The Family of Fleming

It is a “brave step” from the hill of Slane in County Meath to Anticur, near Dunloy in County Antrim, but those two places are linked in an interesting way in the history of the family of Fleming, Barons of Slane. As would seem obvious, the word “Fleming” denotes an inhabitant of Flanders and it is thought that the family came to Ireland at the time of the Norman invasion. In 1175, Richard Le Fleming built a castle at the western end of Slane hill and, three generations later, Simon Fleming was created Baron of Slane.

Lord Slane died at Fleming Hall in 1726. He was buried with the Earls of Antrim in the MacDonnell family vault in Bun-na-Margy friary at Ballycastle. He had no male issue, his only child being a daughter, Helen, who resided in Paris and died there unmarried on 7 August 1748. It was a nephew of Christopher who assumed the title as 23rd Baron Slane. He was William Fleming, son of Thomas Fleming of Gillanstown in County Meath and he took up residence in Fleming Hall, Anticur. William had a son Christopher, who became 24th Baron Slane and lived his entire life at Fleming Hall. He was the last Lord Slane and died at Anticur in 1771. His only child was a daughter, who married Felix O’Connor from County Donegal. After the death of her father and husband, Mrs O’Connor sold Fleming Hall and moved to Craigs, Finvoy, and later to America. The house and farm were purchased by the Leslies who sold it in 1847 to the Richards, from whom it came into the possession of the Wallace family, who still reside there today. The lovely old house still reminds us, by its name, of the illustrious family who once inhabited it and of a period in Irish history long since forgotten.

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