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John Abercromby, 5th Baron Abercromby (15 January 1841 – 7 October 1924) was a Scottish soldier and archaeologist. The second son of the George Abercromby, 3rd Baron Abercromby and Louisa Penuel Forbes, on his death in 1924 he had no male issue and as a result the Barony of Abercromby became extinct.


He was a Lieutenant with the Rifle Brigade. He graduated from the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, with an honorary Doctorate of Law (LLD). He was president of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and succeeded his elder brother as 5th Baron Abercromby on 3 October 1917.

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 late neolithic drinking vessels being found all over Western Europe. 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 the University of Edinburgh, a post occupied by Vere Gordon Childe and Stuart Piggott.

His books include A study of Bronze Age pottery in Europe (Oxford, 1912).


He married Adele Wilhelmina Marika von Heidenstern, only daughter of Chevalier Charles von Heidenstern, on 26 August 1876 and had issue:

  • Hon. Edla Louisa Montague Abercromby (b.1877), married Georges N. Nasos (1906)


  • ‘ABERCROMBY’, Who Was Who, A & C Black, 1920–2007; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2007
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
George Abercromby
Baron Abercromby
Succeeded by


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