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sympathies not only of natives of Scotland, who may naturally be expected to feel deeply interested in the history of those of their countrymen whose names have added a fresh lustre to their native land; but also of all who love and admire the good and great in whatever clime and in whatever land they may have been born; and at the same time it cannot fail to be eminently useful by setting before aspiring minds brilliart examples of what has been already accomplished.

The BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF EMINENT SCOTSMEN was edited by Robert Chambers, one of the editors of Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, &c., whose writings are so well and favourably known, and was highly appreciated on its first publication; but many years having elapsed since that time, many eminent persons have been gathered to their fathers in the interval, rendering the Work now, to a certain extent, incomplete. In the New Edition now issued, the original Work has been carefully revised, some Biographies extended, others rendered more succinct and precise; and, in addition, a SUPPLEMENTARY VOLUME has been added, including notices of eminent individuals who have died since the Work was first published, together with such names as had then been omitted. The SCOTTISH BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY will thus continue to be what it has ever been, the most complete and interesting record of the Lives of Eminent Scotsmen that has issued from the Press.


The revised portion, forming what constituted the original Work, and the SUPPLEMENTARY VOLUME, will be completed in Nine Divisions, elegantly bound in cloth, at 6s. 6d. each. The whole will be illustrated with Eighty

Steel, in the first style of art; and Five

authentic Portraits, engraved on Engraved Titles, giving views of the principal Seats of learning in Scotland.



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ABERCROMBY, THE HONOURABLE ALEXANDER (Lord Abercromby), a distinguished lawyer of the latter part of the 18th century, and an elegant occasional writer, was the youngest son of George Abercromby of Tullibody, in Clackmannanshire, and brother of the celebrated Sir Ralph Abercromby. He was born on the 15th of October, 1745. While his elder brothers were destined for the army, Alexander chose the profession of the law, which was more consistent with his gentle and studious character. After going through the ordinary course of classes at the university of Edinburgh, he became, in 1766, a member of the Faculty of Advocates. He was at this early period of his life the favourite of all who knew him, not only for the uncommon handsomeness of his person, but for the extreme sweetness of his disposition. Being given to the gaieties of fashionable life, he had little relish for laborious employment; so that, for some years after his admission into the Faculty of Advocates, his splendid abilities were well-nigh obscured by indolence or frivolity. Roused at length to exertion, he engaged with ardour in all the duties of his profession, and soon became eminent for professional skill, and distinguished as a most eloquent pleader. His reputation and business rapidly increased, and soon raised him to the first rank at the Scottish bar. In May, 1792, he was appointed one of the judges of the Court of Session, when, in compliance with the custom of the Scottish judges, he adopted the title of Lord Abercromby; and, in December following, he was called to a seat in the Court of Justiciary. "In his judicial capacity he was distinguished by a profound knowledge of law, a patient attention, a clearness of discernment, and an unbiassed impartiality which excited general admiration." His literary performances and character are thus summed up by his friend, Henry Mackenzie, who, after his death, undertook the task of recording his virtues and merits for the Royal Society:-"The laborious employments of his profession did not so entirely engross him, as to preclude his indulging in the elegant amusements of polite literature. He was one of that society of gentlemen who, in 1779, set on foot the periodical paper, published at Edinburgh during that and the subsequent year, under the title of the



Mirror; and who afterwards gave to the world another work of a similar kind, the Lounger, published in 1785 and 1786. To these papers he was a very valuable contributor, being the author of ten papers in the Mirror, and nine in the Lounger. His papers are distinguished by an ease and gentlemanlike turn of expression, by a delicate and polished irony, by a strain of manly, honourable, and virtuous sentiment." Mackenzie states that they are also characterized by an unaffected tenderness, which he had displayed even in his speeches as a barrister, and adduces the following specimen :-"There is one circumstance," says Mr Abercromby, in debating whether long or short life be most desirable, "which with me is alone sufficient to decide the question. If there be anything that can compensate the unavoidable evils with which this life is attended, and the numberless calamities to which mankind are subject, it is the pleasure arising from the society of those we love and esteem. Friendship is the cordial of life. Without it, who would wish to exist an hour? But every one who arrives at extreme old age, must make his account with surviving the greater part, perhaps the whole, of his friends. He must see them fall from him by degrees, while he is left alone, single and unsupported, like a leafless trunk, exposed to every storm, and shrinking from every blast." Such was not destined to be the fate of Lord Abercromby, who, after exemplifying almost every virtue, and acting for some years in a public situation with the undivided applause of the world, was cut off by a pulmonary complaint, at Falmouth, whither he had gone for the sake of his health, on the 17th of November, 1795.

