Thursday, 28 February 2013

(6) Abercromby of Tullibody and Airthrey, Barons Abercromby

Abercromby of Tullibody
coat of arms
Abercromby, Baron Abercromby
coat of arms
Alexander Abercromby, the second son of Sir Alexander Abercromby of Birkenbog, settled at Tullibody in Clackmannanshire, which he inherited from his cousin George Abercromby of Skeith, and also bought Menstrie Castle (Clackmannanshire) in 1719.   His son, George Abercromby (1705-1800) purchased the Brucefield (Clackmannanshire) estate in about 1758.

George had two distinguished soldiers among his sons.  The elder was Lt-Gen Sir Ralph Abercromby, who died from wounds received in the Battle of Aboukir in 1801, and whose widow was created Baroness Abercromby in his honour later the same year.  In 1827 the 2nd Baron inherited Airthrey Castle (Stirlingshire) from his uncle, General Sir Robert Abercromby, who had acquired it in 1797.[1]  It was sold by the his grandson between 1883 and 1905.  Tullibody seems to have been sold by the 4th Baron in 1906, and on the death of his brother in 1924 the title became extinct.  Tullibody House, which consisted of a main block and two wings, was burnt and demolished c.1961.  Airthrey Castle is now the University of Stirling. Menstrie Castle belongs to the National Trust for Scotland.

Sir Ralph's third son, James Abercromby, became Speaker of the House of Commons and was created Baron Dunfermline in 1839, but this title became extinct on the death of his son in 1868.  Both Lords Dunfermline lived at Colinton House in Midlothian, now the home of Merchiston Castle School, which was built to the designs of Richard Crichton for Sir William Forbes in c.1801.

Tullibody House (Clackmannanshire)
Tullibody House from an old postcard

The house sat on a magnificent site by the shore of the River Forth.  A house was built here in the 1650s by Robert Meldrum, but was rebuilt about 1710 by Alexander Abercromby (1675-1753), who also laid out fir plantations and formal gardens around it after 1725.  The house had a main block of three storeys and six bays, with a tall hipped roof, joined by curved one and a half storey links to two-storey pavilions at right angles to the entrance front.  William Stirling carried out unidentified alterations in c.1803 at a cost of around £2,109.  In the 19th century the setting of the house became industrialised, and it was demolished in 1963 as a result of railway works and a fire.

Descent: sold 1648 to Robert Meldrum; to brother, Maj. George Meldrum, who sold 1662 to William Sharp, who sold 1679 to George Abercromby (d. 1699) of Skein/Skeith (Aberdeens); to cousin, Alexander Abercromby (1675-1753); to son, George Abercromby (1705-1800); to son, Sir Ralph Abercromby, kt. (1735-1801); to widow, Mary Anne Abercromby, 1st Baroness Abercromby (d. 1821); to son, George Abercromby (1770-1843), 2nd Baron Abercromby; to son, George Ralph Abercromby (1800-52), 3rd Baron Abercromby; to son, George Ralph Campbell Abercromby (1838-1917), 4th Baron Abercromby; to brother, John Abercromby (1841-1924), 5th Baron Abercromby, who apparently sold the house before 1923; Major Hugh Carlisle Campbell Forrester DL (fl. 1939)

Menstrie Castle (Clackmannanshire)
Menstrie Castle, 2008. © John Lee.  Licenced under a Creative Commons Licence
Menstrie Castle before restoration.
A sturdy, picturesque three-storey L-plan castellated house with steep roof, crowstepped gables, dormer windows and pepperpot turrets, probably the remaining part of a full quadrangle, entered through a wide-arched gateway.  The house was burnt by the Marquess of Montrose during the Civil War, and later in the 17th century a new laird’s house (Windsor House) – now demolished – was built opposite.  After centuries of neglect and misuse, it was saved from demolition by a campaign led by the actor Moultrie Kelsall in 1960-64 and converted into flats, a museum and coffee shop.  It is a wealthy manor house rather than a defensible castle, and is now surrounded by a simple square of housing designed by W.H. Henry, 1957-60.  The castle now contains a commemoration room to the baronets of Nova Scotia administered by the NTS, in recognition of the fact that Sir William Alexander, 1st Earl of Stirling, founder of Nova Scotia, was born here.

Descent: Built c.1560 for William Alexander (d. c.1574); to Sir William Alexander, 1st Earl of Stirling (c.1576-1640); Robert Murray of Woodend (Perths), mortgagor foreclosed before 1640; burnt 1645; sold 1649 to Maj. James Holborne of Menstrie; to son, James Holborne of Menstrie; to son, Sir James Holburn of Menstrie, 1st bt. (d. 1737), who sold 1719 to Alexander Abercromby of Tullibody (1675-1753); to son, George Abercromby (1705-1800); to son, Sir Ralph Abercromby, kt. (1735-1801); to widow, Mary Anne Abercromby, 1st Baroness Abercromby (d. 1821); to son, George Abercromby (1770-1843), 2nd Baron Abercromby; to son, George Ralph Abercromby (1800-52), 3rd Baron Abercromby; to son, George Ralph Campbell Abercromby (1838-1917), 4th Baron Abercromby; to brother, John Abercromby (1841-1924), 5th Baron Abercromby; sold 1924 after his death.

Brucefield (Clackmannanshire)
A plain three storey house in the earliest classical manner introduced to Scotland by Sir William Bruce, built c.1724 for Alexander Bruce of Kennet.  The central block has a tall hipped slate roof and prominent chimneystacks and four widely-spaced windows, and to either side are lower hipped-roofed wings.  The two storey south wing was added c.1760 and the three-storey north wing in the early 19th century.  The entrance is now through a Doric porch on the west front, but was formerly at first floor level on the east.  The house was restored by James Shearer of Dunfermline in the 1930s for the 7th Lord Balfour of Burleigh.

Descent: Alexander Bruce (d. 1747); to son, Robert Bruce (1718-85), Lord Kennet, who sold c.1758 to his father-in-law, George Abercromby of Tullibody (1705-1800) who leased it to his brother James (d. 1775) and then to his son, Capt. Burnet Abercromby (d. 1792); to son, Gen. Sir Robert Abercromby (1740-1827); ??to great-nephew, Robert Bruce (1795-1864) of Kennet; to son, Sir Alexander Hugh Bruce, 6th Lord Balfour of Burleigh (1849-1921); to son, George John Gordon Bruce, 7th Lord Balfour of Burleigh (1883-1967); to son, Robert Bruce, 8th Lord Balfour of Burleigh (b. 1927)

Airthrey Castle (Stirlingshire)
Airthrey Castle.  © roger4336.  Licenced under a Creative Commons licence.

A D-shaped castle-style house, which however employs mainly Classical forms, designed by Robert Adam in 1790-91 for Robert Haldane (whose brother-in-law, Richard Oswald, had employed Adam thirty years earlier at Auchencruive).  Haldane dismissed Adam after the plans had been supplied, and redirected the money for architects’ fees to building in ashlar instead of rubble.  Haldane sold the house to Sir Robert Abercromby in 1798 when it was not quite finished, and went off to be a missionary in Bengal.  The house was enlarged, the north-facing entrance front rebuilt in a dull, loosely Baronial style and the interior extensively altered by David Thomson for Donald M. Graham in 1891.  The hall has a lavish late 19th century interior with panelling and a massive timber fireplace.  The lodges, one of which has been demolished, were designed by William Stirling for Sir Robert Abercromby in 1809. The park was landscaped by Thomas White c.1798 and by Alexander Nasymth, c.1802, and now accommodates the main Stirling University campus: the lake survives, but a late 18th century hermitage on a clifftop overlooking Airthrey Loch is now only a pile of rubble.  The house was used as a maternity hospital from 1939-69, and an incongruous nurses’ home was built extending east from the Victorian service court.  In 1966 it was acquired by the University, which has effected considerable refurbishment.

