Viscount and Baron Tracy of Rathcoole and Baronet of the county of Limerick, so created 12th January 1642, Charles the 1st.
The title was claimed:
(I) in 1835 by Joseph Tracy formerly of Geashill, Kings Co. (b. 7 Mar 1765), s. & H. Of James Tracy of the same (b. 27 Jan 1729/30 d. 4 Apr 1749) s. & h. of William Tracy, of Ross, Kings Co. (who d. 15 Oct 1734 at Castlebrack, Queens Co.) which William was alleged to be identical with William (Bapt 22 Feb 1692/3 at St. Andrews Holborn London), 3rd s. of the Hon. Robert Tracy (one of the justices of the Court of Common Pleas), who died 11 Sep 1735, aged 80 and who was s. of the 2nd Viscount by his 2nd wife. This petition was presented 15 May 1836 but the claimant d. 17 Mar 1836
(II) On his death his s. & h. James Tracy, “of South St Grosvenor Esq” (b. 14 Feb 1800) presented a petition in Mary 1836 which in consequence of the report of the Attorney-Gen in aug 1837, was referred to the House of Lords. He again petitioned in 1842 but the case was dismissed by the House in 1843. In both these claims the assertation was that William the 3rd s. of the Hon. Robert Tracy above named, formed an imprudent alliance in Dublin with Mary O’Brien, and was consequently disinherited by his father and family. The identity of this William was not established further than (a) an entry in a prayer book - “married in Dublin April 17th 1728, William, son of the Honourable Robert Tracy, late one of the English Judges, to Mary, daughter of Mr. James O’Brien, Merchant” and (b) by parole evidence that there had been a tombstone at Castlebrack afsd, with an inscription to the said William (said to have died 1734) by the same description fragments of such a tombstone were indeed found later at Castlebrack, and exhibited before the Committee for Privileges in 1847 but it was alleged in evidence that these had been forged in 1843. It appears probable that William, s. of Hon Robert Tracy bap 22 Feb 1692/3 as afsd, d. an infant as he is not mentioned in an entail of his father’s lands, date 15 Dec 1732
(III) The case of Martin Tracy of Streamstown, Co. Westmeath
(IV) The case of Matthew Tracy, claiming the said Viscontancy was printed in London 1862.
(V) Benjamin Wheatley Tracy Lieut R.N. whose claim thereto was made in 1853, and was still being asserted in 1866, was yet another candidate.
The Sudeleys – Lords of Toddington. The Manorial Society of Great Britain. 1987. pp.196-199
(VI) Another claim to the Tracy Peerage, was put forward by Mr Edward Tracy Turnorelli, whose mother was Margaret Tracy, a claimant to the Tracy peerage who died in 1835.
Tracy Peerage Case
CL & 7 Vol 10 [Legal Reference]
1. William Tracy of Canelly (Ross), Kings Co. d. 1734 married Mary O’Brien
1.1 James of Gurteen, Kings Co. b. 1729 d. 1794
1.2 Timothy of Coole, Co. Westmeath. b. 1730 d. 1799 (~~ unreadable)
1.3 Anne m. Casrole of Killoughy, Kings Co.
(The following was included on the same page but may not be connected to the above)
1. July 1724 Wm Tipper of Tipperstown, Co. Kildare and Edward T. Now of Dublin set to Benj.Gale of Dublin lands of Tippertown for 3 lives (?).
GO Ms 576 Sadleir Pedigree Notebook, page 206.
(Included in the index of GO Ms 470 with the following in pencil “JA 2/9/44”)
Tracy Of Rathcoole, Viscounty And Barony Of, In The Peerage Of Ireland ; Created By Letters Patent, Dated 12 Jan. 1642.
Claimant—James Tracy, Esq.
Descent of the Dignity.
Sir John Tracy, of Toddington, in Gloucestershire, was advanced by letters patent, dated 12 Jan. 1642, to the dignity of Baron and Viscount Tracy, of Rathcoole, co. Dublin. He m. Anne, daughter of Sir Thomas Shirley, of Isfield, in Sussex, and had an only son,
Robert, 2nd viscount; who m. Bridget, dau. of John Lyttelton, Esq. of Frankly Court, in Worcestershire, and had by her an only son,
John, his successor.
His lordship m. 2ndly, Dorothy, dau. of Thomas Cocks, Esq. of Castleditch, in Herefordshire, ancestor to the present Earl Somers, and by that lady had also a son,
Robert, one of
the English judges; m. Ann, dau. of William Dow des well, Esq. of Pull Court,
co. Worcester, and had issue,
Robert, whose son, Robert, d. without issue, in 1756.
