Marjory Fleming


Biography of Marjory Fleming

Marjorie Fleming (also spelt Marjory; 15 January 1803 – 19 December 1811) was a Scottish child writer and poet.

Born in Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland on 15 January 1803, Marjorie was the third child of the Kirkaldy accountant James Fleming (died c. 1840) and his wife Isabella (née Rae), also the name of her elder sister and of her cousin and friend Miss Crauford (variously spelled). Her uncle Thomas Fleming was minister of Kirkaldy parish church. Her mother's relations were acquainted in Edinburgh with the young Walter Scott.

Marjorie spent most of her sixth, seventh and eighth years in Edinburgh under the tutelage of a cousin, Isabella Keith, who was about 17. Journal 1 begins with a somewhat startling, laconic tribute to Isabella Keith: "Many people are hanged for Highway robbery Housebreking Murder &c. &c. Isabella teaches me everything I know and I am much indebted to her she is learnen witty & sensible."

Marjorie returned to Kirkcaldy in July 1811, but wrote on 1 September in a letter to Isabella Keith, "We are surrounded with measles at present on every side..." She herself contracted measles in November and apparently recovered, but then died, of what was described as "water on the head" and is now considered to have been meningitis, on 19 December 1811. She was a month short of her ninth birthday.

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