ABERCROMBY, JOHN, the author of several esteemed works on gardening, was the son of a respectable gardener near Edinburgh, where he was born about the year 1726. Having been bred by his father to his own profession, he removed to London at the early age of eighteen, and became a workman in the gardens attached to the royal palaces. Here he distinguished himself so much by his taste in laying out grounds, that he was encouraged to write upon the subject. His first work, however, in order to give it greater weight, was published under the name of a then more eminent horticulturist, Mr Mawe, gardener to the Duke of Leeds, under the title of Mawe's Gardeners' Calendar. It soon rose into notice, and still maintains its place. The editor of a recent edition of this work says, "The general principles of gardening seem to be as correctly ascertained and clearly described by this author, as by any that have succeeded him." And further, "The style of Abercromby, though somewhat inelegant, and in some instances prolix, yet appears, upon the whole, to be fully as concise, and at least as correct and intelligible, as that of some of the more modern, and less original, of his successors." Abercromby afterwards published, under his own name, The Universal Dictionary of Gardening and Botany, in 4to.; which was followed, in succession, by the Gardeners' Dictionary, the Gardeners' Daily Assistant, the Gardeners' Vade Mecum, the Kitchen Gardener and Hot-bed Forcer, the Hot-house Gardener, and numerous other works, most of which attained to popularity. Abercromby, after a useful and virtuous life, died at London in 1806, aged about eighty years.

ABERCROMBY, PATRICK, historian, was the third son of Alexander Abercromby of Fetterneir, in Aberdeenshire, a branch of the house of Birkenbog in Banffshire, which again derived its descent from Abercromby of Abercromby

1 Nos. 4, 9, 18, 45, 51, 57, 65, 68, 87, 90, 104. 2 Nos. 3, 10, 14, 23, 30, 47, 74, 81, 91.

in Fife. Francis, the eldest son of Abercromby of Fetterneir, was created Lord Glassford in 1685; but as the patent, by an extraordinary restriction, was limited to his own life only, the title did not descend to his children. Patrick Abercromby was born at Forfar in 1656, and was educated at the university of St. Andrews, where he took the degree of Doctor in Medicine in 1685. His family being eminently loyal, the young physician is said to have changed his religion, to please James VII., who consequently made him one of the physicians of the court. A proceeding so adverse to all propriety, however loyal, and accordant with the temper of the times, was speedily and severely punished; for, at the Revolution, Abercromby was deprived of his appointment. For some years after he appears to have lived abroad; but he returned to Scotland in the reign of Queen Anne, and devoted himself to the study of national antiquities. In 1707, he published a translation of M. Beauge's very rare book, L'Histoire de la Guerre d'Ecosse, 1556, under the title of, The History of the Campagnes 1548 and 1549; being an exact account of the Martial Expeditions performed in those days by the Scots and French on the one hand, and the English and their foreign auxiliaries on the other: done in French by Mons. Beauge, a French gentleman; with an introductory preface by the Translator. In the preface, the ancient alliance between Scotland and France is strenuously asserted. This curious French work, which gives a complete account of the war carried on by the Popish government of Cardinal Beatoun, aided by the French, against the English under Protector Somerset, was reprinted in the original by Mr Smythe of Methven for the Bannatyne Club, 1829, along with a preface, giving an account of Abercromby's translation. The great work of Dr Abercromby is in two volumes, folio, entitled, The Martial Achievements of the Scots Nation. He tells us in the preface, that, not venturing to write regular history or biography, he had resolved to relate the deeds of all the great men of his country, in a less ambitious strain, and with a more minute attention to small facts, than is compatible with those styles of composition. He also, with great modesty, apologises for his manner of writing, by saying, "When my reader is told that 'twas my fate to spend most part of my youth in foreign countries, to have but viewed, en passant, the south part of Britain, and to have been conversant with Roman and French, rather than with English authors, he will not expect from me those modish turns of phrase, nor that exact propriety of words, Scotsmen, by reason of their distance from the fountain of custom, so seldom attain to." The first volume of the Martial Achievements was published, in 1711, by Mr Robert Freebairn, and shows a respectable list of subscribers. About one-half of it is occupied by the early fabulous history of Scotland, in which the author, like almost all men of his time, and especially the Jacobites, was a devout believer. It closes with the end of the reign of Robert Bruce. The second volume appeared, with a still more numerous and respectable list of subscribers, in 1715; it was partly printed by Freebairn, and partly by Thomas Ruddiman, who not only corrected the manuscript, but superintended its progress through the press. This is said by Chalmers to have been the first typographical effort of Ruddiman. Abercromby's Martial Achievements is upon the whole a very creditable work for a Scottish antiquary of that period; the author is not superior to the credulity of his age and party, but he is eminently industrious, and his narrative is written in an entertaining style. The work shows a wide range of authorities, and is liberally interspersed with controversial discussions of the points most