Richard, d. unm.
early in life settled in Dublin, where he m. 17 April, 1728, Miss O'Brien, dau.
of a merchant of that city. He d. In or about the year
1734, in the King's co., leaving two sons, b. in Dublin, and other children. The eldest son,
James Tracy, b. in Dublin, 27 Jan. 1729, who m. in the King's co. in 1764; and d. in 1794, leaving his eldest son,
Tracy, his heir, b. in 1765. This gentleman
petitioned the lords, 15 May, 1835, to be allowed his right, as a peer of Ireland, to vote for the representative peers of that
part of the United Kingdom; but d. before a decision could be had, 17
March, 1836, leaving
James Tracy, his eldest son and heir, and Present Claimant.
The 2nd viscount was s. at his decease by his eldest son,
John, 3rd viscount; who m. Elizabeth, eldest dau. of Thomas, 1st Lord Leigh, of Stonlcigh, iu Warwickshire, and had two sons, viz.,
William, his heir.
Ferdinando, who inherited Sir John Tracy's estate at Stanway. He m. the dau. of Sir Anthony Keck, and left an only son,
John, who m. the dau. of Sir Robert Atkins, and had four sons, viz., Robert Tracy, John TracyKeck, Anthony Tracy, (who m. Lady Susan Hamilton, sister of James, Duke of Hamilton,) and Thomas Tracy. The male line of this branch has become Extinct, and the property of Stan way is In the possession of the Earl of Wemyss, the grandson of Anthony Tracy.
The elder son,
William, 4th viscount, m. 1st, Frances, dau. of Viscount Hereford, by whom he had an only dau., Elizabeth, To. to Sir Robert Burdett, Bart.; and 2ndly, Jane, graiuiau. of Thomas, 2nd Lord Leigh, by whom he had an only son,
ThomAs-charlEs, 5th viscount j who m. 1st, Elizabeth, grandau. of Sir William Keyt, and of this marriage there were two sons and a dau., viz.,
William, d. s. p.
Thomas-charles, his successor.
Jane, m. to Capel Hanbury, Esq. of Pont-y-pooL, co. Monmouth.
His lordship m. 2ndly, Frances, dau. of Sir John Packington, and had by her, with three daus., three sons, viz.,
John, successor to his half-brother as 7th viscount.
Robert-Packington, d. young.
HenrY, an officer in the army, 8th viscount.
The viscount d. in i 756, and was s. by his eldest son,
Thomas-charles, 6th viscount; who m. Harriet, dau. of Peter Bathurst, Esq. of Clarendon Park, co. Wilts; but dying g. p. in 1793, was s. by his half-brother,
John, 7th viscount, warden of All Souls, Oxford; who in 1793, s. p., and was s. by his brother,
Henry, 8th viscount . who m. Miss Weaver, and d. in 1797, leaving an only dau., who m. in 1798, Charles Hanbury, Esq., who assumed, in consequence, the surname of TracY. Upon his lordship's decease the peerage became Dormant. It is now claimed by James TracY as Heir MALE.
January 21, 1832 (FJ) Viscount Tracy, of Rathcoole
We understand that Mr. Tracy, of the firm of Cosgrave and Tracy, of this city [Dublin], has presented a petition to his Majesty, claiming the above ancient title...
12 & 26 Nov 1833 (BL)
...of Tracy of Rathcoole, 'which has been now nearly 37 years in abeyance, is at present actively prosecuted by a member of a respectable mercantile house in this city...- Dublin Despatch
Rathcoole…This place formerly gave the title of Viscount to the family of Tracey, to which James Tracey, Esq., of Geashill, in King's county, is at present prosecuting his claim before the House of Lords.
7 October 1837 (FJ) Tracy Peerage
The Attorney-General, we understand, has reported to her Majesty in this case, wherein he states that if one document (out of 49 proofs) which has been laid before him, and which contains handwriting, dated 1730, is genuine, that the claimant, James Tracy, Esq., has made out of his case. In support of the document alluded to, we are told there was produced the evidence of some of the most respectable antiquarians in London, who proved it to be genuine and free from suspicion, and the writing was of the time and day of which it bears date. Several other antiquarians had proposed to attend if called on to give similar evidence. Large estates in England will go with this peerage as they have been entailed on heirs male.
House of Lords, Lunae, 23 die Julii, 1838
Petition of James Tracy, of 11 South Street, Grosvenor Square, in the county of Middlesex, Esquire, to his late Majesty, - claiming to be Viscount and Baron Tracy of Rathcoole, presented by her Majesty’s command; together with the Report of the Attorney General thereon. – Read, and referred to the Committee for Privileges, to consider and report.
The Petition of James Tracy, Esquire...7th May and 18 June 1839
House of Lords Volume X 1841
Tracy Claim of Peerage.