Descent: Robert Haldane; sold 1798 to Sir Robert Abercromby (1740-1827); to nephew, George Abercromby (1770-1843), 2nd Baron Abercromby; to son, George Ralph Abercromby (1800-52), 3rd Baron Abercromby; to son, George Ralph Campbell Abercromby (1838-1917), 4th Baron Abercromby, who sold 1889 to Donald M. Graham (d. 1901); to widow, Mrs. Graham and her Trustees; leased as maternity hospital 1939; sold 1946 to Stirling County Council; transferred 1966 to University of Stirling
Colinton House (Midlothian)
Colinton House in 1880

A distinguished five bay villa, built for the Edinburgh banker, Sir William Forbes of Pitsligo in 1801-06.  It is built of polished Craigleith ashlar, with a front of broad, relaxed proportions.  There is a large central porch with coupled Ionic columns, and the wide segmental fanlight is repeated in each wing beneath a plain attic panel.  Forbes bought the estate from the Foulises in 1800 and first consulted John Fraser of Colinton, who suggested the repair and extension of the existing castle.  Plans by an unknown architect in the castellated manner of Adam were accordingly produced, but at the same time Thomas Harrison, Richard Crichton, Robert Burn, John Paterson and others produced plans for a new house.  A letter of 1801 confirms that Harrison’s design formed the basis of what was built, and the bowed rear elevation resembles that of his Kennet (Clackmannanshire, 1793; dem. 1967), with the addition of a continuous balcony, suggested by one of Forbes’ many advisers.  The final drawings for the front were executed by Crichton, suggesting he may have amended the original designs.  Forbes himself managed everything and everybody.  For the house John Fraser was the mason, John Young the carpenter, William Scott the plumber, Charles Stewart the slater, John Baxter the glazier and James Bryce the painter, the work being measured by Hugh Cairncross.  Forbes died before work was completed and the house was finished by his son.  It was sold after the latter’s death to James Abercromby, Speaker of the House of Commons, who commissioned W.H. Playfair to make alterations to the interior in 1840-41; these included remodelling the staircase.  The house has been part of Merchiston Castle school since 1929, and was adapted as its science laboratory by W.J. Walker Todd, with a Venetian-windowed addition to the west.  The interior has fared badly.  The entrance hall and Ionic pilastered corridor survive, both groin-vaulted.  The staircase is a simple dog-leg, but its network balustrade has been damaged.  The house sits in parkland created by Forbes, who in 1801 obtained a plan from Matthew Stobie and recommendations from William Alexander, but who attributed the result to his own gardener, James Rintoul.

Previous owners: sold 1800 to Sir William Forbes (1739-1806), 6th bt.  of Pitsligo; to son, Sir William Forbes (1773-1828), 7th bt. of Pitsligo; sold after his death to James Abercromby (1776-1858), 1st Baron Dunfermline; to son, Ralph Abercromby (1803-68), 2nd Baron Dunfermline; to daughter, Mary Catherine Elizabeth Abercromby (d. 1908), wife of Lt-Col. John Moubray Trotter (1842-1924); sold after his death to Merchistoun Castle School.

The Abercrombys of Tullibody and Airthrey, Barons Abercromby

Abercromby, Alexander (1675-1753) of Tullibody (Clackmannans), advocate and MP.  Born in 1675, the second son of Sir Alexander Abercromby (1608-84), 1st bt. and his third wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir James Baird of Auchmeddan.  MP for Clackmannanshire 1703-07.  He married Mary, daughter of Alexander Duff of Braco, and had issue:
(1) George Abercromby (1705-1800) (q.v.)
(2) Alexander Abercromby, of Alloa, married, 1732 Rebecca, daughter of Alexander Colquhoun;
(3) Helen Abercromby, married, 1739, her cousin, Sir Robert Abercromby (c.1699-1787), 3rd bt. of Birkenbog.
(4) James Abercromby (1707-75) of Brucefield; educated at Westminster, University of Leiden, Lincolns Inn (called to bar, 1738); attorney general of South Carolina, 1731-44; member of South Carolina Assembly, 1739-45; agent in London for North Carolina and Virginia, 1745-71; MP for Clackmannanshire 1761-68; deputy auditor-general of plantations 1757-65. Lived on his brother George’s Brucefield estate (Clackmannanshire), 1757-75, and owned substantial property (nearly 7,000 acres) in South Carolina.
He inherited the Tullibody estate in Clackmannanshire from his cousin, George Abercromby of Skeith, in 1698.  He also purchased Menstrie Castle (Clackmannans) in 1719.
He died in 1753.

Abercromby, George (1705-1800) of Tullibody House, advocate.  Elder son of Alexander Abercromby of Tullibody (1675-1753) (q.v.) and his wife Mary, dau of Alexander Duff of Braco.  He married Mary, daughter of Ralph Dundas of Manour (Perths) and had issue:
(1) George Abercromby (b. 1728), baptised at Logie (Fife), 19 August 1728; perhaps died young;
(2) Sir Ralph Abercromby (1735-1801) (q.v.)
(3) Capt. Burnet Abercromby (dsp 1792) of Brucefield, Capt. in HEICS; MP for Clackmannanshire; m. [name unknown] (d. 1795) who m.2 [forename unknown] Barclay.
(4) General Sir Robert Abercromby (1740-1827), a General in the Army; commander-in-chief in India, 1793; Governor of Edinburgh Castle; MP for Clackmannanshire 1798-1802; purchased Airthrey Castle in 1798 before it was fully completed and was responsible for landscaping the park and building the lodges; died unmarried and the estate passed to his nephew, George Abercromby (1770-1843), 2nd Baron Abercromby;
(5) Alexander Abercromby (1745-95), advocate; lord of sessions as Lord Abercromby; died unmarried;
(6) Helen Abercromby, married, 1754, Robert Bruce (1718-85), Lord Kennet and had issue;
(7) Mary Abercromby, married Maj. Alexander Joass (d. 1794), Governor of Stirling, and had issue.
He inherited from his father the Tullibody House and Menstrie Castle estates, and c.1758 purchased Brucefield (Clackmannanshire).
He died 8 June 1800, aged about 95.

