He was educated at Eton and King's College, Cambridge. Upon his ordination he was appointed chaplain to Dr Wright Bishop of Lichfield. He became vicar of Prees, Shropshire and a Prebendary of Eccleshall.
Fleetwood was a committed Royalist and served as chaplain in the King's Army during the Civil War. In 1642 he was awarded a Doctorate of Divinity by King Charles in recognition of his services at the Battle of Edge Hill, and in the same year was appointed Rector of Sutton Coldfield and chaplain to Charles, Prince of Wales.
At the end of the Civil War he was ejected from the living of Sutton Coldfield but on the Restoration he was appointed as chaplain to Charles II and Provost of King's College, Cambridge. He was later Rector of Anstey, Hertfordshire and of Denham, Buckinghamshire and in 1675 was appointed Bishop of Worcester.
He died in 1683 and was buried in Worcester Cathedral.
- A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Extinct and Dormant Baronetcies of England, Ireland and Scotland 2nd Ed (1844) John and John Bernard Burke p200 Google Books. Brief biography of James Fleetwood.
| Provost of King's College, Cambridge
|Church of England titles|
| Bishop of Worcester