Minutes of Evidence given before the Committee of Privileges to whom the Petition of James Tracy Esquire, claiming, as of Right, to be Viscount and Baron Tracy of Rathcoole, together with Her Majesty's Reference thereof to this House, was referred, 7th May and 18th June 1839. (46.) 18-74 http://www.traceyclann.com/files/The House of Lords 1841.pdf
8 Papers relating to the claims to the Viscount [of Tracy] http://www.traceyclann.com/files/8 papers.pdf
Page 6: Minutes of Evidence...Petition of James Tracy, Esquire...printed 19th March 1841
Page 70: Minutes of Evidence [continued]...Petition of James Tracy, Esquire...21 March 1843
Page 92: Minutes of Evidence [continued]...Petition of James Tracy, Esquire...2 March 1843
Page 168: Minutes of Evidence [continued]...Petition of James Tracy, Esquire...30 March 1843
Page 198: Minutes of Evidence [continued]...Petition of James Tracy, Esquire...9 June 1843
Page 206: Minutes of Evidence [continued]...Petition of James Tracy, Esquire...8 March 1843 [Not the Tracy Peerage Case - Evidence on the Marchmont Claim of Peerage.]
Page 218: Minutes of Evidence...Petition of James Tracy, Esquire [of No.10 Albemarle Street, Piccadilly]...printed 23d March 1847
Page 268: Minutes of Evidence [continued]...Petition of James Tracy, Esquire ...4 Maii 1847
Page 352: Minutes of Evidence [continued]...Petition of James Tracy, Esquire ...15 Junii 1847
Page 406: Tracy Peerage. Case on the part of Matthew Tracy, of No. 40 Kensington Gardens Square...July 1862 [see (IV) below]
Evidence of Patrick Culleton's of Rurie in the Queen's County...lives near Castlebrack...his mother was a Tracy, a daughter of Bryan Tracy…Thomas Tracy near Castlebrack… Also buried in Castlebrack, brothers Philip Tracy, Hugh Tracy and Bryan Tracy…
Evidence of Martin Higany...Joe Tracy, brother of the Claimant [James]...lives near Maryborough...
Evidence of Barrakia Lowe Tarlton...heard of other claimants...knew old Patrick Tracy of Tullamore, now dead...William Welden Tracy of Ard [Geashill]...present claimant was a Wine Merchant in Dublin...my Aunt was married to William Tracy...
Evidence of Patrick Boyne...I married a daughter of Mr. Wyer [of Dureen near Portarlington in the Kings County]...my father-in-law's mother was a Tracy and connected with the Tracys...
Statement of Joseph Tracy made in 1836...formerly of Geashill in the King's County Ireland now of Chapel Place North, South Audley Street, London...aged seventy years and upwards...I was principally reared by my uncle, the late Timothy Tracy of Coole in the County of Westmeath Ireland...that on the 10th day of August 1796 he gave me a Prayer Book...In 1798 I married the daughter of Mr. Philip Tracy of Castlebrack in the Queen's County, by whom I have a family of four sons and two daughters. In the year 1815, I gave the aforesaid Prayer book to my eldest son James...on his going to reside in Dublin...
Statement of William Carroll made in 1836...will be 72 years of age the eight day of August next ensuing...[lived at the age of six or seven] in the townland of Bonatern, Parish of Killoughy, Barony of Ballyboy, in the Kings County in Ireland...mothers maiden name was Ann Tracy...was born in the Parish of Lismally [Lynally?] in the King's County...his uncles James Tracy [and] Timothy Tracy...[grandparents] William Tracy and Mary Tracy...his uncle Timothy, who was at that period abroad, engaged in the German War...Deponent was about twelve or Fourteen years of age his Uncle Timothy came home, accompanied by his wife, an English Woman...gave money to his mother...and was afterwards a Clerk in the General Post Office in the City of Dublin...became agent to Lord Boyne, who had an estate in the Parish of Lanelly...employed for many years by Lord Portarlington, near Spire Hill at Portarlington, but his uncle not considering the salary sufficient entered into the service of Mr. Smyth of the county of Westmeath, member of parliament, who gave him a freehold in the townland of Coole, county Westmeath, where he settled, died and was buried around 1799...Uncle James living in Gurteen in the Barony of Geashill on Lord Digby's Estate...wife maiden name was Carrier...had one child named Joseph... Mr. O'Brien, a merchant in Dublin, came to London on mercantile business with his daughter Mary...William Tracy made his acquaintance with her there...and came over to Dublin and married her...they settle in Dublin and Mr. O'Brien took him in as a partner, they failed in Business and that William Tracy and his wife, with his two sons, went to the country, to the Parish of Lanelly, in about 1731 and settled on Lord Boyne's Estate where Ann was born...William Tracy died 1734...James Tracy died 1794 and was buried in Castlebrack...His children...Joseph the eldest son and two other sons Andrew and Patrick and one daughter...Timothy was a protestant and James a catholic - he went with his wife.
Evidence of Samuel Sheane, magistrate at Mountmelick...I know an old man [named Tracy, not a relation of the claimant], he is a solicitor, a very old man, upwards of eighty years old...They pronounce the word Tracy in the same way, but the name is spelt differently from what it is on this tombstone. How is it spelt? Trecy. In Ireland e is pronounced like a...There are Three or Four [Tracy] Families at Mountmellick, there are others within the Parish of Castlebrack or in the immediate neighbourhood of it...