Maj-Gen. Sir Ralph Abercromby
Abercromby, Maj-Gen. Sir Ralph (1735-1801), kt.  He was born 25 October 1735, the eldest son of George Abercromby (1705-1800) of Tullibody and his wife Mary, dau of Ralph Dundas of Manour (Perths).  He entered the army in 1756 and was appointed Col. of the 103rd Foot in 1781 and Major-General in 1787.  In August 1795 he was Commander-in-Chief of British forces in the West Indies; in 1798 he was given command of forces in Ireland, and shortly afterwards of those in Scotland, with the governorships of Fort Augustus and Fort George.  Early in 1801 he had command of British forces in Egypt and at the famous second battle of Aboukir he received a wound of which he died shortly afterwards.  He was appointed a Knight of the Bath in 1797 and was a member of the Privy Council.  He married 17 November 1767, Mary Anne (1747-1821), second dau and co-heir of John Menzies of Ferntower, Crieff (Perths), who when an account of the triumph and death of her husband reached England, was created Baroness Abercromby in his memory, and awarded a pension of £2,000 a year for herself and the next three inheritors of the title.  They had issue:
(1) George Abercromby (1770-1843), 2nd Baron Abercromby (q.v.);
(2) Lt-Gen. Sir John Abercromby (1772-1817) GCB, a Lt-Gen. in the Army; colonel of 53rd Regiment; captured Mauritius 1809; died unmarried at Marseilles;
(3) James Abercromby (1776-1858), 1st Baron Dunfermline (q.v.);
(4) Anne Abercromby (d. 1844), married, 1795, Donald Cameron (d. 1832) of Lochiel;
(5) Catherine Abercromby (d. 1841), married, 1811, Thomas Buchanan
(6) Lt-Col. Alexander Abercromby (1784-1853), served in the Peninsular War and at Waterloo; MP for Clackmannanshire 1817; died unmarried “at his country seat in Clackmannanshire”, 27 August 1853;
(7) Mary Abercromby (d. 1825).
He inherited his father’s estates in 1800 but was killed shortly afterwards.  It is not clear what property if any he inherited from his wife’s father.
He died 28 March 1801, and was buried in the burial ground of the Commandery of the Grand Master under the walls of the castle of St. Elmo at Valetta (Malta).  He is commemorated by a monument in St. Paul’s Cathedral ordered by the House of Commons.

Abercromby, George (1770-1843), 2nd Baron Abercromby.  Born 17 October 1770, the eldest son of Maj-Gen. Sir Ralph Abercromby (1735-1801) and his wife Mary Anne, 1st Baroness Abercromby (1747-1821), daughter of John Menzies of Ferntower, Crieff (Perths).  MP for Edinburgh 1805-06, Clackmannanshire 1806-07, 1812-15; Lord Lieutenant of Stirlingshire 1837-43.  He married, 20 January 1799 at Edinburgh, Montague (1772-1837), daughter of Henry Dundas (1742-1811), 1st Viscount Melville, and had issue:
(1) George Ralph Abercromby (1800-52), 3rd Baron Abercromby (q.v.);
(2) Montague Abercromby (1807-53), married, 1831, Rt. Hon. Fox Maule (later Maule-Ramsay) (1801-74), 2nd Baron Panmure (and after her death 11th Earl of Dalhousie);
(3) Mary Anne Abercromby (1811-98), married, 1857, Col. N.R. Brown (d. 1870).
He inherited Tullibody House from his mother in 1821 and Airthrey Castle from his uncle, Sir Robert Abercromby (1740-1827) (q.v.) in 1827.
He died at Airthrey Castle 14 February 1843 and was buried at Tullibody.  He was succeeded in his title and estates by his son.

Abercromby, Col. George Ralph (1800-52), 3rd Baron Abercromby.  Born 30 May 1800, only son of George Abercromby (1770-1843), 2nd Baron Abercromby, and his wife Montague (1772-1837), dau of Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville.  MP for Clackmannan & Kinross, 1824-31, Stirlingshire 1838-41 and Clackmannanshire and Kinross-shire 1841-52; Lord Lieutenant and Sheriff-Principal of Clackmannanshire 1840-52.  Served in the Army (Major 1826; Colonel).  He married 3 April 1832, Louisa Penuel (c.1810-82), daughter of John Hay Forbes, Lord Medwyn, and had issue:
(1) Montagu Abercromby (1835-1931), m. 1856 George Frederick Boyle, 6th Earl of Glasgow (d. 1890) and had issue;
(2) George Ralph Campbell Abercromby (1838-1917), 4th Baron Abercromby (q.v.);
(3) John Abercromby (1841-1924), 5th Baron Abercromby (q.v.);
(4) Ralph Abercromby (1842-97), died unmarried.
He inherited Tullibody House and Airthrey Castle from his father in 1843.
He died at Airthrey Castle, 25 June 1852 and was buried at Tullibody.

Abercromby, George Ralph Campbell (1838-1917), 4th Baron Abercromby.  Born 23 September 1838, eldest son of Col. George Ralph Abercromby (1800-52), 3rd Baron Abercromby and his wife Louisa Penuel (d. 1882), daughter of John Hay Forbes, Lord Medwyn.  He was  a JP for Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire and DL for Stirlingshire.  He married 6 October 1858, Lady Julia Janet Georgiana Duncan (d. 1915), a lady of the bedchamber to Queen Victoria, dau of Adam, 2nd Earl of Camperdown, but had no issue.
He inherited Airthrey Castle and Tullibody House from his father in 1852, but sold the former between 1882 and 1905.  He lived at Tullibody House.
He died in London, 30 October 1917, when his title passed to his younger brother, John Abercromby (1841-1924), 5th Baron Abercromby (q.v.).

Abercromby, John (1841-1924), 5th Baron Abercromby, antiquarian.  Born 15 January 1841, second son of Col. George Ralph Abercromby (1800-52), 3rd Baron Abercromby and his wife Louisa Penuel (d. 1882), daughter of John Hay Forbes, Lord Medwyn.  Lt, Rifle Brigade.  President of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland; Hon LL.D, Edinburgh Univ.  He succeeded his brother as 5th Baron Abercromby, 30 October 1917.  He married 26 August 1876 (div. 1879) his cousin, Adele Wilhelmine Marika, daughter of Chevalier Charles von Heidenstam, Swedish Minister at the Court of Athens and had issue:
(1) Edla Louisa Montagu (b. 1877), married, 1906, Georges N. Nasos, director of the conservatory of music at Athens and officer of the Order of the Saviour, Greece.
He apparently sold Tullibody House and lived at 62 Palmerston Rd, Edinburgh in 1923.
He died 7 October 1924, when the barony of Abercromby became extinct.

The Abercrombys of Colinton, Barons Dunfermline

Abercromby, James (1776-1858), 1st Baron Dunfermline.  Born 7 November 1776, third son of Maj-Gen. Sir Ralph Abercromby (1735-1801) and his wife Mary Anne (1747-1821), 1st Baroness Abercromby, daughter of John Menzies of Ferntower, Crieff (Perths).  Called to the bar in 1800; commissioner of bankruptcy; appointed judge-avocate-general in 1827 and chief baron of Scotland, 1830; master of the mint and a member of the cabinet, 1834; speaker of the House of Commons 1835-39; created Baron Dunfermline of Dunfermline (Fife) 7 June 1839.  He married 14 June 1802, Marianne (d. 1874), dau of Egerton Leigh of West Hall, High Legh (Cheshire) and had issue:
(1) Ralph Abercromby (1803-68), 2nd Baron Dunfermline (q.v.).
He purchased Colinton House (Midlothian) after 1828 and in 1840-41 commissioned W.H. Playfair to remodel the interior.
He died 17 April 1858.

Abercromby, Ralph (1803-68), 2nd Baron Dunfermline.  Born 6 April 1803, only child of James Abercromby (1776-1858), 1st Baron Dunfermline and his wife Marianne, daughter of Egerton Leigh of West Hall, High Legh (Cheshire).  An eminent diplomat.  He married 18 September 1838 Mary Elizabeth (d. 1874), eldest dau of Gilbert Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound (1782-1859), 2nd  Earl of Minto and had issue:
(1) Mary Catherine Elizabeth Abercromby (d. 1908), married, 1876, Lt-Col. John Moubray Trotter of Colinton (Midl.) DL and had issue.
He lived at Colinton House (Midl.), which passed to his daughter and son-in-law at his death.
He died 12 July 1868, when the barony of Dunfermline became extinct.


