SIR Ralph Abercromby, Lord Lieutenant of Clackmannanshire between August 1798 until his death, found fame after the battle of Aboukir in 1801when he triumphed over Napoleon.

Abercromby was born in October 1734 at Menstrie Castle, the son of George Abercromby, a solicitor but who chose to lecture civil law at the University of Edinburgh rather than practice.

Soon after the birth the family moved to their estate at Tullibody. Being an educated man, he arranged his son’s schooling, which included the classics.

He chose James Syme to tutor him at their home Tullibody House on the banks of the Forth. Here, Abercromby enjoyed fishing as a youngster, when he was not in the classroom learning moral standards and justice.

He was then sent to school in Alloa under the direction of Mr Moir. The school had strong links with John Erskine, later 7th Earl of Mar, who was a Jacobite supporter like his late father before him, which filtered down in the school’s ethos.

Syme, meanwhile, secured the post of local minister in 1750 thanks to George Abercromby’s influence.

Abercromby was then sent to school at Rugby. He left in 1752 aged 18, and returned home to Tullibody. University education followed in Edinburgh where he studied Moral and Natural Philosophy and civil law.

He went on to Leipzig where he studied civil law further and this was followed by stints in Holland, France, and Prussia where he admired Frederick the Great’s military tactics.

When he returned to Tullibody he announced to his father he would not be following in his footsteps but instead was going to become a soldier.

In early 1756 George bought his son a cornetcy in the Third Dragoon Guards. His training took place in Prussia and by 1758 he held the position of aide-de-camp to Sir William Pitt.

In 1762, he became a captain, paid for by his father, and spent time in Ireland on active service. He was promoted to major in 1770 and continued to rise through the military ranks until 1781 when he commanded the 103rd King’s Irish Infantry.

It disbanded two years later, and he was retired on half pay. By now, he was a married man.

His mother had died in 1767, the same year he married Anne Menzies, and over time they had four sons. George meanwhile had moved out of the family home to Brucefield House but continued his patronage in Tullibody.

He sponsored the village school, helped dispense the Poor Fund, and purchased a bell for the church.