Fleming, James, fourth Baron Fleming 1534?-1558, lord high chamberlain of Scotland, was the eldest son of Malcolm, third lord Fleming, lord high chamberlain, by his wife Johanna or Jonet Stewart, natural daughter of James IV. The father, who had been taken prisoner at the rout of Solway in 1542, and had been tried and acquitted of treason in 1545 for his connection with the English party, was slain at the battle of Pinkie 10 Sept. 1547. In August 1548 young Fleming, along with Lord Erskine, accompanied the young Queen Mary to France, Lady Fleming, his mother, being governess to the queen. He also accompanied the queen dowager into France in 1549 (Keith, Hist. i. 135). On 21 Dec. 1553 he was continued great chamberlain of Scotland for life (Reg. Mag. Sig. 1546-80, entry 877). About the same time he was appointed guardian of the east and middle marches, and invested with a power of justiciary within the limits of his jurisdiction. He was one of the eight commissioners elected by parliament 8 Dec. 1557 to represent the Scottish nation at the nuptials of Queen Mary with Francis, dauphin of France, 24 April 1558. Though the commissioners agreed to swear fealty to the king-dauphin as the husband of the queen, they affirmed that their instructions did not permit them to agree that he should receive the ensigns of royalty. They were thereupon requested to support this proposal in the Scottish parliament, but when they left for Scotland, the French court appears to have been doubtful of the intentions of certain members of the commission. In such circumstances the death of four of their number on the way home awakened grave suspicions that they had been designedly poisoned. The Earls of Rothes and Cassilis and Bishop Reid succumbed sooner to the attack than Fleming, who, in the hope of recovery, returned to Paris, but died there on 18 Dec. By his marriage to Lady Barbara Hamilton, eldest daughter of James, duke of Chatelherault, he had one daughter, Jane, married first to John lord Thirlestane, who died 3 Oct. 1595; and secondly, to John, fifth earl of Cassilis, by neither of whom had she any issue.

     Douglas's Scotch Peerage (Wood), ii. 634
     Crawfurd's Officers of State, pp. 327-8
     Keith's History of Scotland
     Hunter's Biggar and the House of Fleming, pp. 525-8.

Contributor: T. F. H. [Thomas Finlayson Henderson]

Published: 1889