Evidence of John Delany...A protestant James Tracy was...There were no other that I know of of the Tracy's that were Protestant but Doctor Tracy [Mountmellick], but he was not any thing to that family...That man is dead many years ago...
Evidence of John Rotherham...I know two [Tracy] families. There is the family of Mountmelick [catholic] and there is the family at Ard [protestant]...The Claimant's family do not live any of them about us now...I know the Ard family well; he is a solicitor and he has done business for me...It is twelve or fourteen years since I employed him...
Evidence of Digby Baynham..."Here lyeth the body of William Tracy, Esq., late of Ross in the King's County, the Third Son of the Honourab e Robert Tracy, late one of the Judges of the Common Place in ngland who depa ted the 15th October 1734 in 42nd Year [missing] ving his [missing] Widow Ma [missing] ted"...
Evidence of J.F.Martin...Mrs. Tracy lodged in Exchequer street...a dozen houses from Grafton Street...on the first or second floor...business carried on below a pastrycooks...of the name of Tracy...she had nothing to do with the business...
Superior Courts. House of Lords reported by W. Finnelly, Esq. Barrister-at-Law
The claim of Mr. James Tracy to the titles and dignities of Viscount and baron Tracy of Rathcoole, in the Kingdom of Ireland, has been before the House of Lords since 1836…that he (the judge) had three sons, two of whom (before mentioned) died, one without issue, the other leaving a son, who died without issue; that William, the third son (of the judge), was baptised in 1692, and in 1728, married Mary O’Brien, daughter of a merchant in Dublin, of inferior station to himself, and afterwards resided in Ireland, up to his death in 1734, renouncing, and renounced by his father and connections in England, and for that reason no mentioned was made of him in the wills of his father and brothers; that this William Tracy and his said wife had two sons James and Timothy, and that James had a son Joseph who claimed these titles in 1835, but died in 1836, before his petition was referred to the House of Lords, leaving the present claimant his only son…
The only difficulty that claimant had to overcome ultimately was to prove that the said William was a son of Judge Tracy and he attempted to prove it in two ways, viz. by entries in an old prayer book, and by an inscription on a tombstone…
The entries in the prayer book were, (on the title-page) “James O’Brien, Sept. 1st, 1730”, and (on the back of that page) “Married in Dublin April 17th 1728, William, son of the Honourable Robert Tracy, late one of the English Judges, to Mary, daughter of Mr. James O’Brien, Merchant. James Tracy, the eldest son, born January 27th 1729; Timothy Tracy, the second eldest, born January 20th, 1730.”…
A suspicion had existed in the minds of some of the Lords present that the entries…were forgeries…
It was in evidence that the William in the claimant’s pedigree died in 1734, and that the Judge lived till 1735…
His Lordship then observed at length on the evidence as to the tomb-stone, and concluded thus:- I am of the opinion that the evidence which has been laid before your Lordships does not establish the claim; that it is defective, and that the case is attempted to be supported by forgery. * * * I have therefore no hesitation in concurring in the motion that the claimant has not made his case. Resolved accordingly.
On the claim to the Tracy Peerage, 2d of May, and 9th of June 1843.
The Legal Observer or Journal of Jurisprudence. May to October 1843. Vol. XXVI. London 1843. p.443
The Tracy Peerage.---On Monday, an inquiry was held at Castlebrack church yard, before Captains Tibeaude and Warburton, George Newcombe, J. W. Tarleton, and Samuel Sheane, Esqrs., magistrates, relative to the genuineness of the tombstone, by which James Tracy, Esq,, (sic) proves his title to his long disputed peerage; and which the House of Lords decided in his favour, subject to their proving of this stone. A great number of respectable people attended to give evidence as well as to hear such a novel inquiry. Mr. John Rafter, a stone-cutter and builder, proved that the four pieces of stone produced must have originally been in one--they all corresponding with the grain, breaks, and letters, when laid together closely to form one stone--and it was his opinion that the said stone was the original one belonging to the family, placed there as a tombstone; in which other witnesses also concurred, and signed declarations to that effect.--Leinster Express.
May 5, 1843 (FJ) The Tracy Peerage 
…Mary Atkins sworn and examined…at the age of 20 [56 years ago] I was acquainted with an old lady of the name of Tracy, in Exchequer-street, Dublin. She had been a widow for several years and I used to work for her. Her brother, Mr. O’Brien, a woolen draper [in Francis street], and her son James Tracey, were also known to me. The latter married and had a son named Joseph, who is the father of the present claimant…[eldest son James, and his wife Mary, and their eldest son Joseph...Mrs. Mary Tracy wife of William...she was in business in a Pastrycook’s shop in Exchequer Street..died 1787...was buried at the round protestant church called St. Andrew’s Church, near College Green, nearly opposite the Commercial Buildings...Burial. On 13th Sep. 1787 - Widow Tracy...James Tracy and Timothy Tracy, protestants...]...
