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Canon Fleming  
Reverend David Fleming 1830 – 1920
Vicar of St. Mary’s Church, Coxhoe 1867 – 1920
Honorary Canon of Durham Cathedral 1916 – 1920

David Fleming was born in Old Monkton, Lanarkshire, Scotland. A member of the Royal Astronomical Society. He was awarded a BA at Glasgow University. He worked as a curate at Leeds, Grosmont and West Hartlepool.

In 1867 he was appointed vicar of Coxhoe, the living earning him £300 per year. At first he lodged in a blacksmith’s house near Coxhoe crossroads.

Blacksmiths House

At that time the village had no church building. Services were held in an old cottage and at the old Temperance Hall near Foundry Row.

St. Mary’s Church was opened in 1868 and had a capacity of 458 people.

St Marys Church

Rev. Fleming involved himself in church and community alike, helping St. Mary’s to flourish and the church school to develop.

Photographs show him attending social events at Coxhoe Hall.

Canon Fleming At An Event

Rev. Fleming remained single and employed a number of domestic servants over the years.

The 1871 Census records him as living at the Vicarage, his domestic servant at the time being Christina Seymour, aged 50 from Coniscliffe.

His sister Elizabeth Fleming is recorded as his housekeeper in 1881 and 1891.  Domestic servant in 1891 was Ellen Downs, aged 19, from Cornwall. 

Coxhoe Vicarage

Margaret Gibbons, aged 20 from Burnhope was domestic servant in 1901. Elizabeth Ayre, from Wingate was housekeeper (aged 50) at that time and also in 1911. 

In his last Will he bequeathed “a legacy of £50 and all my bed and table linen to my housekeeper Elizabeth Ayre provided she shall continue with me to my decease”. One month’s wages was bequeathed to any other servant in his service at his death.

Canon Fleming

In 1916 he was made an honorary Canon of Durham Cathedral.

Canon Fleming died on 15th December 1920 aged 90 years having spent 53 of them at St. Mary’s Parish Church.

He had asked that ‘he be buried in Coxhoe Churchyard close to the east end of the Church in front of the east window”.

In his obituary published on 24th December 1920 the Durham Advertiser described him as ‘of kindly disposition to all classes, irrespective of creed, doing many kindly actions in a quiet, reserved manner, the late Mr Fleming was greatly esteemed ’.

Images courtesy of Brian Hall

Researched by members of Coxhoe History Group

Timeline: Ancestors of Rev David Fleming .1

First Generation .5

Source Citations

Name Index

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Timeline: Ancestors of Rev David Fleming

First Generation

1. Rev David Fleming [2236], son of James Fleming [1080] and Margaret Cairns [292], was born on 4 Feb 1830 in OId Monkland, Lanarkshire, Scotland, was christened on 14 Feb 1830 in Old Monkland, Lanarkshire, Scotland, died on 15 Dec 1920 in Coxhoe, Co Durham, England1 aged 90, and was buried on 20 Dec 1920 in St Mary's Parish church, Coxhoe, Co Durham.1

Noted events in his life were:

• He appeared on the Scottish census on 6 Jun 1841 in Drumpellier Gate, Old Monkland, Lanarkshire.2
Widow Fleming, 40, (Dressmaker) B: Lanarkshire, Scotland
John Fleming, 15, B: Lanarkshire, Scotland
Jas Fleming, 15, (Ap Mason), B: Lanarkshire, Scotland
David Fleming, 10, B: Lanarkshire, Scotland
Crawford Fleming, 5, B: Lanarkshire, Scotland

• He appeared on the Scottish census on 30 Mar 1851 in N 201 Thistle St, Gorbals, Lanarkshire, Scotland.
David Fleming, Lodger, 21, (Sogical Student Glasgow College) B: Old Monkland [Home of Matthew Connell.]

• He appeared on the English census on 7 Apr 1861 in Eskdaleside, Yorkshire, England.3
David Fleming, Head, Unmar, 31, (B.A. Lic Curate of Grosmont) B: Scotland

• Testimonial: Revd.
D. Flemming's Testimonial., 8 May 1867.4 To the Right Reverend Charles Lord Bishop of Durham.

