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Abercromby Sir Ralph

Abercromby, Sir Ralph, K.B., born at Tullibody, Clackmannanshire, 1734, and educated for the law, but at his earnest request he obtained a cavalry commission (1756) and in due course rose to the command of the 103rd Infantry. In 1783 he went on half pay, probably disliking to serve against the American colonists. He received the command of a brigade, 1793, under the Duke of York in Holland; was wounded at Nimeguen; and covered the disastrous retreat of 1794-95. Being appointed to the command in the West Indies he took (1796-97) St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Grenada, Demerara, Essequibo, and Berbice. As Commander-in-Chief in Ireland (1798) he did his best to restore order without resorting to unconstitutional means, but resigned on finding Government would not support him. The disastrous expedition to Holland in 1799 brought him fresh distinction, and in 1801 he was chosen to command the force destined to drive the French out of Egypt. After effecting a masterly disembarkation at Aboukir, he fought and won the decisive battle of Alexandria, but stricken down by a spent ball he died seven days later, March 28, 1801. He possessed all the qualities of a great soldier, and was universally esteemed and beloved. Parliament erected a monument to his memory in St. Paul's Cathedral.