contested by antiquaries. Dr Patrick Abercromby died poor in 1716, or, as other writers say, in 1726, leaving a widow in distressed circumstances.

ABERCROMBY, SIR RALPH, a distinguished general officer, under whom the British arms met their first success in the French revolutionary war, was the eldest son of George Abercromby of Tullibody, in Clackmannanshire, a gentleman of ancient and respectable family, and of Mary, daughter of Ralph Dundas of Manor. He was born at Menstrie, in the parish of Logie, on the 7th October, 1734. His education seems to have been regarded with more care than was usually manifested by the Scottish country gentlemen of the early and middle parts of the last century. After passing through the customary course at Rugby, he became a student, first in the university of Edinburgh, and subsequently in that of Göttingen. He entered the army, as cornet in the 3rd dragoon guards, May 23, 1756, and became a lieutenant, in the same regiment, in the year 1760; which rank he held till April, 1762, when he obtained a company in the 3rd horse. In this regiment he rose, in 1770, to the rank of major, and, in 1773, to that of lieutenant-colonel. He was included in the list of brevet colonels in 1780, and, in 1781, was made colonel of the 103rd, or king's Irish infantry, a new regiment, which was broken at the peace in 1783, when Colonel Abercromby was placed on half-pay. It may be noticed, in passing, that he represented the shire of Kinross in the British parliament from 1774 till 1780; but made no attempt to render himself conspicuous, either as a party-man or as a politician. In September, 1787, he was promoted to the rank of major-general, and next year obtained the command of the 69th foot. From this corps he was, in 1792, removed to the 6th foot; from that again to the 5th; and in November, 1796, to the 2d dragoons, or Scots Greys.

On the breaking out of the French revolutionary war, Abercromby had the local rank of lieutenant-general conferred on him, and served with distinguished honour in the campaigns of 1794 and 1795, under the Duke of York. He commanded the advanced guard in the affair of Cateau (April 16, 1794), in which Chapuy, the French general, was taken prisoner, and thirty-five pieces of cannon fell into the hands of the British. In the reverses that followed, the British army escaped entire destruction solely by the masterly manœuvres of Abercromby, who was second in command. He was wounded at Nimeguen, in the month of October following; notwithstanding which, the arduous service of conducting the retreat through Holland, in the dreadfully severe winter of 1794, was devolved wholly upon him and General Dundas. Than this retreat nothing could be conceived more calamitous. The troops did all that could be expected from them in the situation in which they were placed. Oppressed by numbers, having lost all their stores, they made good their retreat in the face of the foe, amidst the rigours of a singularly severe winter, resembling more that of the arctic circle than that of the north of Germany. For the removal of the sick, nothing could be procured but open waggons, in which they were exposed to the intense severity of the weather, to drifting snows, and heavy falls of sleet and rain. The mortality, of course, was very great. The regiments were so scattered, marching through the snow, that no returns could be made out, and both men and horses were found in great numbers frozen to

He was born in 1705, called to the bar in 1728, and died, June 8, 1800, at the advanced age of ninety-five, being the eldest member of the college of justice.

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