September 15, 1843 (FJ) The Tracy Peerage 
…[William Tracy] resided in Fleet street, in the parish of St. Marks, Dublin, in which parish he married, according to the rites of the Protestant Church on the 17th April 1728, Mary, daughter of Mr. James O’Brien, a woolen merchant in that city…and in the same parish his eldest son, James Tracy [eldest son, born January 27th 1729; and Timothy Tracy, second eldest born January 20th, 1730], the claimants grandfather, was born on the 27th January 1729. In 1732, he settled at Ross, in the King’s County, where he died on the 15th October 1734, in the 42d year of his age, and was buried at Castlebrack, in the Queens county…His eldest son, James Tracy, married in the parish of Geashill, King’s County, 10th May 1764 and resided at Gurteen in that parish, where he died 4th April 1794, in the 65th year of his age and was buried next to his father’s tomb in Castlebrack, burial ground, leaving Joseph Tracy, of Geashill, his eldest son, born 7th March 1765, and who married also in that parish a person of his own name, but in no way related to the Tracys of England. He died, and was buried at St. George’s, Hanover-square, London, on the 20th March 1836, in the 71st year of his age, leaving James Tracy, his eldest son, the claimant. [Joseph Tracy, Chapel Court, buried March 20th 1836, 75 years, St. George's Hanover Square London.]
October 24, 1844 (FJ) The Tracy Peerage 
…William Tracy, came to Ireland, with his sister [Anne], who married Thomas Wylde, Esq, M.P., for the city of Worcester, and Chief Commissioner of Revenue in Ireland…he (claimant) found a judgment in one of the courts in Dublin, dated 1732, against said William Tracy, from which he was able to prove, that he (William) got an appointment in a public-office in the north of Ireland…
25 Nov 1844 (CE)
James Tracey, who was struck by Mr. Ashton, of the Watch-office in Self-defence, at the South Dock station, has since been elevated to the Tracy Irish peerage.
23 November 1844 Liverpool Mail
.. The police constable 290, James Tracey was struck Ashton, of the Wateh-office, m iice, at the South Duck Station, has since been elevated to the title Earl Tracy ...
25 January 1845 Wexford Conservative
Mr. Tracy, of the Liverpool police, will be now Lord Tracy (revived) with £80,000 a year.
7 May 1845 The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW)
The Peasant, Policeman, and Peer.-
We last week recorded the circumstance of a Liverpool policeman having been elevated to the Irish peerage by the title of Earl Tracy. A correspondent, who says he has an "intimate knowledge of the family," forwarded us the following:- "James Tracy, the policeman, who has recently been elevated to the peerage, was born in Geashill, a small village in the King's County, Ireland. He is the eldest of a large family, who was a tolerably good specimen of what O'Connell would call 'the finest pisantry in the world.' When a boy he was noticed by a gentleman of the neighbourhood, who took him into his house, where he acquitted himself so much to the gentleman's satisfaction, that he bestowed on him a liberal education, and procured him a situation in a counting-house. He subsequently married a lady of great beauty, with a fortune of about £2000. He then embarked in the wine and spirit business, and for some years had an establishment on Summerhill, Dublin. Under these circumstances of affluence he did not forgot his parents' humble roof, and his brothers were appointed to minor offices in his establishment. His long-pending case in the Lords, however, drained his resources, and we next find him exercising the functions of a policeman in Liverpool. This might be said to be a 'step from the sublime to the ridiculous, but lo! again the scene is changed, and we behold him a peer of the realm! possessing a fine, portly frame, that would not disgrace a monarch, added to a good and generous disposition and an extensive knowledge of human nature." -Bristol Mercury.
3 April 1847 (N) The Tracy Peerage Case
...The evidence was not very material, consisting chiefly of a letter from Mr. Justice Tracy, dated "Coscomhe[?] Jan. 20, 1732-3" addressed to his daughter, who married Thomas Wylde, Esq., of the Excise-office, Dublin...
