen about this time, and that outwith the principal families of Biggar and Barochan, many others became established. Sir Robert Fleming supported Bruce, and when the forfeit Comyn lands were dispensed to his adherents, the Barony of Cumbernauld, amongst others, came to the Flemings. By continued adherence to the crown Flemings appear frequently as hostages for their kings during the minorities of the early Stewarts, and such was rewarded by the Earldom of Wigtoun in the 15th century. Such honour upset the Douglas lords of Galloway who, fearing a usurpation of his power, when the occasion arose bought the title from the 2nd Earl. The landless Earl died without issue and the family representation passed to Fleming of Biggar. A later Sir Malcolm allied himself with the treacherous Albany dynasty, and with the Earl of Douglas, and all kept a similar appointment with the beheading block. Honour was restored when they were created Lords Fleming, and they were again in favour with the Crown. The 4th Lord accompanied the Mary Queen of Scots to France, along with his mother who, following a liason with the French king, was returned to Scotland. The 6th Lord Fleming was created Earl of Wigton in 1606. Flemings also held Auchintoul in Aberdeenshire and Boghall in Tweeddale, in addition to the Houses of Ferme and Bord. Other families evolved, and affiliation with these would only be determined by genealogical research. The association with the Murrays of Atholl applies only to the few Fleming families who inhabited Atholl and Glenshee. There is no Fleming Tartan as such so the one indicated here is the Murray of Atholl. The Motto and Crest are those of Fleming.
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