TRACY, Sir Thomas (1567/8-1621), of London
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Family and Education
b. 1567/8, 2nd s. of Sir John Tracy† (d.1591) of Toddington, Glos. and Anne, da. of Sir Thomas Throckmorton† of Corse Court, Glos.;1 bro. of Sir John†, later 1st Visct. Tracy of Rathcoole [I]. educ. Exeter Coll., Oxf. 1584, aged 16.2 unm. kntd. 2 Aug. 1609.3 d. 17 May 1621.4
Apart from his matriculation at Oxford, nothing is known of Tracy’s early life. His elder brother, Sir John, was a follower of the 2nd earl of Essex in the final years of Elizabeth’s reign, and Thomas may have been recommended for a place in Queen Anne’s Household in 1607 by Lucy, countess of Bedford, a former Essexian and one of the queen’s confidants.10 However, Tracy’s chief Court patron was Philip Herbert*, 1st earl of Montgomery. In 1611 Tracy secured the profits of a Gloucestershire recusant’s lands and goods, and he and the Court postmaster, Rowland White, were granted a lease of the 9d. imposition on new draperies. He invested in the Virginia Company, the Africa Company, and (at the recommendation of Montgomery’s brother, William, 3rd earl of Pembroke) the East India Company, in which one of his brothers served as a factor.11
Tracy was probably the candidate Montgomery nominated at Woodstock in 1614 but he was defeated by James Whitelocke. The latter was also returned for Corfe Castle, Dorset, and when he opted to sit for Woodstock, Tracy was brought in to supply the vacancy at a fresh election, probably too late to take his seat in the Addled Parliament.12 In 1615 Tracy joined Montgomery as a patentee in the glass monopoly, but he sold his rights that summer to Sir Robert Mansell* for an annuity of £200. His sister married Sir Horace Vere, governor of Brill, and in 1618 the two brothers-in-law were among the guests at an exquisite supper party given by Sir Ralph Winwood* for Sir Thomas Edmondes*.13
On the death of Queen Anne in 1619, Tracy was compensated for his loss of office with a pension of £100, which quickly fell into arrears. In December 1620 he was returned to the Commons on Pembroke’s interest at Wilton, but left no trace on the records of the session before his death on 17 May 1621. He was buried the following day at St. Bartholomew, Smithfield. In his will of 12 May he left an annuity of £50 to his brother Anthony, then resident in Florence, and a gilt basin and ewer he had been given by the late queen to his nephew Sir Robert*. White received a velvet-lined cloak, and in a codicil the day before his death Tracy remembered two more of Pembroke’s men, Sir Thomas Morgan* and Edward Leech*. However, the bulk of his property went to the Veres and their five daughters.14
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Authors: John. P. Ferris / Simon Healy
- 1. Vis. Glos. (Harl. Soc. xxi), 167.
- 2. Al. Ox.
- 3. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 148.
- 4. Chamberlain Letters ed. N.E. McClure, ii. 375.
- 5. HMC Hatfield, xxi. 300; SP14/86/180; 14/107/93.
- 6. LC2/5, f. 33.
- 7. T.K. Rabb, Enterprise and Empire, 391; Recs. Virg. Co. ed. S.M. Kingsbury, iii. 89, 335; CSP Col. E.I. 1513-1616, p. 442.
- 8. Lansd. 168, f. 203v.
- 9. E.S. Godfrey, Development of Eng. Glassmaking, 78-9.
- 10. SP14/107/93 states that Tracy served the queen for 12 years before her death in 1619.
- 11. HMC Hatfield, xxi. 300; Lansd. 168, f. 293v; Rabb, 391; CSP Col. E.I. 1513-1616, p. 442.
- 12. Liber Famelicus of Sir J. Whitelocke ed. J. Bruce (Cam. Soc. lxx), 40-1.
- 13. Godfrey, 78-9; C66/2019/9; Chamberlain Letters, ii. 75.
- 14. Chamberlain Letters, ii. 375; E.A. Webb, Recs. St. Bartholomew’s Smithfield, ii. 279; PROB 11/137, f. 267v.