27 March 1847 The Spectator
In the House of Lords, on Tuesday, a Committee of Privileges assembled to consider the claim of Mr. James Tracy, of Gresshill in Queen's County, to the Barony and Viscounty of Tracy. Thepeerage has been dormant since 1797. The. claimant's father petitioned the Crown in 1836, bat died before the proceedings had made any way. The present claimant then petitioned; but failed in establishing his claim, both in 1839 and also in 1843. By the evidence given in 1843 it was proved, that the right to the title rested in the male descend- ants, if any, of the Honourable Robert Tracy, a Judge of the Common Pleas in. England between 1700 and 1726, the only surviving son of the second Viscount.. It was also shown that the claimant was the descendent and heir of a William Tracy, who married one Mary O'Brien, in Dublin, about the year 1714. The difficulty in the claimant's case was, to show that this William Tracy was of the family of the English Judge Tracy. His statement for that purpose was, that the Judge had three sons,—first, Robert, who died without issue; second, Richard, who left an only son, who died without issue•' all of which WAS clearly proved; and, third, William, who was the same William Tracy that went to Ireland and married Mary O'Brien, and was claimant's ancestor. It was said that this marriage displeased the family; who refused to recognize either William Tracy or his descendants. The relationship of William Tracy to the Judge was sought to he "roved by certain entries in a Prayer-book, and by an inscription on a tombstone in the parish-church of Castlebrook, in Queen's County. The tomb- stone bad, however, disappeared from the church for many years. This evidence was not deemed sufficient; and the claimant having amended his case, now sought to prove, by the evidence of Mrs. Elizabeth Lambe, a direct descendant of Judge Tracy, the identity of the William Tracy who went to Dublin and married Miss O'Brien with the William Tracy who was related to the English Judge. Fragments of the tombstone with the inscription on it would also be produced. After the examination of Mrs. Lambe and several other witnesses, the farther hearing of the case was adjourned.
April 7, 1848 (FJ) Died
At Geashill, in the King's County, of Fever, Mary Anne, daughter of James Tracy, Esq, the claimant to the Tracy Peerage.
April 24, 1849 (FJ) The Tracy Peerage
We have learned with regret that Mr. Tracy, the claimant to the Tracy Peerage, died this (Monday) morning in this city [Dublin], where he had only arrived within the last few days from England. - Press
27 Apr 1849 (BL) The Tracy Peerage
Mr. Tracy, the claimant to the Tracy Peerage, died on Monday morning, in Dublin, where he had only arrived within the last few days from England.
28th April 1849 The Tablet
Mr. James Tracy, who had been so long prosecuting his claim to the Tracy Peerage, died in this city on Monday.-Dublin Evening Post.
17 May 1950 The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW)
BEFORE THE COURT.-IV This is the fourth of a series of articles on sensational British court cases.
PEERAGE CLAIM BASED ON BOGUS TOMBSTONE
By RICHARD SINGER
Even an Irishman has been known to love a lord. This is the story of Irishmen who strove mightily to acquire that title.
The fact was that they had no claim to either the title or the far more important estates that went with it. The case proved to be founded upon a mass of perjury, fraud and forgery.
The title of Viscount and Baron Tracy of Rathcoole in the County of Dublin in the Kingdom of Ireland has long been forgotten. It was created by King Charles the First in 1642. It became dormant when the eighth Baron died in 1797, and has remained dormant ever since.
It was not until 1835 that one Joseph Tracy made a claim to the title and honours and to the estates of Baron Tracy. The monstrous piece of litigation continued spasmodically for fourteen years.
Just as in those other fraudulent claims, the Tichborne case and the Druce claim to the Portland millions, there were numerous gullible persons who speculated thousands of pounds in the hope of sharing in the spoils of the fight for the title.
Joseph Tracy asserted that he was the eldest grandson of a certain William Tracy, who died in 1735, and that on the death of the eighth Baron in 1797 he became entitled to the Peerage. It was put that William Tracy's father, who was an English Judge, had cut Joseph's grandfather out of his will because this son, William, had married in Dublin a mere Irish tradesman's daughter named Mary O'Brien. Joseph Tracy took so long getting his witnesses and presenting his case to the House of Lords that he died before it could be heard. Then his son, James Tracy, took up the cudgels, which turned out to be more like boomerangs. In the year 1843, eight years after its first launching, the claim was solemnly presented to their Lordships. The main pieces of evidence were two: firstly an alleged old Family Prayer Book containing significant written entries; and secondly the inscription on the lost tombstone of William Tracy, the son of Mr. Justice Tracy. The Prayer Book entries read as follows:
"James O'Brien, September 1st, 1730.
"Married in Dublin. April 17th, 1728, William Tracy, son of the Honourable Robert Tracy (late one of the English Judges), to Mary, daughter of Mr. James O'Brien, merchant
"James Tracy, their eldest son, born January 27th, 1729
"Timothy Tracy, second eldest, born June 26th, 1730
"This book belonged to my grandfather James O'Brien, afterwards to my father William Tracy, who was an Englishman, it contains the entry of his marriage, and the birth of my elder brother James and my own I now give it to my nephew Joseph Tracy of Geashill
"Coole, August 10th, 1796. "Timothy Tracy"
The principal witness as to the Prayer Book was old Mrs Mary Atkin. This party was then 76, and she tottered into the witness box and prattled to the Lords
Old Mrs Atkin swore that she had done sewing in that century in Dublin for Mrs Mary Tracy, the widow of the all important William Tracy. Mary Tracy used to talk to her about the neglect of her husband and herself by his family on account of the misalliance These talks had taken place in 1786 and Mrs Atkin declared that Mary Tracy died in 1787, when she was 80 years old Mrs Atkin had seen the Family Prayer Book and its entries 57 years before, and she identified the old volume then shown to her
The Lords pointed out that it was very strange that it had not been shown to Mrs Atkin when her supremely important testimony was first disclosed to the claimant
More calamitous was the evidence of one William Carroll, a cousin of the claimant, and who was a sworn witness called by the claimant himself For Carroll swore that Mary Tracy had actually died in 1750, 36 years before the alleged conversations between Mary Tracy and Mrs Atkin
Law Lords Indignant
One Patrick Culleton swore that he had seen the tombstone of William Tracy and its inscription 20 years before, but this stone of testimony had since mysteriously disappeared
The inscription on the alleged tombstone WPS as follows
"Erected by Mary Tracy to the memory of her husband William Tracy Esq . late of Ross in the Kings County, the third son of the Honourable Robert Tracy, late one of the Judges of the Common Pleas in England,' who departed this life the 15th Oct., 1734."
