Abercromby, Patrick

, a physician and historian, was the son of Alexander Abercromby, of Fetternear, in Aberdeenshire, and brother of Francis Abercromby, who was created lord Glasford in July 1685. He was born at Forfar, in the county of Angus, in 1656, and educated in the university of St. Andrew’s, where he took the degree of doctor in medicine in 1685. Some accounts say that he spent Ims youth in foreign countries, was probably educated in the university of Paris, and that his family were all Roman Catholics, who partook of the misfortunes of James II.; others, that on his return to Scotland he renounced the Protestant religion, at the request of king James, and was by him appointed one of the physicians to trie court, which he was obliged to relinquish at the Revolution. Soon after he attached himself to the study of antiquities, and published, “The Martial Achievements of Scotland,” 2 vols. fol. 1711 and 1715, to which he was encouraged by a large list of subscribers. The first volume abounds in the marvellous, but the second is valuable on account of its accurate information respecting the British history in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. He wrote also a treatise on Wit, 1686, which is now little known, and translated M. Beague’s very rare book, “L‘Histoire de la Guerre d’Escosse,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 side, and the English and their foreign auxiliaries on the other: done in French by Mons. Beague, a French gentleman. Printed in Paris 1556, with an introductory preface by the translator,1707, 8vo. The ancient alliance between France and Scotland is strenuously asserted in this work. He died about the year 1716, according to Mr. Chalmers, or, as in the last edition of this Dictionary, in 1726, about the age of 70, or rather 72.

In the former edition of this work it is said that he never made any distinguished figure in the physical profession. There was, however, a David Abercromby, a contemporary and countryman of his, who published in London some medical tracts on the venereal disease, the pulse, &c. which were collected in one volume, entitled, “D. Abercrombii Opuscula Medica hactenus edita,” Lond. 1687, 12mo. Of him no memoirs have been preserved; but his works are analysed in the Act. Lips, 1685, 1686, 1687. | Saxius denominates him “medicus et philologus,” and attributes to him a humorous publication, entitled, “Fur Academicus,Amsterdam, 1689, 12mo.1


Chalmers’s Life of Ruddiman, p. 57.—Gough’s British Topagraphy, vol. II. —Manget. Biblioth.—Saxii Onomasticon.