John Abercromby, 5th Baron Abercromby

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The Lord Abercromby
5th Baron Abercromby
The International folk-lore congress, John Abercromby.png
PredecessorGeorge Abercromby, 4th Baron Abercromby
SuccessorTitle extinct
BornJohn Abercromby
(1841-01-15)15 January 1841
Logie, Perthshire, Scotland
Died7 October 1924(1924-10-07) (aged 83)
Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland
Adele von Heidenstern
(m. 1876; div. 1879)
The Hon. Edla Nasos
ParentsGeorge Abercromby, 3rd Baron Abercromby
Louisa Penuel Forbes
Lord Abercromby's grave, Dean Cemetery

John Abercromby, 5th Baron Abercromby (15 January 1841 – 7 October 1924)[1] was a Scottish soldier[2] and archaeologist.[3]


Abercromby was the son of George Abercromby, 3rd Baron Abercromby, and Louisa Penuel Forbes,[4] and had two brothers and a sister. He was a Lieutenant with the Rifle Brigade. He graduated from the University of Edinburgh with an honorary Doctorate of Law (LLD). On 3 October 1917, following the death of his elder brother George, he succeeded as the fifth Lord Abercromby.

After leaving the army in 1870 he devoted himself to languages, travel, and folklore. In 1904 he introduced the term beaker into the archaeological lexicon to describe the copper age drinking vessels being found all over western Europe.[5] He supported the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and served as its president from 1913 to 1918. His will provided for the foundation of the Abercromby Chair of Archaeology at Edinburgh University, a post occupied by Vere Gordon Childe and Stuart Piggott.[6]

He is buried in Dean Cemetery in Edinburgh at its east side, close to the main entrance.


Abercromby married his Swedish cousin, Adele Wilhelmina Marika von Heidenstern, on 26 August 1876. They had one daughter, Edla Louisa Montague Abercromby (b. 1877), who married Georges N. Nasos in 1906. They divorced in 1879. As he had no son, the Barony of Abercromby became extinct on his death.


  • A trip through the Eastern Caucasus: with a chapter on the languages of the country, London: Edward Stanford, 1889
  • "The pre- and proto-historic Finns, both Eastern and Western: with the magic songs of the west Finns", Grimm Library, London: Nutt, 9-10, 2 vols, 1898
    • vol. 1, vol. 1, vol. 2, vol. 2
    • Much of this material was first published as a series of articles by The Folklore Society in Folklore as 'Magic Songs of the Finns' : v.1 (1890), 17-46, 331-48; v.2 (1891), 31-49; v.3 (1892), 49-66; v.4 (1893), 27-49.
  • A study of the Bronze Age pottery of Great Britain and Ireland and its associated grave-goods, 2 vols, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1912



  • "ABERCROMBY", Who Was Who (1920–2007) (online edn ed.), A & C Black, Oxford University Press, Dec 2007

External links[edit]

Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
George Abercromby
Baron Abercromby