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Sir John Abercromby
Born (1772-04-02)April 2, 1772
Died February 14, 1817(1817-02-14) (aged 44)
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Rank Lieutenant-General
Commands held Bombay Army
Madras Army
Battles/wars Napoleonic Wars
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath

Lieutenant-General Sir John Abercromby or Abercrombie GCB (2 April 1772 – 14 February 1817) was a British Army officer.

Military career

The second son of Sir Ralph Abercromby, Abercromby entered the army in 1782 as a cornet in the 4th Dragoons,[1] transferring in 1786 as an ensign in the 75th Highland Regiment.[2] He gained promotion to lieutenant in 1787, and to captain in 1792.[2] He subsequently served as an ADC to his father during campaigns in Flanders (1793–1794), the West Indies (1796–1797), Ireland (1798) and against the Batavian Republic (1799).[2] Promoted to colonel in 1800, he left his father's staff, but became deputy adjutant general and served under General Hutchinson in the force led by his father to Egypt (1801). His father died in battle at Alexandria; but John continued to render admirable service, for which General Hutchinson commended him.[2]

When war broke out anew in 1803 the French detained Abercromby while travelling in France and imprisoned him at Verdun for the next five years.[2] During his captivity he received promotion to major-general in 1805 and the appointment as colonel of the 53rd Regiment of Foot in 1807. Exchanged in 1808 for General Brenier, he became Commander-in-Chief of the Bombay Army in 1809.[2] From there he led the forces that captured Mauritius in 1810,[3] returning to Bombay in 1811. In 1813 he transferred to become Commander-in-Chief of the Madras Army and temporary Governor of Madras, with promotion to lieutenant-general.[2] The Indian climate had broken his health, however, and he had to return to Britain at the end of 1813, where he received the KCB.[2] He became GCB in 1815, and succeeded his elder brother George as MP for Clackmannanshire. However, his worsening health drove him to the Continent, and he died in Marseilles in 1817.[2]


  1. R. G. Thorne, ABERCROMBY, Sir John (1772-1817), of Tullibody, Clackmannan. in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, 1986.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  3. Chambers Biographical Dictionary, ISBN 0-550-18022-2, page 4

External links

Military offices
Preceded by
Oliver Nicolls
C-in-C, Bombay Army
Succeeded by
Sir Miles Nightingall
Preceded by
Sir Samuel Auchmuty
C-in-C, Madras Army
Succeeded by
Sir Thomas Hislop
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
George Abercromby
Member of Parliament for Clackmannanshire
Succeeded by
Alexander Abercromby

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