David Abercromby

(c. 1634—1701) physician and philosopher

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The exact date and place of David Abercromby's birth, and death, are now unknown. Abercromby is thought to have died in 1702, in London or possibly in Holland. Most probably, David Abercromby belonged to the family of Abercromby of Seaton and may have been born there. By his own account, his family were, ‘and ever were’, Scottish Roman Catholics who ensured that their son's early education integrally involved instruction in that faith. Abercromby's early commitment to Roman Catholicism and his aptitude in Catholic theology may be measured by the fact that he subsequently joined the Jesuit order in France. The precise reasons behind Abercromby's move to France from Scotland are not known. As James McCosh observes, however, the academic and religious affinities between Scotland and France which ultimately extend back to the thirteenth century had, by the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, resulted in ‘a perpetual stream of Scottish scholars’, Protestant and Catholic, ‘flowing’ into France.


From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Philosophy.

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