We whose names are here under written testify & make known that David Fleming, Clerk, bachelor of arts of Glasgow University nominated to serve the cure of Coxhoe in the County of Durham hath been personally known to us for the space of these years last past; that we have had opportunities of observing his conduct; that during the whole of that time we verily believe that he lived piously soberly and honestly, nor have we at any time heard any thing to the contrary thereof; not hath he at any time, as far as we know or believe, held, written, or taught any thing contrary to the doctrine or discipline or the United Church of England and Ireland; and moreover we believe him in our consciences to be as to his moral conduct, a person worthy to be admitted to benefice.

 In witness whereof we have hereunder sign our hand this 8th day May in this year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred & sixty seven.

JG Rowe MA Vicar of Berwick Upon Tweed
John Lawson MA Incumbent of Seaton Carew
Henry B Tristram MA Vicar of Greatham

 • He appeared on the English census on 2 Apr 1871 in Vicarage, Comforth, Co Durham, England.5
David Fleming, Head, Unmar,41, (Vicar of Coxhoe), B: Scotland

• He appeared on the English census on 3 Apr 1881 in Black Gate Coxhoe Vicarager, Cornforth, Durham.6
David Fleming, Head, 51, (Vicar of Coxhoe), B: Scotland
Elizabeth Fleming, 53, (Housekeeper) B: Scotland
Elizabeth A Rainshaw, Serv, 17 (Gen Serv)

• Directory Listing: Kelly's directory, 1890.7 The church of St Mary, consecrated in 1868, is a building of stone, in the early decorative style, consisting of chancel and nave, south porch, and has one bell: there are 550 sittings. The register dates from the year 1868.
The living is a vicarage, yearly value £300, with residence, in the gift of the crown and the Bishop of Durham alternately, and held since 1867 by the rev. David Fleming B.A of Glasgow University, F.R.A.S.

• He appeared on the English census on 5 Apr 1891 in Vicarage, Coxhoe, Durham.8
David Fleming, Head, 61 (Clergy Vicar of Coxhoe), B: Scotland 1
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Timeline: Ancestors of Rev David Fleming

Elizabeth Fleming, Sister, 63, B: Scotland

• He appeared on the English census on 31 Mar 1901 in Vicarage, Coxhoe, Durham.9
David Fleming, Head, 71, (Clergyman, Church of England), B: Scotland
Also two servants.

• He signed a will on 17 Apr 1919 in Coxhoe, Durham, England.

THIS IS THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT of me Reverend Canon DAVID FLEMING of the Vicarage Coxhoe in the County of Durham all former Wills and Codicils are hereby cancelled I APPOINT my brother CRAWFORD MUIR FLEMING and my nephew ALEXANDER DAVIDSON FLEMING to be EXECUTORS of this my WILL I GIVE AND BEQUEATH my two telescopes my study writing desk my reading stand all my
astronomical books all my pictures and all my diagrams my photographic portfolios my plate portfolio my albums the whole of the works of Sir Walter Scott and also such other books as he may choose to select and also my harmonium unto my nephew the said Alexander Davidson Fleming I GIVE AND BEQUEATH my piano all my old china all my drawing room ornaments including the circular mirror and my mahogany chest of draws in the guests bedroom unto my niece Mrs. R.G. Murdoch (nee Mary Fleming) I GIVE AND BEQUEATH all my presentation books my presentation inkstand my silver pocket communion service and all my plated articles and cutlery to my brother Crawford Muir Fleming I GIVE a legacy of fifty pounds and all my bed and table linen to my housekeeper Elizabeth Ayre provided she shall continue with me till my decease I GIVE the legacy of one months wages to any other servant who may be in service with me at my decease AND I direct my executors to pay thereout of my estate all my debts and funeral and testamentary expenses the piece of land adjoining the Vicarage I desire my executors to dispose of it in the way they deem best and as to all the residue of my estate I leave and bequeath it to my executors to be divided between them in equal portions for their absolute use I desire and request that the Coxhoe Church yard close to the east end of the Church and in front of the East Window and that a recumbent grave stone be placed over me at the expense of my estate I DECLARE this to be my last WILL IN WITNESS whereof I have hereunto set my hand this 17th day of April 1919.

