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The Scottish Nation

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 Charles II.

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 1665.

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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