Description[Sir Ralph Abercromby]. Illuminated Coat of Arms Issued to the Widow of Sir Ralph Abercromby in His Memory, circa 1801. Abercromby (1734-1801), a former Commander-in-Chief, Ireland (1798), was a general in the British Army who saw service in Europe during the Seven Years' War and Napoleonic Wars. He was injured during the Battle of Alexandria in Egypt on March 21, 1801, and died one week later aboard the HMS Foudroyant.
Following his death, his widow, Mary Anne, 1st Baroness Abercromby, was awarded these arms in her husband's honor. Placed upon an 18.5" x 15" (sight) piece of vellum, this document acknowledges that "Mary-Anne Baroness Abercromby . . . Widow and Relict of the Right Honourable Lieutenant General Sir Ralph Abercromby, Knight of the Most Military Order of Bath, deceased . . . did, by Letter, represent unto the Most Noble Charles Duke of Norfolk . . . requested the favour of His Grace's Warrant for our granting and exemplifying such honourable Augmentation . . . And forasmuch as the said Earl Marshal did by Warrant under his Hand and Seal . . . We . . . have devised, and do by these Presents grant and exemplify the following honourable Augmentation to the Armorial Ensigns of the Family of Abercromby." The arms (a detailed description of which can be found in the document) are beautifully rendered in the upper left corner.
The document is signed at the lower edge by Sir Isaac Heard, Knight Garter and Principal King of Arms, Thomas Lock, Clarenceux King of Arms, and George Harrison, Norroy King of Arms. Below the name of each man is his individual seal (three total), each of which is accomplished in red wax and held in a small skippet, attached to the lower edge of the document with ribbons of red and cream.
Matted in blue velvet and framed to an overall size of 28.75" x 33.75". With a 21.5" x 5.25" x 5.25" wooden box of irregular design, covered in brown leather with blind- and gilt-stamped decoration, featuring three latches. The box originally housed the rolled up grant of arms and each skippet.
Condition: Areas of water staining, particularly at the right side of the upper edge and upper left corner with additional staining in the lower right corner and in places near the lower edge and right edge. The spotting, where it touches the text, does not render it illegible.
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