Later in 1805, John Abercromby was raised to the ranks of Major General and was also appointed as Colonel of the 53rd Regiment of Foot in the year 1807. He became Commander-in-Chief in the province of Bombay, British India in 1809. Subsequently in the year 1812, he was transferred to Madras Presidency and become Commander-in-Chief, with promotion to the rank of Lieutenant General.
John Abercromby was designated as the Acting Governor of Madras Presidency on 21 May 1813 and was preceded by Sir George Hilaro Barlow, 1st Baronet, GCB who retired on 21 May 1813. The Madras Presidency was also renowned as the Presidency of Fort St. George and Madras Province. The territory was an administrative division of British India. The region included much of southern India, such as the modern states of Tamil Nadu, Lakshadweep Islands, the Malabar region of North Kerala, the Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions of Andhra Pradesh, Koraput, Malkangiri, Nabarangapur and Gajapati districts of southern Orissa and the Bellary, Dakshina Kannada, Ganjam, Rayagada and Udupi districts of Karnataka. Ootacamund (now Ooty) was the summer capital of the province and Madras (now Chennai) was the winter capital of the British presidency.
Abercromby held the position until 16 September 1814. He was succeeded by Major General Sir Thomas Munro, 1st Baronet KCB, who served as the Governor of Madras Presidency from 16 September 1814 to 10 July 1827.
After he went back to the United Kingdom, John Abercromby was made Knight Commander of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath, also known as The Most Honourable Military Order of the Bath, (KCB) in 1813. Later in the year 1815, he was promoted to Knight Grand Cross of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath (GCB). John Abercromby died on 14 February 1817 in Marseilles, France, due to declining health.