TRACY, Sir Robert (c.1593-1662), of Toddington, Glos.; later of Alderton and Fairford, Glos.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



1640 (Apr.)

Family and Education

b. c.1593, 1st s. of Sir John Tracy† of Toddington, later 1st Visct. Tracy of Rathcoole [I], and Anne, da. of Sir Thomas Shirley I* of Wiston, Suss.1 educ. M. Temple 1610; Queen’s, Oxf. 1610, aged 17; Padua c.1618-20; travelled abroad (Italy) 1617-20.2 m. (1) 1 Aug. 1615,3 Bridget, da. of John Lyttelton† of Frankley, Worcs., 7s. (3 d.v.p.) 4da. (2 d.v.p.); (2) Dorothy (d.1685), da. of Thomas Cocks of Castleditch, Herefs., 2s. 1da.4 kntd. 2 Oct. 1616;5 suc. fa. as 2nd visct. by 1648;6 bur. 11 May 1662.7 sig. Rob[ert] Tracy.

Offices Held

Dep. lt. Glos. by 1628-42, 1660-d.; commr. martial law 1628,8 oyer and terminer, Glos. 1628, liberty of Slaughter, Glos. 1636-7, Oxford circ. 1642;9 j.p. liberty of Slaughter 1634-at least 1637, Glos. 1642-6;10 commr. Avon navigation 1636,11 subsidy, Glos. 1641, 1642,12 array 1642,13 safety (roy.) 1643, contributions (roy.) 1643, sequestration (roy.) 1643, accounts (roy.) 1644.14


Tracy was descended from the sister of Edward the Confessor, whose portion included Toddington in the Cotswolds, and the family regularly sat for Gloucestershire from 1313.15 Tracy’s father was elected in 1597, but as a follower of the 2nd earl of Essex he abandoned political ambition after 1601.16 In 1615 Tracy married the daughter of another Essex supporter, Sir Thomas Littleton*. After rounding off his education with foreign travel, he represented the county in the third Jacobean Parliament. He made no recorded speeches, and his only committee was for a Sabbatarian bill (15 February).17 There is no evidence that he took any interest in the condemnation of the glass patent in which his uncle Sir Thomas Tracy* was involved.18 At the next county election, in 1624, the family interest went to Sir Thomas Estcourt*. In 1625 Tracy was rebuffed at Tewkesbury, nine miles from Toddington, despite his plea that, alone among the other Gloucestershire Members, he had made no overt opposition to its bridge bill in 1621.19 He again represented Gloucestershire in 1626, but left no trace on the parliamentary records, and was returned to the Short Parliament after a contest.20 Like his father, who was rewarded with an Irish peerage in 1643, he was a royalist in the Civil War, serving under arms at the capture of Cirencester and the siege of Gloucester, and paid £2,000 as composition for his delinquency.21 He made his will on 3 May 1662, and was buried at Toddington eight days later.22 A descendant sat as a Whig for Tewkesbury and Worcester in the mid-eighteenth century.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Alan Davidson / Ben Coates


  • 1. Vis. Glos. (Harl. Soc. xxi), 167.
  • 2. M. Temple Admiss.; Al. Ox.; H.F. Brown, Inglesi e Scozzesi all’Università di Padova dall’anno 1618 sino al 1765, p. 144; APC, 1616-17, p. 392.
  • 3. St. Leonards Church, Frankley par. reg. (Frankley Soc. pprs. vi).
  • 4. Burke, Dormant and Extinct Peerage, 536; Vis. Glos. 167; PROB 11/308, ff. 302-3v; CP.
  • 5. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 159.
  • 6. CCC, 1676.
  • 7. CP.
  • 8. APC, 1627-8, p. 288; LJ, v. 291; SP29/11/159.
  • 9. C181/3/240; 5/40, 71, 218.
  • 10. C231/5/125, 528; C181/5/71.
  • 11. T. Rymer, Foedera, ix. pt. 2, p. 6.
  • 12. SR, v. 84, 151.
  • 13. Northants. RO, FH133.
  • 14. Docquets of Letters Patent 1642-6 ed. W.H. Black, 13, 67, 69, 229.
  • 15. M.C.S. Hanbury-Tracy, ‘Toddington and the Tracys’, Trans. Bristol and Glos. Arch. Soc. lxxxviii. 129-30, 140.
  • 16. CSP Dom. 1598-1601, p. 550.
  • 17. CJ, i. 523a.
  • 18. CD 1621, vii. 362.
  • 19. Glos. RO, D760/36.
  • 20. W.B. Willcox, Glos. 35.
  • 21. HMC 6th Rep. 90; CCC, 1676-7.
  • 22. PROB 11/308, f. 302.