Signed by the said testator in the present of use both being present at the same time who in his presence at his request and in the presence of each other have herunto subscribed our names as witnesses.
(Sgd) Arthur Griffin, Asst. Curate, Coxhoe Parish Church. 17th April 1917.
(Sgd) Robina Tait, Widow, Coxhoe.

 [Proved in Durham 7 Jan 1921. Gross value 1315 -39 Estate Duty }

• His obituary was published on 24 Dec 1920 in Durham County Advertiser.10
Death of Canon Fleming, Coxhoe.

In our last issue we briefly recorded the death of the Rev. Canon David Fleming B.A., vicar of Coxhoe for half a century. The deceased gentleman, who was 90 years of age, was educated at the University of Glasgow, where he graduated B.A. in 1856. He was ordained deacon in 1858 and priest in the following year by the Bishop of Ripon. He was curate of St. Savior's Leeds, 1858-9, Grosmont, Yorks, 1858-63, and West Hartlepool, 1863-67. He was preferred to the Vicarage of Coxhoe in 1867. At that time the services were held in the old Temperance Hall in the village, the present parish church not having opened till the following year. Since then large C.E. Schools have been built at Coxhoe. On the death of Canon Barnet Kelloe, four years ago, Mr. Fleming was made an honorary canon of Durham Cathedral. Six years ago a new organ was placed in the parish church in celebration of his 47th year as vicar; an oak communion rail being erected on the
occasion of his jubilee. He took a keen interest in astronomy, and was a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. The late vicar was never married. Of a kindly disposition to all classes, irrespective of creed, doing many kindly actions in a quiet reserved manner, the late Mr. Fleming was greatly esteemed.

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Timeline: Ancestors of Rev David Fleming

Nonconformist Sympathy.

Sympathetic reference was made by the superintendent minister, the Rev G.R. Bell, who preached in the Primitive Methodist Church, Coxhoe, on Sunday night, to the death of the Vicar of Coxhoe, Rev Canon Fleming, and it was decided that a letter of sympathy be forwarded, on behalf of the church, to the late vicar's relatives. The congregation expressed their sympathy by standing for a short time. It was also arranged for arranged that Coun. S. Lancaster should represent the church at the funeral, in the unavoidable absence of the Rev G.R. Bell, who had to officiate at another funeral at Trimdon Grange.

 The internment took place on Monday afternoon, the remains, encased in a plain oak coffin, being laid in a grave underneath the east window of the church, close to the entrance to the churchyard. A representative company assembled at the vicarage to join the procession, which was headed at the Church of England Schools by choir and robed clergy.

 The principal mourners were Mr Crawford Fleming, brother, Major A.D. Fleming, Mrs Tait, Belgrave House, and Mrs Ayre, the Vicarage. Sidesmen, Sunday School teachers, and members of the Girls Guild also took part. "O rest in the Lord" was rendered on the organ as the procession entered the church, followed by the hymn, "Peace perfect peace."

 The Rev Canon Hawarth, South Hetton, and the Rev A.S.G. Griffen, curate, Coxhoe, officiated in the church, the lesson being read by the Rev T.H. Lomax. Psalm 90 was chanted by the choir. As the procession left the church Chopin's Funeral March was played by the organist, Mr J.G. Robinson the hymn, "The King of Love my Sheppard is, "being sung as the procession journeyed to the grave, where the committal service was simple, plain and sincere, just as the late Vicar would have wished it to be.

