Augustus Abbott

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Major-General Augustus Abbott (7 January 1804 – 25 February 1867) was an army officer in the British East India Company. He was the eldest of several prominent brothers. He served in various military campaigns including the First Anglo-Afghan War. He died at Cheltenham, to which he had retired, having been discharged from the army due to poor health.

Early life[edit]

Augustus Abbott was born in London and baptised on 10 March 1804 at St Pancras Old Church, the eldest son of Henry Alexius Abbott, a retired Calcutta merchant of Blackheath, Kent,[1] and his wife Margaret Welsh, the daughter of William Welsh of Edinburgh. He had the following siblings:

  • Margaret (1801–1877)
  • Major General Sir Frederick Abbott, CB (1805–1892): also an officer in the East India Company
  • General Sir James Abbott, KCB (1807–1896)
  • Emma Abbott (1809–1875)
  • Major General Saunders Alexius Abbott (1811–1894), Major General in the Bengal Army; agent at Lahore for the Sind, Punjab and Delhi Railway, from 1863 and subsequently a home director.[2]
  • Keith Edward Abbott, Consul General (1814–1873)
  • Edmund Abbott (1816–1816)

Augustus was educated at Winchester College, and at the East India Company's military seminary at Addiscombe (1818–19) where he trained as an officer cadet.

Military career[edit]

In 1819, aged 15, he sailed for India, as second lieutenant, and by 1835 had been made captain. He then served with distinction in the First Anglo-Afghan War from 1838 to 1842, where he played an important part in the siege of Jalalabad.

In 1843 Abbott married Sophia Frances Garstin, daughter of Captain John Garstin. The couple had four daughters and three sons. He was promoted to major in 1845 and major-general in 1859, but earlier that year he had already been forced to return home due to poor health. He died in Cheltenham in 1867.

In addition to Frederick and James, Augustus had two other younger brothers: Saunders Alexius Abbott (1811–1894), also an army officer in the East India Company, who played an important part in the Battle of Mudki during the First Anglo-Sikh War, and made the rank of major-general, and Keith Edward Abbott (d. 1873), consul-general at Tabriz and later Odessa.

Augustus' son, Col. Henry Alexis Abbott (b. 22 Jan. 1849) served in the Second Anglo-Afghan War (1878–1881).[3]


  1. ^ Biog. Of Henry Alexius Abbot per the obituaries of his prominent sons
  2. ^ The Dictionary of National Biography: the Concise Dictionary. London: Oxford University Press, 1939; p. 2
  3. ^ Who's Who, Vol. 53, 1901 accessed 2 May 2011