Sir Thomas Fleming - Encyclopedia




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SIR THOMAS FLEMING (1544-1613), English judge, was born at Newport, Isle of Wight, in April 1544, and was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1574. He represented Winchester in parliament from 1584 to 1601, when he was returned for Southampton. In 1594 he was appointed recorder of London, and in 15 9 5 was chosen solicitor-general in preference to Bacon. This office he retained under James I. and was knighted in 1603. In 1604 he was created chief baron of the exchequer and presided over many important state trials. In 1607 he was promoted to the chief justiceship of the king's bench, and was one of the judges at the trial of the post-nati in 1608, siding with the majority of the judges in declaring that persons born in Scotland after the accession of James I. were entitled to the privileges of natural-born subjects in England. He was praised by his contemporaries, more particularly Coke, for his "great judgments, integrity and discretion." He died on the 7th of August 1613 at his seat, Stoneham Park, Hampshire.

See Foss, Lives of the Judges.

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