 Among the clergy present were the Revs Canon Howarth, South Hetton; G.A West, Easington; T.H. Lomax, D. Birney, Ferryhill; H, Blackwood, Thornley; C. Parkinson, Sherborn; A. Brown, Monk Hesledon; C. Geeson, Kelloe, representing Canon Martin, who was unable to attend owing to illness. Councillor B. Lancaster representing the Primitive Methodist Church, Coxhoe the superintendent minister Rev G.R. Bell, being
engaged at a funeral at Trimdon. Others present were the churchwardens, Mr J. Cook and Mr J. Pallister, who carried their wands of office; Messrs H Wilson, E Jamison, V. Greenwell, Miss Steel, sidesmen, Sunday School teachers and scholars, Mr John Wood, Miss Wood, Miss B Wood, Coxhoe Hall; Dr Cooper, Hutton Henry; Messrs J.J Furneis. Brandon House; J.T Mann, F.Taylor. West Comforth; W.Priest, Ferryhill; G.Carr, Comforth Lane; Councillor, J. McNally, Messrs T.S. Allison, W.H. Smith BSc., J.T. Brown, H. Cook, G. Jackson, L.T. Robinson, W. Iseton, W. Picken, M. Robinson, J. Busby, M.Wandless, R.V. Heron, Coxhoe; and others. Messrs C. Jackman, T. Heron, W. Greenwell, and A.
Jameson, Coxhoe were the bearers.

Wreaths were forwarded by: Brother and nephew; Mr and Misses Wood; Mrs Tait and family; scholars and staff, C.E Schools, church officials, church choir, and Sunday School teachers. The arrangements were carried out by Mr R Sanderson, Coxhoe.

• His obituary was published in the Royal Astronomical Society in Feb 1921.11 CANON DAVID FLEMING, who died at the age of ninety years was educated at the University of Glasgow, graduated in 1856 and taking holy orders two years later. After holding curacies in Leeds, Grosmont, and West Hartlepool, he accepted the living of Coxhoe in 1867, and held the benefice for half a century. During his vicariate the present parish church was completed and schools built. On the death of Canon Barnet a few years ago, he was appointed honourary canon of Durham Cathedral.
He took a deep interest in astronomy, and used a 5-ich reflecting telescope.
He was elected a Fellow of the Society on 1878 January 11.
• Monument Inscription: Coxhoe parish church.
Sacred To The Memory.
Rev David Fleming B.A. F.R.A.S.
Hon Cannon Of Durham Cathedral.
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Timeline: Ancestors of Rev David Fleming

Vicar Of Coxhoe From 1867 T0 1920.
Born 4 Feb 1830 - Died 15th Dec 1920.

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Source Citations

1. Obituary Rev Canon David Fleming.
2. 1841 Scottish Census, Lanarkshire, Parish: Old Monkland; ED: 24; Year: 1841. Repository: Ancestry.com.uk (UK Census Collection).
3. 1861 English Census, Yorkshire, Class: RG9; Piece: 3646; Folio: 45; Page: 14; GSU roll: 543166.
Repository: Ancestry.com. uk (UK Census Collection).
4. Durham University Archives and Special Collections, Photocopy held by myself.
5. 1871 English Census, Durham, Class: RG10; Piece: 4909; Folio: 55; Page: 2; GSU roll: 848012.
Repository: Ancestry.com. uk (UK Census Collection).
6. 1881 English Census, Durham, RG11; Piece: 4902; Folio: 50; Page: 28; Line: ; GSU roll: 1342179.
Repository: Ancestry.com. uk (UK Census Collection).
7. Historic Directories.
8. 1891 English Census, Durham, Class: RG12; Piece: 4055; Folio 154; Page 44; GSU roll: 6099165.
Repository: Ancestry.com. uk (UK Census Collection).
9. 1901 English Census, Durham, Class: RG13; Piece: 4632; Folio: 102; Page: 4. Repository: Ancestry.com.
uk (UK Census Collection).
10. Durham Records Office. Repository: Durham Records Office, County Hall , Durham, DH1 5UL.
11. The Smithsonian/NASA Astrophysics Data System. Repository: Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
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Name Index


Margaret [292], 1

David (Rev) [2236], 1
James [1080], 1

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Researched by Mrs. Jean Tennant

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