Burke's Peerage & Baronetage, successive editions; A. Swan, Clackmannan & The Ochils: an illustrated architectural guide, 1987; J. Gifford & F.A. Walker, The buildings of Scotland: Stirling & Central Scotland, 2002;;;;;

Where are their papers?

Abercromby family of Tullibody, Barons Abercromby: household and estate papers, National Archives of Scotland, GD124/17/656-674;
Abercromby family of Colinton, Barons Dunfermline: personal papers, National Library of Scotland MSS 24725-24774

Revision and Acknowledgements

This account was first published on 28 February 2013 and was updated 3 June 2015, 22 September 2017, 13 October 2018 and 16 July 2021.

(5) Abercromby of Birkenbog and Forglen, baronets

Abercromby of Birkenbog 
Image: Stephen Plowman
A branch of the Abercrombys of Abercromby in Fife, whose direct line ended in the 17th century, acquired lands at Petmathen in Oyne (Aberdeenshire) in the 15th century, and James Abercromby purchased Birkenbog (Banffshire) in the late 16th century.  His grandson, Alexander, was created 1st baronet of Birkenbog in 1636, and the house there seems to have been rebuilt by the 2nd baronet in about 1730-40. 

A younger brother of the 1st baronet, John Abercromby, acquired Glassaugh House (Banffshire) in the mid 17th century, and Glassaugh remained the seat of this cadet branch of the family until 1781 when on the death of General James Abercromby (1706-81), his daughter carried it to the Duffs of Logie & Fetteresso (although they seem initially to have leased it back to Sir George Abercromby, 4th bt).  The house, which was rebuilt about 1770, was further enlarged for the Duffs by Archibald Simpson in 1840.  

Birkenbog seems to have remained the home of the main branch of the family until the time of Sir George Abercromby, 4th baronet (1750-1831), whose wife inherited Forglen House on the death of her brother, the 8th Lord Banff, in 1803.  Sir Robert Abercromby, 5th baronet (1784-1855) rebuilt Forglen in 1839 to the design of James Smith, and this and (after 1877) Dunlugas remained the family seats until the death of Sir Robert Alexander Abercromby, 9th baronet, in 1972. Dunlugas passed to Lady Abercromby's daughter by her first marriage, Mrs. Alexandra Stancioff, who remains the owner today.  In 2009, Forglen belonged to Mr & Mrs Russell.  The baronetcy became dormant in 2003 on the death of Sir Ian Abercromby, the 10th and last baronet, who did not inherit the Scottish estates and lived at Tynte Park, co. Wicklow, and in Spain.  

Hector Abercromby, a younger brother of the James Abercromby who acquired Birkenbog in the late 16th century, purchased a lease of Fetternear House from the Leslie family in 1627, and Fetternear descended to Francis Abercromby, Lord Glassford (1654-1703), who gave up the lease in 1690.

Birkenbog House (Banffshire)

Birkenbog House, nr Cullen (Banffshire). © Christopher Gillan. Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
There was an E-plan tower house here c.1590, of which a truncated round tower survives at the back of the present building.  This is a plain five bay two storey house of c.1730-40, patched up c.1795-1800 after a fire in 1790.  The architraved central door has a reused 1693 armorial panel above, perhaps from Glassaugh.  There is a 17th century walled garden to the rear; all is now derelict and on the buildings at risk register.  The house was abandoned by the Abercrombys after 1790; they lived first at Glassaugh and later at Forglen and Dunlugas.

Descent: James Abercromby (fl. 1578-1600), who purchased the estate; to son, Alexander Abercromby (1578-c.1645); to son, Sir Alexander Abercromby, 1st bt. (1608-84); to son, Sir James Abercromby, 2nd bt. (1668-1734); to son, Sir Robert Abercromby, 3rd bt. (c.1699-1787); to son, Sir George Abercromby, 4th bt. (1750-1831); to son, Sir Robert Abercromby, 5th bt. (1784-1855); to son, Sir George Samuel Abercromby, 6th bt. (1824-72); to son, Sir Robert John Abercromby, 7th bt. (1850-95); to son, Sir George William Abercromby, 8th bt. (1886-1964); to brother, Major Sir Robert Alexander Abercromby, 9th bt. (1895-1972)

Forglen House (Banffshire)

Forglen House from an old postcard, c.1910

Forglen House (Banffshire). © Anne Burgess. Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The site of an ancient castle, replaced by an elegant classical house of 1800 for William Ogilvy, 8th Lord Banff, and then rebuilt again in 1839-45 as a vast neo-Elizabethan house by John Smith for Sir Robert Abercromby, 5th bt., which may contain elements of both its predecessors.  The main front has an E plan and is almost symmetrical, with a central square staircase tower and an octagonal tower at the south end of the range, which contains inscriptions dated 1440 and 1577 from the old castle, built together like the great armorial panel at Huntly Castle.  The thorough-going exterior does not prepare one for the staunchly Classical interior, where the dining room has a Corinthian-columned screen.  In the grounds is a large and ornate Gothic mausoleum of 1852 or 1865 by A & W Reid of Elgin.

Descent: William Ogilvy, 8th Lord Banff (d. 1803); to sister Jane, wife of Sir George Abercromby, 4th bt. (1750-1831); to son, Sir Robert Abercromby, 5th bt. (1784-1855); to son, Sir George Samuel Abercromby, 6th bt. (1824-72); to son, Sir Robert John Abercromby, 7th bt. (1850-95); to son, Sir George Alexander Abercromby, 8th bt. (1886-1964); to brother, Sir Robert William Abercromby, 9th bt. (1895-1972); sold 1974 ... Mr & Mrs (?A.W.) Russell (fl. 1994-2009).

Dunlugas House (Banffshire)

A five bay two storey house built in 1793, probably for William Leslie, whose family became prosperous from introducing a new method of curing fish, with the previous house of c.1680, built for George Ogilvy of Dunlugas, retained as a service range at the rear.  The main block is raised on a basement with a projecting pedimented single-bay centre and a double-pilastered doorcase on the piano nobile approached by an impressive flight of steps, with two flights rising to a central platform in front of the doorway.  It has paired chimney-stacks in the gable-ends and raised quoins at the angles, suggesting that the house was originally harled.  The house is modest in scale, with three main rooms on the ground floor.  A narrow entrance hall leads through paired Ionic columns to a dog-leg ashlar main staircase with a round arched stair window and cupola.  On the front of the house are the library (originally the dining room), redecorated (perhaps by John Smith) c.1820-30 with a trompe l’oeil painted plaster ceiling, simulating carved and panelled wood, a grey marble fireplace and panelled dado; and the drawing room with a plasterwork ceiling, white marble fireplace and the walls hung with pleated grey silk by John Fowler c.1965.  At the rear is the dining room (originally library).  The house is surrounded by parkland and rich plantations.

