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Significant Scots
Abercromby, John


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.

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