Statues and Monuments: Sir Ralph Abercromby

Posted: November 10, 2015 in History, London, UK
Tags: , ,

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Ralph Abercromby was born in Scotland in 1734, He was educated at Rugby and University of Edinburgh, before going to Leipzig to study law. On his return however he decided to join the army and was commisioned Coronet in the 3rd Dragoon Guards in 1756. He rose through the ranks and in 1781 he was made a colonel in the King’s Irish Infantry. However the regiment was disbanded two years later and he found himself without a commission. He stood as a candidate for parliament for the seat of Clackmannanshire and was elected. Around 1790 he retired from politics and went to live in Edinburgh,

"Sir-ralph-abercromby" by Engraver: William Finden (1787–1852) - Unknown. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sir-ralph-abercromby.jpg#/media/File:Sir-ralph-abercromby.jpg

“Sir-Ralph-Abercromby” by Engraver: William Finden (1787–1852) – Unknown. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

In 1793 France declared war on Great Britain and Abercromby resumed his army career, He was appointed a brigade commander in the the army in the Netherlands and took part in a number of actions. He was knighted in 1795 and the following year was appointed Commander of British forces in the West Indies. During his command several islands were captured by the British including Grenada; St Lucia; St Vincent and Trinidad. Less successful was the attempt to capture Puerto Rico in 1797.

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He returned to Britain in 1797 and was appointed a colonel in the Scot’s Greys, serving over the following years as Commander of British forces in Ireland and then Scotland, In 1801 he was appointed to command the British force sent to remove the French army from Egypt. He was injured at the battle of Alexandria that same year and died 7 days later. His body was taken to Malta where it was buried.

The_fatal_wounding_of_Sir_Ralph_Abercrombie_at_Alexandria, [CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The_fatal_wounding_of_Sir_Ralph_Abercrombie_at_Alexandria, [CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

This monument to Sir Ralph Abercromby was erected in St Paul’s Cathedral in London by order of the House of Commons.

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