Descent: George Ogilvy (fl. 1680) William Urquhart of Eccleston (fl. 1779); sold c.1780-90 to William Leslie (1738-1811); to nephew, Hans George Leslie (d. by 1868); to son, Capt. Hans George Leslie HEICS (b. 1826) who sold 1877 to Sir Robert John Abercromby, 7th bt. (1850-95); to son, Sir George William Abercromby, 8th bt. (1886-1964); to brother, Sir Robert Alexander Abercromby, 9th bt. (1895-1972) who was resident by 1937; to stepdaughter, (Deirdre) Alexandra Lawrence (fl. 2019), later the wife of John Stancioff.
Fetternear House (Aberdeenshire)
Fetternear House, 2009

The massive footings of the palace built by Bishop Ramsay of Aberdeen in 1226 and extended by Bishop Kynynmound in 1330 are still visible in front of the old house.  The lands remained with the bishops until 1550 when a lease, which rapidly became a gift, was granted to John Leslie, 8th Baron Balquhain.  The oldest part of the house is the three-storey tower with circular south-west angle-tower and vaulted ground floor, built by Leslie when he acquired the lands.  This house was tenanted by the Abercrombys from 1627 to 1690, and after they left Count Patrick Leslie added an extraordinarily elongated mansion in 1691-93.  It was originally a symmetrical three-storey six-bay house with circular angle-towers, and a one-bay wing was added on the west to balance the original tower.  Over the central door is an armorial panel incorporating Leslie’s arms as a County of the Holy Roman Empire, and devices proclaiming Leslie’s adherence to the Counter-Reformation.  The forecourt, with stabling, offices and side wings, was burnt down in 1745 when the factor, to whom it had been leased, was attempting to strip it bare.  The house was Gothicised by Massie in the early 19th century by raising the towers and adding corbelling and a heavy crenellated parapet.  A two-storey wing with bow was added in 1818 and a two-storey cross-wing in 1850.  The house was burnt out in 1919, and stands as an impressive ruin, with the walls and towers to full height, including the crenellations.

Lessees: Hector Abercromby (b. c.1570); to son, Alexander Abercromby (fl. 1627-56); to son, Francis Abercromby, Lord Glassford (1654-1703), who gave up the lease in 1690.

Glassaugh House (Banffshire)

Glassaugh House, c.1850s.  National Monuments Record of Scotland PA4/41/2
The estate was bought by John Abercromby in the mid 17th century and it was probably his grandson, Alexander Abercromby (1677-1729) who built the house recorded in an engraving, with a three bay centre and taller projecting pyramid-roofed bays to either sides, and detached pavilions with high hipped roofs.  The house was rebuilt in the classical style in the late 18th century, perhaps for General John Abercromby (d. 1781), who retired from the army in 1759, and then extensively remodelled in 1840 by Archibald Simpson for Arthur Duff Abercromby.  It has been a fine house: facades of crisp expensive polished ashlar, quoins, and end bays advanced as pavilion towers, a motif perhaps borrowed from the 17th century house.  The main entrance door and the first floor windows in the pavilions, have pediments.  A 16th century beehive dovecote survives in the grounds from the previous house.  The house is now a ruin, and was once used to house livestock: chickens on the second floor, pigs on the first and cows on the ground floor.

Glassaugh House, 2010.  © Scottish Civic Trust

Descent:  sold c.1650 to John Abercromby (1609-after 1677); to grandson, Alexander Abercromby (1677-1729); to son, Gen. James Abercromby (1706-81); to daughter, Jean, wife of George Morison; to daughter Mary (c.1768-1833), wife of Robert William Duff (1767-1834) of Fetteresso; to second son, Arthur Duff (who also called himself Arthur Duff Abercromby) (1797-1855); to son, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert William Duff MP (1835-95); sold in early 20th cent.

Tynte Park, Dunlavin (Wicklow)
Tynte Park, Wicklow, 2013
A restrained two storey, five bay stuccoed Classical house of c.1835 with a single-storey Greek Doric portico of granite and a four bay single-storey service range to the right.  The windows in the two outer bays are set in panels that break forward.  Inside there is an oval staircase.  The house is set in an extensive demesne.

Descent: Robert Tynte of Dunlavin (d. 1760); to son, Sir James Stratford Tynte, 1st bt. (1760-85); to daughter, Jemima Roberta Tynte (c.1785-1882), wife of Col. Joseph Pratt of Cabra Castle; to son, Joseph Pratt Tynte (1815-96) (who took name and arms of Tynte 1836); to son, Fortescue Joseph Tynte CB (1841-1907); to brother, Lt-Col. Mervyn Challoner Stephen Tynte (1846-1910); to son, Mervyn Arthur Tynte (1878-1918); to sister, Elise Geraldine Katie Tynte (1877-1963), wife of Hardress Edward Waller (d. 1932); to granddaughter, Anne Beatrix Tynte (b. 1938) (whose father took name and arms of Tynte in 1935), wife of Maj. Timothy Maximilian Irvine (later Tynte-Irvine), who sold c.1974 to Sir Ian Abercromby, 10th bt. (1925-2003)...Mr. N. & Mrs K. Bullman (fl. 2013)

The Abercrombys of Birkenbog and Forglen 

Abercromby, James (fl. 1578-1600), of Birkenbog (Banffs).  Eldest son of Alexander Abercromby (d. 1593) and his wife Margaret, daughter of William Leslie of Balquhain.  He married and had issue including:
(1) Alexander Abercromby (1578-c.1645) (q.v.).
He purchased the estate of Birkenbog (Banffs) and perhaps sold that of Petmathen in Oyne.
His date of death is unknown.

Abercromby, Alexander (1578?-c.1645), of Birkenbog (Banffs), Grand Falconer of Scotland to King Charles I.  Son of James Abercromby of Birkenbog (fl. 1578-1600).  He married, after 20 October 1604, Elizabeth Betune alias Beaton, daughter of David Betune of Melgund, and had issue:
(1) Sir Alexander Abercromby, 1st bt. of Birkenbog (1608-84) (q.v.);
(2) John Abercromby (b. c.1609) of Glasshaugh (q.v.);
(3) Walter Abercromby of Brakenhills;
(4) Lucretia Abercromby, married, 1632, George Leslie of Kincragie;
(5) Elizabeth Abercromby, married Thomas Nicholson of Petmathen in Oyne and Cluny.
He inherited his father’s lands at Birkenbog in the early 17th century.
His date of death is unknown, but occurred between 1641 and 1648.

Abercromby, Sir Alexander (1608-1684), 1st baronet of Birkenbog.  Born about 1605, the eldest son of Alexander Abercromby (d. c.1645) of Birkenbog and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of David Betune of Melgund.  He obtained (with others) a monopoly on trading between Scotland and Africa, 1636 and was MP in the Scottish Parliament for Banffshire 1640-41, 1643, 1646-47, 1648 and 1661-63.  
He was created 1st baronet of Birkenbog, 20 February 1635/6, but during the Civil War he took an active part against the King, being considered a ‘main covenanter’ and in 1645 he was present at the battle of Auldearn among the forces of Major Urry.  He married 1st, Jean, daughter of Sir Thomas Urquhart of Cromarty; 2nd, Jean, daughter of [forename unknown] Sutherland of Kinminity; and 3rd, 22 August 1668, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir James Baird of Auchmedden, and had issue:
(1,1) Alexander Abercromby, d. young;
(1.2) Christian Abercromby, married James Fraser of Tyrie;
(1.3) Marie Abercromby, married 1662 Sir George Gordon of Edinglassie and had issue;
(1.4) Violet Abercromby, married 1st, 1664, John Kinnaird and 2nd, 1670 Robert Grant of Dalveg and Dunglass and had issue;
(2.1) Agnes Abercromby (b. 1663), married Robert Bisset of Lessendrum;
(3.1) James Abercromby (1668-1734), later 2nd bt. (q.v.);
(3.2) Alexander Abercromby (1675-1753);
(3.3) Patrick Abercromby, married a daughter of Col. Sempill and had issue;
(3.4) Elizabeth Abercromby, died unmarried.
He inherited his father’s estate at Birkenbog (Banffs) in the 1640s.
He died in 1684.  His widow married 2nd, Col. Patrick Ogilvie of Lonmay and Inchmartine.