Culleton was a cousin of the claimant and a tenant on the Tracy estates. He had to admit that he owed eighteen months' rent for his farm and that he would not account the claimant ungrateful if he became Baron Tracy and excused Culleton the arrears of rent.
The Lords noted that it was not until 9 years after the launching of the claim that the tombstone had even been mentioned in the case.
The indignation of the learned Lords who patiently listened to such testimony may be imagined. They refused to accept it as conclusive proof of the claim.
In 1847 the Tracy Peerage claim was revived. A new and far more startling piece of evidence was now produced. It was none other than the long lost William Tracy tombstone itself. It was broken into four blocks, but on them, though much darkened, there was clearly the inscription already deposed to.
But the Law Lords were still gravely suspicious, and they postponed their formal decision. This was lucky for the holders of the Tracy estates. For the next year there was presented the shattering testimony of one Patrick Holton. Holton had only just recently himself engraved this very stone with his own hands. He had helped to break it into the four blocks and to hold them over a fire in order to make them look old.
After a naturally necessary adjournment the claim came before the House again in 1849. Witnesses who were to have been called by the claimant to refute Patrick Holton had disappeared -the alleged employer of Holton to America, and the claimant's solicitor, whom the Lords were very anxious to question, to Belgium.
The Law Lords found it impossible to act upon the "docked" evidence adduced.
They considered that the Prayer Book entries had all been written at the same time and in the same hand, and that of a schoolboy and not of an adult.
Since the year 1849 the Tracy Peerage has lain dormant. It must have died in its sleep.
TO-MORROW: Murder and The Unwritten Law.
Pedigree of the Tracy Family from John the First Lord Viscount Tracy to Martin Tracy Esq. of Streamstown in the count of Westmeath, in Ireland. The gr. Grandson of the Honble Robt Judge Tracy of the Common Pleas in England. The claiment to the Title, Honors and Dignities of Viscount and Baron Tracy of Rathcoole in the county of Dublin and Kingdom of Ireland.
1. Sir John Tracy
The son of Sir John Tracy knighted in 1574 by Queen Elizabeth. He was created Lord Viscount Tracy of Rathcoole by letters of patent by Chas 1 dated 12th Jan 1642.
married Anne Daughter of Thomas Shirley of Isfield in the county of Sussex by whom he had issue 2 sons.
1.1 Robert the eldest son of John 1st Viscount who on the death of his father became 2nd Viscount
he was knighted by King Chas 1st was married twice
Died & was buried at Toddingham, May 1683
1st Wife Bridget Daur of John Lyttleton Esq. Of Frankley Court in Worestershire by whom there was issue 4 sons by Muril his wife Daur of the Lord Chancellor Bromley
1.1.1a John 3rd Viscount
The eldest son of Robt 2 Visc succeed on the death of his father He was married but dying at Hales March 8th was buried at Toddington March 11t 1686
1.1.2a Honorable Thomas second son of Robert 2nd Viscount Tracy by Bridget his 1st wife He died without issue.
1.1.3a Honorable William third son of Robert 2nd Viscount Tracy by Bridget his 1st wife He died without issue.
1.1.4a Honorable Henry fourth son of Robert 2nd Viscount Tracy by Bridget his 1st wife He died without issue.
2nd wife Dorethy Daughter of Thomas Cocks Esq of Castlebtch in the County of Harford Ancestor of the present Earls of Somars.
1.1.5b The Honorable Robert Tracey many years Judge of the Common Please which office he resigned in 1726. He died and was buried at Didbrook on the 19th September 1735
married ??? daur of William ??? Esq ??? ??? and ??? sons and ??? daughters
220.127.116.11 Robert Tracy the eldest son of Judge Tracy He was a member of the Middle Temple London but died in his fathers lifetime unmarried on the 7th September 1732
18.104.22.168 Richard Tracy 2nd son of Robert Judge Tracy he was also a member of the Middle Temple London. He died also in his fathers lifetime on the 15th November 1732 having married Margaret daughter of Owen Salisbury Esq. She died 12th May 1773 aged 85 leaving an only son
22.214.171.124.1 Robert Tracy the only son of Richard Tracy and Margaret his wife
NOTE: He bequethed the Coscombe estate to his cousin Robert Pratt son of his aunt Dorethy daughter of his grandfather Judge Tracy by will dated 14th May 1736. He died unmarried and without issue 30th May 1756.
