Flemings Hotel was established by Robert Fleming in 1851, the year of the Great Exhibition at a time when over 6 million visitors came to London to see the event and require overnight accommodation.
He was born in 1820 to William Fleming, a shoemaker from Devon. He entered private service at an early age and rose in position to become valet for the Marquis of Angelsey, working at their grand London home Uxbridge House at No. 1 Old Burlington Street in Mayfair. This was also known as No. 7 Burlington Gardens and is now the Abercrombie and Fitch store.
in 1854 he married Mary Lamb that on their marriage certificate has Robert listed as a Hotelkeeper residing at 10 Half Moon Street. The 1841 census records Mary and Robert working as junior domestic servants in the same household of the Marquis. Mary subsequently moved from Uxbridge House and is recorded in the 1851 census as Housekeeper to her brother-in-law whilst Robert had risen to the position of valet, the Marquis' personal assistant and a senior position in his household.
As live-in servants, both Robert and Mary would have saved a large proportion of their earnings. For Robert in particular, working in a senior position for a high-ranking aristocrat, this would have meant being paid a very high salary for the time. It would have been sufficient enough for him to acquire No. 10 Half Moon Street in 1851, to leave the service of the Marquis and to capitalise on the influx of visitors to the Great Exhibition.
By 1855 Robert and Mary had expanded the premises and were described as running a 'Private Hotel' at Nos. 9 and 10 Half Moon Street. Their combined resources, skills and experience made a formidable team in a business targeted at serving the aristocracy and London's gentry.
Flemings Hotel has expanded over the years and now caters to clients from all over the world. It remains true however to the same service ethos and standards originally prescribed by the founder Robert Fleming.