Thursday, 28 February 2013

(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.


  1. Thank you, very useful

  2. General James abercromby born 1706 died 1781 stirlinshire married Kathrine thompson 1728
    issue ruben 1730 thomas 1731 Isabela 1733 Hugh 1734 " John Joseph 1736 mary 1737 Rebecca 1738 James 1740 alexander 1741 died 1756 in service of his father charles 1742 Chrystie 1746 Isaac 1748 2nd marriage to Hanna piccard had Corville 1752

    1. Thanks for this comment. Unfortunately I cannot verify this information, which appears to be in conflict with the accepted version above. I will undertake some further checks and reply again if I am able to confirm any of these facts.

    2. As I suspected, there appears to be some confusion between people called James Abercrombie with American connections. Although no doubt related to this family, I think the connections were more distant than you suggest: the account at this address provides a fairly circumstantial narrative:

  3. General James Alexander " abercrombie" born 1706 died 1781 is my 7th great grandparent his "James A -John J and James S born in scotland - son John Joseph Abercrombie born 1736 died 1816 hickory tavern lauren county south carolina
    he is my 6th great grand ( his son James samuel abercrombie born 1765 died 1825 in Hall county Georgia he married Mary ann Beck a cherokee Indian my 5th great grand{ his daughter Barbara Allen Abercrombie Born 1788 married John Stringer my 4th great grand {their daughter Elizabeth Stringer born 1814 married John randolph Westbrook born 1815 my 2nd great {their son Janes Madison Westbrook born 1849 died 1899 Married Georgia ann Mccraw my great grand parent {their daughter Avery Rilles Westbrook born 1881 died 1946 "my grand mother" who married 1901 John paul Richey born 1877 their son James cliford Richey born 1907 died 1980 is my Father. me Shirley Richey born 1936 who married w.w jones Jr 1956. all born in Georgia.

    1. kwwnana2016@gmail.com14 November 2017 at 20:59

      This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    2. My mother, Irene Abercrombie, is 3xGreat Granddaughter of James and Mary Ann(Beck)Abercrombie. Her 2xgreat grandparents were Young David and Susannah(Montgomery)Abercrombie. Her Great grandparents were: Young Samuel and Lucy(Brayhill) Abercrombie. Grandparents were: Young Andrew and Esther(Easter)(Stallcup) Abercrombie. Her parents were: Benjamin 'Harry'and Laura Grace (Thomas) Abercrombie. My mother will be 92 years old this month of November. We have been researching her ancestry for awhile now. We are having difficulty tho in finding vital records dating back to 1750-1890 in Georgia, South Carolina and Arkansas.,due to courthouses destroyed by fires or by war. If anyone has any information that would help us, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you and God bless!!!

  4. impressed a good read , I am very interested in Kennet house Clackmannanshire, which when I try to retrieve any images , they are not to be found , the only item or building left of this wonderful house is the walled garden, thanks for the read :-)

  5. Is there any info connecting Lord Banff to Ann Ogilvie who lived at 3 and or 5 High St. Banff and married John Clayton?

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. There is a substantial collection of Abercromby papers at Aberdeenshire Museums Service Discovery Centre in Mintlaw, covering Birkenbog, Forglen, Fordyce, Castle Douglas in Kirkcudbright and Fermoy Estate in Ireland. Contact me for further details and access to the collection on 01771 622807 or

  8. I am finding it difficult to place the William Dundas and Elizabeth Abercrombie into their family trees and I wonder if you could help. I have a lot of Creighton and Dundas surnames in my tree so I try to follow the lines a bit. Any help would be appreciated.

    Dundas Painbl6. (1697. 19 Sept.) Guillaume Dondasse, f. Guillaume
    D. et d'Eliz. Abercromby Margueritte Painble, ff.
    deffunct Louis P. et de Judith Dole..
    W.W. Elizabeth Dondasse, mere de 1'espoux. Jacques Hunter.
    Alexander Cheton. Elizabeth Dondasse, soeur de 1'epouse.
    S.S. Gilliam Dundass. Elizabet Dondasse. Elizabeth
    Abercromby. James Hunter. Alexandre Crichton. Fra^ois

    1. I am afraid I can't help. I have checked the Red Book of Scotland and no such Dundas/Abercrombie marriage seems to be recorded there.

  9. Patrick Kinninmonth of Craighall married Elizabeth Abercrombie and they had a son David c1559.

    Elizabeth must have been born into a landed family but I cannot link her into any Abercrombie tree.

    Does anyone know where she fits in?


  10. Looking for any connection between ann ogilvie who married Dr.John Clayton in banff scotland; also mary abercrombie adam was related, born 1806, said to be illegit daughter of Lord Huntly and she married into the thomas adam family.

  11. Not sure if this is helpfull, but...

    My Grandmother was an Abercromby. I have records going back to...

    > Hugh Abercromby (1791-1861) who married Elizabeth Rae (McIlrae on cert) in 1818.
    > John Abercromby (1833_??) who was married twice and had 14 children between 1855 and 1878 - m1 Elizabeth Reid in 1854 and Catherine Walker in 1858.
    > Hugh Abercromby - the eldest child of 14 by John Abercromby (1855-1928) who married Rose Ann Kean in 1880.
    > and my Granny, Margaret Johnstone Abercromby (1887-1967).

    If any of this fits in anywhere with your family tree and you can shed light as to any possible ancestors of mine, even further back than I currently have, I would love to hear from you.


  12. I would love to make the right corrections to my family tree I have gotten all the way to the 1500’s following up the Abercrombie line starting at my great grandfather James O. Abercrombie going as followed.
    George Abercrombie 1512- unknown
    George Abercrombie 1522 - 1541
    Alexander Abercrombie unknown - 1587
    Alexander Abercrombie 1539- 1593
    James b. Alexander Abercrombie 1557- 1593
    Sir Alexander Abercrombie 1578 - 1667
    Sir Alexander Abercrombie 1st baronet 1603-1684
    James Alexander Abercrombie 1658-1734
    James Abercrombie 1708-1776
    Dr. John Abercrombie 1736-1816
    William Abercrombie sr. 1765- 1855
    William J. Abercrombie jr. 1804-1885
    Samual Jefferson Abercrombie 1848-1904
    Benjamin Maynard Abercrombie 1877-1950
    Carl Edward Abercrombie 1910-1965
    James O. Abercrombie 1928- 2014

  13. I would love the input on my family tree I have most children and parents of Abercrombie all the way up to the 1500’s my great grandfather was an Abercrombie and my dna results show heavily in Scotland, Ireland , and England I believe it could help with the post.


Please leave a comment if you have any additional information or corrections to offer, or if you are able to help with additional images of the people or buildings in this post.