Abercromby, Sir James (1668-1734), 2nd bt. of Birkenbog.  Eldest son of Sir Alexander Abercromby (1608-84), 1st bt., and his third wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir James Baird.  MP for Banffshire in the Scottish Parliament, 1694.  He married 1690, Mary (d. 1742), daughter of Arthur Gordon of Straloch and had issue:
(1) Lt. Alexander Abercromby (b. 1692), baptised 6 December 1692 at Fordyce (Banffs); died without issue;
(2) James Abercromby (b. 1693; d. young);
(3) Robert (b. 1695, d. young);
(4) Elizabeth Abercromby (b. 1696);
(5) Lewis Abercromby (b. 1697, d. young);
(6) Mary Abercromby (b. 1698);
(7) Sir Robert Abercromby (c.1699-1787), 3rd bt. of Birkenbog (q.v.);
(8) Anne Abercromby (b. 1700) m. George Steuart, 8th of Tanachie (d. 1748);
(9) Jean Abercromby (b. 1701);
(10) Isabell Abercromby (b. 1703) m. James Dunbar of Kincorth;
(11) Grizel Abercromby married Alexander Fraser, 4th of Culduthel (1665-1736);
(12) George Abercromby (d. 1776) married 1746 in Mexico, [forename unknown] Ingleby and had issue;
(13) Arthur Abercromby HEICS (1707-61) died without issue;
(14) William Abercromby (1710-39) died without issue in Holland;
(15) John Abercromby (b. 1711), died without issue in Russia;
(16) James (b. 1713), died without issue in Russia.
He inherited his father’s estate at Birkenbog in 1684.
He died 20 September 1734

Abercromby, Sir Robert (c.1699-1787), 3rd bt. of Birkenbog.  Eldest surviving son of Sir James Abercromby (1668-1734), 2nd bt., and his wife Mary (d. 1742), daughter of Arthur Gordon of Straloch.  He married 17 July 1739 his first cousin, Helen, daughter of Alexander Abercromby (1675-1753) of Tullibody, and had issue:
(1) James Abercromby, baptised 23 November 1740, d. young;
(2) Mary Abercromby, baptised at Alloa, 1 May 1743, married 15 November 1767, William Abercromby (b. 1739), son of Gen. James Abercromby (1706-81) of Glasshaugh (q.v.);
(3) A son, d. young;
(4) Sophia Abercromby, baptised 7 November 1747;
(5) Margaret Abercromby, baptised 1 August 1749;
(6) Sir George Abercromby (1750-1831), 4th bt. of Birkenbog (q.v.);
(7) Elisabeth Abercromby, baptised 6 January 1752.
He inherited his father’s estate at Birkenbog in 1734, and probably rebuilt the house.
He died 11 March 1787, aged about 88.

Abercromby, Sir George (1750-1831), 4th bt. of Birkenbog.  Only surviving son of Sir Robert Abercromby (c.1699-1787) and his wife Helen, daughter of Alexander Abercromby of Tullibody, bapt. 7 November 1750 at Fordyce (Banffs).  He was admitted an advocate 1773, served as Sheriff of Morayshire and Nairnshire in 1783; and was appointed clerk for the admission of notars 1807.  He married 12 August 1778 at Forglen (Banffs), Jane, eldest daughter and eventual heir of Alexander Ogilvy (d. 1771), 7th Lord Banff, and had issue including:
(1) Sir Robert Abercromby (1784-1855), 5th bt. of Birkenbog (q.v.);
(2) Jane Abercromby (d. 1845), died unmarried;
(3) Helen Abercromby (d. 1859), married, 1811, William Gowan (later Mauleverer) of Arncliffe Hall (Yorks);
(4) Maria Sophia Abercromby (d. 1846), 
married, 6 September 1810 at Forglen, David Monypenny, Lord Pitmilly (1769-1850);
(5) Janet Elizabeth Abercromby (d. 1837);
(6) Charlotte Abercromby;
(7) Grace Abercromby (1790-1876), baptised 18 March 1790 at Forglen; 
married, 7 June 1823 at Forglen, Joseph Murray (1786-1876) of Ayton.
He inherited his father’s estate at Birkenbog in 1787, but the fortunes of the family were transformed when in 1803 he acquired in his wife’s right, the estates of her brother, the 8th Lord Banff, including Forglen House.  He lived at Glassaugh House until 1803 and probably thereafter at Forglen.
He died 18 July 1831, aged about 81.

Abercromby, Sir Robert (1784-1855), 5th bt. of Birkenbog.  Born 4 February 1784, the eldest son of Sir George Abercromby (1750-1831), 4th bt. of Birkenbog, and his wife Jane, daughter of Alexander Ogilvy, 7th Lord Banff; baptised 4 March 1784 at Forglen.  MP for Banff 1812-18; appointed DL of Kirkcudbrightshire and Banffshire.  He married, 22 October 1816 at Forglen, Elizabeth Stephenson (d. 1863), only daughter of Samuel Douglas of Netherlaw and had issue (with three unnamed daughters):
(1) Elizabeth Abercromby (1817-93) married, 1843, Major William Munro of Craiglockhart (Midlothian) and had issue;  
(2) Jane Abercromby (1819-44) married, 1843, Sir James Colquhoun bt (1804-73);  
(3) Mary Grace Abercromby (1821-87); married, 9 June 1848 at Forglen, Cosmo W. Gordon (d. 1879) of Fyvie Castle (Aberdeenshire);  
(4) Charlotte Georgina Abercromby (1822-39);  
(5) Sir George Samuel Abercromby (1824-72), 6th bt. of Birkenbog (q.v.)  
(6) Samuel Douglas Abercromby (1825-47); died without issue;  
(7) Roberta Henrietta Abercromby (1827-1901); married, 25 October 1853 at Forglen, Sir Edwin Hare Dashwood, 7th bt. (d. 1882) and had issue;  
(8) Constance Helena Abercromby (1829-72); married, 1853, James Ogilvy-Grant, 9th Earl of Seafield (1817-88);
(9) Sophia Anne Adelaide Abercromby (1831-1913); married 1st, 1854, Henry Alexander Abercromby Hamilton (div. 1863) and had issue; married 2nd, 1864, John Wilson Rimington, third son of James Rimington of Broomhead Hall (Yorks);    
(10) Robert Abercromby  (1833-54); died without issue;   
(11) Frances Emily Abercromby (1835-87) married, 1862, Sir William Forbes (later Forbes-Sempill), 17th Baron Sempill (1836-1905) and had issue  
(12) David James Abercromby (1837-1918); married, 1877, Beatrice Jane Temple (d. 1909), daughter of Rev. Henry Temple Frere and had issue; his grandson became the 10th baronet.  
He inherited his father’s estates at Glasshaugh, Forglen and Birkenbog, and rebuilt Forglen House in 1839 to the designs of James Smith.  His portait was painted by Sir Henry Raeburn.
He died 6 July 1855, aged 71.

