WIGTON, Earl of, a
title in the peerage of Scotland (dormant since 1747), conferred 19th
March 1606, on John, sixth Lord Fleming and Cumbernauld. He died in
April 1619, and was succeeded by his eldest son, John, second earl of
Wigton, who, in 1640, was one of the committee of estates, and in 1641
was appointed a privy councillor by parliament. Nevertheless, he entered
heartily into the association to support the cause of Charles I., framed
at his house of Cumbernauld, Lanarkshire, in January of the latter year.
He died 7th May, 1650. By his countess, Lady Margaret Livingstone,
second daughter of the first earl of Linlithgow, he had, with three
daughters, two sons, John, third earl of Wigton, and the Hon. Sir
William Fleming. The latter, in September 1640, was by the Scotch army
sent to King Charles I., with the conditions whereon they would agree to
a pacification, which led to the treaty of Ripon; and in 1648 he was
dispatched to invite Prince Charles to come to Scotland. He was
gentleman usher to Charles I., and chamberlain of the household to
John, third earl of
Wigton, when Lord Fleming, joined the marquis of Montrose, He was at the
battle of Philiphaugh in 1645, and escaped with the marquis to the
highlands, where he was concealed for some time. He died in February
His eldest son, John,
fourth earl of Wigton, died April 1668, leaving only a daughter, Lady
Jean, countess of Panmure, and was succeeded by his brother William,
fifth earl of Wigton. This nobleman was a privy councillor to Charles
II., sheriff of the county and governor of the castle of Dumbarton. He
died in April 1681. He married Lady Henriet Seton, eldest daughter of
the second earl of Dunfermline, and b y her had two sons and one
daughter, Lady Mary, wife of the Hon. Harry Maule of Kelly, and mother
of William, earl of Panmure.
The elder son, John,
sixth earl of Wigton, after the Revolution, attended James VII. at St.
Germains. He opposed the treaty of union in the parliament of 1706,
voting against every article; and, on the breaking out of the rebellion
of 1715, he was committed prisoner to the castle of Edinburgh, by
warrant of Major-general Williams. The court of justiciary ordained the
governor of the castle to set him at liberty 24th June 1716. In 1736 he
was appointed king’s chamberlain of Fife. He died at Edinburgh 10th
February 1744, in his 71st year, and was succeeded by his brother
Charles, seventh earl of Wigton. The latter died, unmarried, 26th May
1747, when the title became dormant, and the family estates devolved on
his niece, Lady Clementina, second daughter of the sixth earl, and wife
of Charles, tenth Lord Elphinston. Her grandson, Admiral the Hon.
Charles Elphinston Fleming, M.P. for Stirlingshire, and governor of
Greenwich Hospital, who died in 1840, inherited the family estates of
Cumbernauld and Biggar.
The title of earl of
Wigton was assumed by Charles Ross Flemming, M.D. of Dublin, claiming to
be nearest male heir, and after his death, 18th October 1769, by his
son, Hamilton Fleming, an officer in the 13th regiment of foot, but the
House of Lords, on petitions to the king being referred to them,
resolved that they had no right to it, and it is still in abeyance.
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