Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Tracy, Robert

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TRACY, ROBERT (1655–1735), judge, born in 1655 at Toddington in Gloucestershire, was the eldest son of Robert Tracy, second viscount and baron Tracy of Rathcoole, by his second wife, Dorothy, daughter of Thomas Cocks of Castleditch, Herefordshire [see under Tracy, Richard]. Robert's paternal grandmother, Anne, was daughter of Sir Thomas Shirley [q. v.] of Wiston, Sussex. He matriculated from Oriel College, Oxford, on 29 Oct. 1672, and entered at the Middle Temple in the following year. He was called to the bar in 1680, and in July 1699 was appointed a judge of the king's bench in Ireland (Luttrell, Brief Hist. Relation, 1857, iv. 536). In the following year he was transferred to England on 14 Nov. as a baron of the exchequer (ib. iv. 702, 707, 709, v. 49, 183, 184), and in Trinity term 1702 he was removed to the court of common pleas. He was appointed a commissioner of the great seal while the lord-chancellor's office was vacant from 24 Sept. to 19 Oct. 1710 and from 15 April to 12 May 1718 (ib. vi. 633). He was one of the judges who gave an opinion on Sacheverell's trial, and in 1716 took part in trying the Jacobites at Carlisle. On 26 Oct. 1726 he retired from the bench with a pension of 1,500l., and died at his seat at Coscomb in Gloucestershire on 11 Sept. 1735. By his wife Anne, daughter of William Dowdeswell of Pull Court, Worcestershire, he left three sons—Robert, Richard, and William—and two daughters—Anne and Dorothy. Dorothy married John Pratt, fourth son of Sir John Pratt (1657–1725) [q. v.], chief justice of the king's bench.

Tracy is described as ‘a complete gentleman and a good lawyer, of a clear head and an honest heart,’ and as delivering his opinion with such ‘genteel affability and integrity that even those who lost a cause were charmed with his behaviour.’

[Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714; Shadwell's Registrum Orielense, p. 338; Foss's Judges of England, viii. 62–3; Gent. Mag. 1835, p. 559; Britton's Toddington, 1840, App. pp. iii, v; Stowe MS. 750, ff. 226, 230.]

E. I. C.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.267
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

Page Col. Line  
142 i 25 Tracy, Robert: for eldest son read fifth son
27 after coole, insert and was his eldest son
17f.e. for 14 Sept. read 24 Sept.
15f.e. after vi. 633). insert He was one of the judges who gave an opinion on Sacheverell's trial.