Is your surname Abercrombie?

Research the Abercrombie family

John Abercrombie's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


John Abercrombie

Birthdate: (80)
Birthplace: Presrtonpans, Edinburgh, Scotland
Death: April 30, 1806 (80)
St. Pancras, London, Greater London, England
Immediate Family:

Son of John Abercrombie

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
view all

Immediate Family

About John Abercrombie

John Abercrombie the elder of 2 sons of John Abercrombie, market gardener at Prestonpans. [1]

Variations of the name – Abercromby

Origin of the name –

Birth date – 1726

Birth Place – Prestonpans, Edinburgh, Scotland

Baptisms – 2 potential baptisms found at Scotlands People

CJB I have found no baptism at Scotlands People in 1726 – the following ae the only baptisms I found.

26 Mar 1724 John Abercrombie -

parents James Abercrombie and Marion Fergusson FR1515

Parish Leith South Edinburgh City City/Midlothian (O.P.R. Births 692/02 0050 0242)

Farmer in Rotterburgh? born 22nd with James Telfer Farmer there and Adam Muir Brewer in Canongate

8 May 1726 John Abercrombie Baxter? had his son John baptised

Cupar (O.P.R. Births 420/00 0020 0038 Cupar - Scotlands People)

Date of Death – 30 April 1806 – some sources say 1st May or 2nd May

Place of Death – at his apartments, Charlton-street, Somers Town

Burial St. Pancras in Middlesex, England.

Notes on his death

“In the Spring of 1806, being in his eightieth year, abercrombie met with a severe fall, by which he

broke the upper part of his thigh-bone. This accident, which happened to him on the 15th of April,

terminated in his death.   After lying during the interval, in a very weak exhausted state, 

without much pain, he expired in the night between April and May as St. Paul’s clock struch twelve.

 He was lamented by all who knew him, as cheerful, harmless and upright” 

This publication also claims that Abercrombie wrote “Every man his own gardener” in prison

Parents: John Abercrombie (Gardener)

Marriage: Find my past search

Parish Records Collection - marriage

License Date : 02 Jan 1753 License Year: 1753 Bride Surname: TRIPHOOK

Dual Date : 02 Jan 1753

Groom Surname: ABERCROMBIE

License Date : 15 Aug 1760 License Year: 1760 Bride Surname: Wade

Dual Date : 15 Aug 1760

Groom Surname: ABERCROMBIE

Record source: Vicar-General Marriage Licence Allegations 1694-1850

Data provider: Society of Genealogists

Transcriptions © Society of Genealogists

Marriage Notes:

From about 1751 to 1759 Abercrombie worked as gardener to Sir James Douglas. He married a member of the Douglas family household and with his wife soon began what would become a very large family, consisting of 16 daughters and two sons. Abercrombie then returned to Scotland for 10 months.

Occupation: Scottish horticulturist important to renovating garden techniques. Musgrave (2009, p.48) in ‘The Head Gardeners’ - “Gardener-turned-nurseryman-turned–writer”


John served his apprenticeship with his father, John Abercrombie. In 1744 he moved south where he worked for a number of places, including the Royal Gardens at Kew and Leicester House. Abercrombie became gardener to Doctor Munro at Sunning Hill, Berkshire, England and to several others including Lord Bateman, Lord Kensington and Sir Robert Darling.

In 1763 he lived in Hackney, working as gardener to Mr. Alveres before setting up a successful market gardening business in 1770. He will have been a contemporary of and in competition with Loddiges. after a couple of years he became a publican in Mile End which he turned into the "Artichoke Tea Garden" , but returned to gardening as his wife did not like the life style. He then started writing.

He was apparently invited to superintend the gardens of Catherine the Great in Russia but declined choosing instead to send a copy of "Every Man his Own Gardener".

From the late-1790s and into the early-1800s Abercrombie was occasionally employed to plan gardens and pleasure grounds. He continued his interest in tea and in practical gardening and writing up until his death.


Between 1767 and 1789 he wrote at least fifteen works including the following.

1767 - He is noted for the book ‘Every Man His Own Gardener’, which he co-wrote with Thomas Mawe. Apparently Abercrombie paid Thomas Mawe (gardener to the Duke of Leeds) to put his name on the title page, although Mawe is alleged to have contributed nothing. (''

‘The British fruit-gardener’ : and art of pruning : comprising, the most approved methods of planting and raising every useful fruit-tree and fruit-bearing-shrub ... The true successful practice of pruning, training, grafting, budd by John Abercrombie ... First published under the name of Tho. Mawe. 
By: Abercrombie, John, - Adams, John, - Mawe, Thomas. - John Adams Library (Boston Public Library) 
Publication info: London :MDCCLXXIX [1779] 
Contributed by: John Adams Library at the Boston Public Library (

1789 ‘The Gardener’s Pocket Journal’ sold an edition of 2000 copies a year

Family History and Biographical notes:

He came from a family of professional gardeners.

He had a large family but survived them all except one son, who distinguished himself at sea in the service of his country.

“…Prestonpans, near Edinburgh, Scotland. It was here that Abercrombie began work as his father's apprentice in 1740 at the age of 14, and from where, in 1745, the loyalist Abercrombie witnessed the Battle of Prestonpans as it took place beneath his father's garden wall.” [1]

Notes, References, Sources/Links, Family Trees etc.

[1] Parks and Gardens UK,_John_(1726-1806)_(DNB00)

view all

John Abercrombie's Timeline

Edinburgh, Scotland
April 30, 1806
Age 80
London, Greater London, England