Abercromby, Sir George Samuel (1824-72), 6th bt. of Birkenbog.  Born 22 May 1824, eldest son of Sir Robert Abercromby (1784-1855), 5th bt., and his wife Elizabeth Stephenson (d. 1863), dau of Samuel Douglas of Netherlaw.  He married 12 June 1849 at Forglen, Agnes Georgina (d. 1898), daughter of John Cavendish Browne, 3rd Baron Kilmaine (1794-1873) and had issue:
(1) Sir Robert John Abercromby (1850-95), 7th bt. of Birkenbog (q.v.);
(2) Major George Cosmo Abercromby of Forglen House (1854-1930) died unmarried;
(3) Cavendish Douglas Abercromby (1858-1941); died unmarried;
(4) Douglas Charles Abercromby (1860-1915) married, 1886, Helen Louisa Hodgson OStJ (d. 1933), daughter of William Powell Murray of Upper Norwood, and had issue;
(5) Elizabeth Agnes Abercromby (d. 1929); married, 1882, Henry Alexander Farquhar-Spottiswood (d. 1925) of Muiresk (Aberdeenshire) and had issue;
(6) Grace Amelia Abercromby (d. 1932) married, 28 December 1887, Keith William Murray, Portcullis Pursuivant of Arms (d. 1922) and had issue.
He inherited his father’s estate at Forglen House (Banffs) in 1855.
He died 15 November 1872, aged 48.

Abercromby, Sir Robert John (1850-95), 7th bt. of Birkenbog.  Born 14 June 1850, eldest son of Sir George Samuel Abercromby (1824-72), 6th bt., and his wife Agnes Georgina, dau of John Cavendish Browne, 3rd Baron Kilmaine.  Educated at Eton.  He was appointed DL for Banffshire and Aberdeenshire and served as Vice-Lord Lieutenant of Banffshire.  He married, 26 June 1883, Florence Anita Eyre CBE (1860-1946), daughter of Eyre Coote and had issue:
(1) Sir George William Abercromby (1886-1964), 8th bt. of Birkenbog (q.v.);
(2) Sir Robert Alexander Abercromby (1895-1972), 9th bt. of Birkenbog (q.v.);
(3) Nina Abercromby (1885-1933); married, 1910, Capt. Horace Leonard Kemble (d. 1966), only son of Major Horace Kemble of Knock, Skye;
(4) Myrtle Vere Abercromby (1890-1920); married, 1913 Reginald Henry Macaulay Abel Smith of Goldings (Herts) but died without issue,
He inherited his father’s estate at Forglen House in 1872 and purchased the adjoining Dunlugas House estate from the Leslie family in 1877.
He died 24 July 1895, aged 45.  His will was proved at £127,653.  His widow married 2nd, 18 June 1899, Francis George Baring (1850-1929), 3rd Earl ofNorthbrook but had no further issue; she 
died at Abbots Worthy (Hants), 4 December 1946; her will was proved 3 February 1947 (estate £179,122).

Abercromby, Col. Sir George William (1886-1964), 8th bt. of Birkenbog.  Born 18 March 1886, eldest son of Sir Robert John Abercromby (1850-95), 7th bt., and his wife Florence Anita Eyre (d. 1946), daughter of Eyre Coote.  Educated at Eton.  Served in Scots Guards from 1905 (2nd Lt., 1906; Lt.1909; Capt. 1914; Lt-Col commanding Black Watch 1916-18); ADC to Commander-in-Chief, Ireland 1910-12; DSO 1917; Hon. Col., 6th bttn, Gordon Highlanders 1931-44.  Appointed JP for Banffshire and DL 1928; Lord Lieutenant of Banffshire 1946-64.  He married 17 January 1935 Eleanor, daughter of Sir Arthur Robert Anderson of Roffey Place, Horsham (Sussex), but had no issue.
He inherited the Forglen House and Dunlugas House estates from his father in 1895, but Forglen was occupied by his uncle until 1930.
He died 9 September 1964, when his estate and title passed to his brother, Sir Robert Alexander Abercromby (1895-1972), 9th bt.

Abercromby, Sir Robert Alexander (1895-1972), 9th bt. of Birkenbog.  Born posthumously, 15 August 1895, the second son of Sir Robert John Abercromby (1850-95), 7th bt. of Birkenbog.  Educated at Eton and RMC, Sandhurst.  Major, Scots Guards (ret. 1933); served WW1 and WW2; Vice-Lieutenant of Banffshire 1965.  He succeeded his brother, Sir George William Abercromby (1886-1964), 8th bt. in 1964.  He married 1st, 12 June 1923, Diamond (d. 1927), daughter of Charles Hardinge, 1st Baron Hardinge of Penshurst; 2nd, 31 October 1929, Pamela (d. 1944), daughter of John Chadwick Lomax; and 3rd, 20 February 1951, Elizabeth (d. 1971), daughter of Maj. William James Corcoran of Meath and formerly the wife of Walter Woollard Lawrence, but had no issue.
He inherited the Forglen House and Dunlugas House estates from his brother in 1964. Lived at Dunlugas House in 1937 and 1959. After his death, Dunlugas passed to the daughter of his third wife's first marriage, (Deirdre) Alexandra Lawrence, later Mrs. John Stancioff.
He died 19 October 1972, when the title passed to a distant cousin, Sir Ian George Abercromby (1925-2003), 10th bt., descendant of the 5th baronet. 

Abercromby, Sir Ian George (1925-2003), 10th bt. of Birkenbog.  Born 30 June 1925, only son of Robert Ogilvie Abercromby (1881-1964) (q.v.) and his first wife, Gladys Vivian (d. 1931), daughter of Henry Willock Boileau.  Educated at Lancing and Bloxham.  He married 1st, 24 June 1950 (div. 1957), Joyce Beryl, daughter of Leonard Griffiths of Sheraton House, Spencers Wood (Berks); 2nd, 17 July 1959 (div.) Fanny Mary Udale (d. 2002), daughter of Dr Graham Udale-Smith of Tenereife, Spain; and 3rd, 1976, Diana Marjorie (d. 2000), daughter of Horace Geoffrey Cockell of Dotton House, Oxley Wood (Herts) and widow of Capt. Ian Charles Palliser Galloway of Blervie (Morays), and had issue:
(1.1) Maria Amelia Abercromby (b. 1955), married, 1988, Wellesley Theodore Octavius Wallace, son of Dr. Caleb Paul Wallace and had issue, two daughters.
He did not inherit the family estates but lived at Tynte Park (Wicklow) and in Malaga (Spain).
He died 16 May 2003, when the baronetcy became dormant.

The Abercrombys of Fetternear

Abercromby, Hector (b. c.1570; fl. 1627), of Westhalls and Fetternear (Aberdeens).  Younger son of Alexander Abercromby (d. 1593) and his wife Margaret, daughter of William Leslie of Balquhain.  He married Jean, daughter of John Seton of Newark and had issue:
(1) Alexander Abercromby of Fetternear (fl. 1627-56) (q.v.).
He leased Fetternear from 1627 onwards.
His date of death is unknown.

Abercromby, Alexander (fl. 1627-56), of Fetternear (Aberdeens).  Son of Hector Abercromby of Westhalls and Fetternear (fl. c.1630) and his wife Jean, daughter of John Seton of Newark.  He also married a Jean, daughter of John Seton of Newark [check] and had issue:
(1) Francis Abercromby of Fetternear, Lord Glasford (1654-1703) (q.v.);
(2) John Abercromby of Afforsque;
(3) Dr Patrick Abercromby (1656-c.1716), physician and author; born at Forfar (Angus); educated at St. Andrews Univ (MD 1685); practised as a physician in Edinburgh; physician to King James II, 1685-88; Jacobite pamphleteer.
He succeeded his father in the lease of the Fetternear estate from 1627.
His date of death is unknown.

