William of Abercromby in Fife did homage to
King Edward I of England in 1626. His line became extinct in the middle of the seventeenth
century, it's place being taken by that of Abercromby of Birkenbog, Banffshire.
Alexander Abercromby was grand falconer in Scotland to King Charles I. His eldest son
Alexander, was created 1st Baronet of Birkenbog by Charles I in 1636, but he was so active
a Covenanter that, after the Battle of Auldearn in 1645, the Marquis of Montrose
retaliated by billeting himself and some of his troops at Birkenbog. Lieut-General Sir
Ralf Abercromby (1734-1801), a descendant of the Birkenbog line, was born in Menstrie,
near Tullibody. he took his troops to the Middle East, landing with them at Aboukir, and
died of wounds received while personally leading them in an attack on the French forces at
Alexandria. As a reward for her husbands bravery, his wife was created Baroness Abercromby
of Aboukir and Tullibody.
ABERCROMBIE(Y): The name comes from the Barony of Abercrombie in Fife, for which William de Abercromby swore fealty to Edward I in 1296. From William descended the Abercrombies of that Ilk, whose main line remained in Fife when a later second son of the family obtained the lands of Petmethan (Pitmeddan) in Aberdeenshire during the reign of Robert
Bruce (1306-29). The stem family held Abercrombie and Balcormo in Fife, and acquired the lands of Murthly in Perthshire about 1443. Balcormo passed to the Arnots through marriage about 1518, and Murthly was sold to the Stewarts of Grandtully c.1620, just prior the demise of the principal family. The family were supporters of the Catholic Church, one having been Abbot of Scone, while another, Robert, a militant Jesuit father, escaped capture following the Battle of Glenlivet in 1594 and escaped abroad. The demise of the Fife line was hastened by the denouncement of Thomas Abercrombie for murder in 1626, and during his exile in Ireland his lands passed to Gibb of Knock, a relative by marriage. Other Abercrombies were settled at Throsk near Stirling by 1456; at Gourdie, near Dundee by 1558, and in West Lothian by 1604, but the most unruly tribe settled at Pitelpie, near Scone, Perthshire,and frequently appear in 16th century records denounced as 'rebels'. Tradition relates a curious burial practice amongst the Abercrombies of that
Ilk: On the death of a Laird his predecessor's skull was removed from the grave and stored in a niche in the church where 19 skulls were reputedly in situ by the 18th century. The Pitmeddan line's fortunes rose while their kinsmen's declined, for in addition to the establishment of numerous Houses at Fetternear, Glassaugh and elsewhere, Alexander, 12th of Pitmeddan was created 'Grand Falconer' by James VI, and his son became 1st Baronet of Birkenbog (1636). Some Abercrombies appear in Scots Guards Lists in France as "Abre
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