Royal Naval Biography/Fleeming, Charles Elphinstone

Vice-Admiral of the Blue; and a Member of the Royal Caledonian Hunt.

This officer, the second son of John, eleventh Baron Elphinstone, by Anne, daughter of James, third Lord Ruthven, was promoted to the rank of Commander in the Tisiphone sloop, on the Mediterranean station, in the spring of 1794; and, on the 7th Oct. following, posted into the Tartar, of 28 guns. He returned to England with the homeward bound trade, in 1796; and was then sent to the West Indies. The Tartar was wrecked at St. Domingo, in the spring of the following year. His next appointment was to the Diomede, of 50 guns, in which ship he served on the East India station during the remainder of the war.

On the renewal of hostilities against France, in 1803, he obtained the command of the Egyptienne, a fine frigate employed on the coast of France, where he captured l’Epervier, of 16 guns and 90 men, from Guadaloupe, bound to l’Orient with despatches; l’Acteon, of 16 guns and 126 men; and la Chiffonette privateer, of 14 guns and 80 men. He was also with Sir Robert Calder’s fleet in the action of July 22d, 1805[1].

Our officer’s subsequent appointments as a Captain were, to the Revenge, of 74 guns, in 1806; Bulwark, of the sameforce, about April, 1807; Standard, 64, in the spring of 1811; and to be a Colonel of Royal Marines, Aug. 12, 1812. His promotion to the rank of Rear-Admiral took place, Dec. 4, 1813; in the following year he succeeded the late Vice-Admiral S. H. Linzee, as Commander-in-Chief at Gibraltar; he obtained his present rank July 19, 1821.

Vice-Admiral Fleeming formerly represented the county of Stirling, during several parliaments, and voted on various important questions. His assumption of the name of Fleeming was occasioned by his succeeding, on the death of his grandmother[2], to the estates of the Wigtoun family at Cumbernauld and Biggar, in consequence of an entail executed by the late Earl in 1741; the possession of which estates was confirmed to him by a decision of the House of Lords. He is uncle, as well as presumptive heir, to the present Lord Elphinstone, who is a minor.

Residence.– Cumbernauld, Stirlingshire.

  1. See p. 290.
  2. Lady Clementina Fleeming, only child of John, Earl of Wigtoun, and mother of the present Viscount Keith.