Sir Ralph Abercromby

1734 - 1801

General. Born in the Clackmannanshire village of Menstrie, the son of an Advocate, Abercromby was educated at Rugby School (England). He studied law at Leipzig and Edinburgh before becoming the Member of Parliament for Clackmannan (1774-80), but opposed the American War and thus lost favour. Abercromby served in the Seven Years' War and retired from military service to live in Edinburgh, however the outbreak of hostilities with France brought his recall. He distinguished himself in Flanders and served as Commander-in-Chief in the West Indies. By 1795, he was regarded as the greatest general of the time in Britain. In 1801 he was in command of an expeditionary force in the Mediterranean that defeated the French after a successful landing at Aboukir Bay, where the General was killed. His wife, Mary, was created Baroness Abercromby of Aboukir and Tullibody, in tribute to him, and Abercromby Place in Edinburgh's New Town is named after him. His son, James (1776 - 1858), became the first Baron Abercromby of Dunfermline, and his brother, Robert (1740 - 1827) was also a General.

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