Abercromby, Francis (1654-1703), Lord Glasford.  Eldest son of Alexander Abercromby (fl. 1627-56) of Fetternear and his wife Jean, dau of John Seton of Newark.  Created Lord Glasford as a life peerage, 5 July 1685.  He married 1st, after 9 August 1675, Anne (d. 1695), daughter of Robert Sempill, 7th Baron Sempill and later 9th Baroness Sempill in her own right (q.v.), and 2nd, 27 March 1699, Christabella (née Tyrrell) (c.1655-1710), widow of Sir Giles Eyre (q.v.), and had issue including:
(1) Francis Sempill, 10th Lord Sempill (b. c.1685);
(2) John Sempill, 11th Lord Sempill (d. 1727);
(3) Hugh Sempill, 12th Lord Sempill (b. c.1688);
(4) Capt. Robert Sempill;
(5) Alexander Sempill, d. young;
(6) Jean Sempill (d. 1743).
He inherited his father’s estate at Fetternear (Aberdeens), but gave up the lease in 1690.
He died in the Fleet prison, London, where he had been confined for debt for four years, 23 November 1703, aged 49, and was buried at St Bride’s, Fleet St., 23 November 1703.

The Abercrombys of Glassaugh

Abercromby, John (c.1609-91) of Glassaugh (Banffs).  Second son of Alexander Abercromby (d. c.1645) (q.v.) and his wife, Elizabeth Betune alias Beaton, daughter of David Betune of Melgund.  He married Katherine, daughter of James Gordon the younger of Lesmure Castle, and had issue:
(1) Alexander Abercromby (d. 1690) (q.v.);
(2) Marion Abercromby (fl. 1691); married John Reid of Barra and had issue;
(3) Elizabeth Abercromby; married John Gordon of Tilphoudie;
(4) Anne Abercromby; married Adam Duff of Drummuir;
(5) Helen Abercromby; married Colin Campbell of Lundie.
He acquired the Glassaugh estate in the mid 17th century.  It passed on his death to his grandson, Alexander Abercromby (1677-1729)
He died early in 1691.

Abercromby, Alexander (d. 1690). Son of John Abercromby (b. c.1609) of Glassaugh. He married, 22 July 1675 at Dyke (Morays), Katherine (b. 1655), eldest daughter of Sir Robert Dunbar, 3rd Laird of Grangehill House and widow of Charles Gordon (1631-74), a younger son of Sir Robert Gordon, 1st Baronet of Gordonstoun, and had issue three sons and five daughters, including:
(1) Alexander Abercromby (1677-1728) (q.v.);
(2) James Abercromby;
(3) George Abercromby;
(4) Grizel Abercromby; married Malcolm Fraser of Culdathill;
(5) Elizabeth Abercromby; married William Baird of Auchmeddan.
He died in 1690. His widow married 3rd, James Ogilvie of Badintoul (fl. 1707), by whom she had two further daughters.

Abercromby, Alexander (1677-1728) of Glassaugh.  Son of Alexander Abercromby (d. 1690) of Glassaugh and his wife Katherine, eldest daughter of Sir Robert Dunbar of Grangehill House and widow of Charles Gordon.  An officer in the Army (Lt., 1706; Capt., 1707; Lt. Col. on half pay, 1721).  MP for Banffshire in the Scottish Parliament, 1706-07 and at Westminster, 1707-27. In 1720 he was in financial difficulties owing to speculations in the Mississippi and the South Sea companies. He married, c.1703, Helen, daughter and co-heir of John Meldrum of Crombie and Laithers, and had issue:
(1) Jean Abercromby (b. 1704), baptised at Fordyce, 8 September 1704; married, 1 September 1729 at Fordyce, George Joass (1707-55) of Colleonard, son of John Joass of Colleonard;
(2) Ann Abercromby (b. 1705), baptised at Fordyce, 31 August 1705; probably died young; 
(3) Gen. James Abercromby (1706-81) (q.v.)
(4) Katherine Abercromby (b. 1708), baptised at Fordyce, 9 May 1708; married, 26 November 1729, Alexander Innes 
(1701-61) of Rosieburn House, Provost of Banff, and had issue two daughters;
(5) Isabel Abercromby (b. 1710), baptised at Fordyce, 11 August 1710; died unmarried;
(6) Helen Abercromby (1712-81), baptised at Fordyce, 12 November 1712; married, 17 June 1732 at Fordyce, James Duff of Craigston; died 3 April 1781;
(7) Alexander Abercromby (b. 1721), baptised 4 May 1721 at Fordyce (Banffs).
He inherited Glassaugh House (Banffs) from his grandfather and was probably responsible for remodelling or rebuilding the house there.
He died 23 December 1728.

Abercromby, General James (1706-81) of Glassaugh.  Only son of Alexander Abercromby (1677-1728) and his wife Helen (née Meldrum); baptised at Fordyce, 15 October 1706.  
MP for Banffshire 1734-54; entered army as Major, 1742 (promoted Colonel, 1746; Major-General, 1756; Lt-General, 1759; General, 1772); Commander in Chief of British Forces in America 1758-59, where he led the disastrous assault on Fort Carillon with the loss of 2,000 men; recalled, 1759.  He married, 30 November 1731 at Fordyce (Banffs), Mary Duff (b. 1714), daughter of William Duff of Dipple and had issue: 
(1) Capt. Alexander Abercromby (1735-56), baptised 5 July 1736 at Fordyce (Banffs); died without issue;
(2) William Abercromby (b. 1739), married, 15 November 1767, Mary, daughter of Sir Robert Abercromby (d. 1787), 3rd bt. of Birkenbog (q.v.), but had no issue; 
(3) Col. James Abercromby (1740-1800); married Charlotte Gordon but had no issue;
(4) Rt. Rev. Thomas St. Clair Abercromby; died without issue;
(5) Jean Abercromby of Glassaugh, married 1st, George Morison of Haddo and had issue one daughter; married 2nd, 1781, Vice-Admiral Robert Duff of Logie & Fetteresso, Governor of Newfoundland (1721-87);
(6) Helen Abercromby (b. 1734);
(7) Mary Abercromby (1735-61);
(8) Margaret Keith Abercromby (b. 1754); died unmarried.
He inherited his father’s estate of Glassaugh in 1729, and he rebuilt the house c.1770.  At his death it passed to his daughter Jean, who carried it to the Duffs of Logie and Fetteresso.
He died 3 April 1781.


C.D. Abercromby, The family of Abercromby, 1927, passim.

Location of archives

Abercromby family of Birkenbog & Forglen, baronets: deeds, estate and family papers, 1327-19th cent. [National Records of Scotland, GD185]; 
Abercromby, General James (1706-81): corresp and papers [Huntington Library, no ref.], corresp as commander in chief in North America, 1755-59 [The National Archives, WO34], letterbook, 1746-73 [Library of Virginia, no ref.]

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 28 February 2013 and was revised 6 November 2014, 12 June and 14 September 2016, 2 & 14 October 2017, 3 March 2019 and 16 July 2021. I am grateful to Brad Verity for additional information about the Abercrombys of Glassaugh and to Elizabeth Still for information about Dunlugas.