126.96.36.199 Ann eldest daughter of Judge Tracy. She was twice married 1st to Mr. Dowdeswell 2nd to Mr. Wylde.
1st husband Charles Dowdeswell in the county of Worcaster. He died 30th May 17?3 in the 26th year of his age
188.8.131.52.1a Ann Dowdeswell daughter of Charles Dowdeswell by Ann the eldest daughter of Judge Tracy. She died 12th May 176? Aged having issue
married Robert Wylde son of Thomas Wylde by his 1st wife Katherine. He died 26th October 1741
184.108.40.206.1.1 Thomas Wylde son of Thomas and Ann Wylde who died 25th April 1789 having married Elizabeth Browne and had issue 2 children
220.127.116.11.1.1.1 Ralph Wylde who died 10th Dec 1810
18.104.22.168.1.1.2 Robert Wylde now living
22.214.171.124.1.2 Rev Charles Edmund Wylde son of s Tho’ and Ann Wylde He died 25th January 1798 having married Mary Fewtrell and had issue 4 children
126.96.36.199.1.2.1 Rev Robert Wylde son of the Rev Cha’ Edm’ Wylde and Mary Fewtrell his wife. He died 14th Nov 1833. Married Emma Pritchard daughter of Edward Pritchard Esq.
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.1 Rev Charles Edmund Fewtrell Wylde born 12th May 1808 now living at Bridgenorth
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168 Mary Wylde who died unmarried 22 Nov 1833
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199 Elizabeth Browne Wylde who married Wm Lambe Esq of Albury. She gave her evidence before the Lords in 1847 and is since dead
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206 John Fewtrell Wylde of the 4th Regiment of Queens own Dragoons. He died in 1851 leaving all his property to his nephew the Rev Chas Edm Fewtrell Wylde of Bridgenorth
2nd husband Thomas Wylde M.P. ??? He was 1st married to Katherine daughter of Sir Bayton Throckmenton Bar’
220.127.116.11.3.1b Elizabeth Wylde who died unmarried 17th May 1791 aged 63 years. She was aunt to Mrs. Elizabeth Brownlambe.
NOTE: She bequethed her property to her nephew the Rev Charles Edmond Wylde son of Robert Wylde who married her half sister Ann Dowdeswell
18.104.22.168.3.2b ??? Wylde who died an infant.
22.214.171.124 Dorethy 2nd and youngest daur of Judge Tracy. She was born at Cheltenham 26th Oct 1697 and died 23rd March 1727 having married John eldest son of Sir John Pratt Lord Chief Justice of the Kings Bench and half broth of Charles 1st Earl of Camden who died 1770.
126.96.36.199 William Tracy 3rd son of Robert Judge Tracy formerly of Donore & afterwards of Streamstown in the county of Westmeath where he died 12th June 1782 aged 90 years having married the widow Gagharan whose maiden name was Bridget Nester and whose family resided in the parish of Dysart or Castletown. She died in the year 1782 aged 74 years. Both buried at Castletown Geoghegan leaving issue 4 children 3 sons and one daur
188.8.131.52.1 Daniel Tracy who was born at Donore in the county of Westmeath in the year 1736 and died in April of the year 1823 was buried at Castletown Geoghegan in the same grave as his father William Tracy having married Mary Wheelaghan of the parish of Durrow in the Kings County and had issue 4 children
184.108.40.206.1.1 Joseph Tracy who went to America. 50 years age and there died unmarried.
220.127.116.11.1.2 William Tracy who also went to America. About 45 years age and there died unmarried
18.104.22.168.1.3 Bridget Tracy who married Mr Edward Neil of Kilbeggan & both died without issue
22.214.171.124.1.4 Elizabeth Tracy who died young
126.96.36.199.2 Malachy or Loughlin Tracy born in the year 1742 at Donore he afterwards went to Meldrum where he died on the 22nd June 1816 aged 74 years and he lies buried in Horsesleap church yard see epitaph. He married Miss Mary Moore Parish of Horseleap in the County of Westmeath and had issue
188.8.131.52.2.1 Miss Catherine Tracy now the widow of Thomas Clarke to whom she was married by special licence in Dublin 24 September 1798 & now residing in Meldrum House in the county of Westmeath her late husband Thomas Clarke Esq formerly of Dublin died on the 18th August 1816 aged 45 years. See his tomestone in Horseleap church yard. They had issue 4 sons and 2 daughters
184.108.40.206.2.1.1 James Clarke the eldest son of said Thomas & Catherine Clarke a retired solicitor residing at Meldrum House
220.127.116.11.2.1.2 The Reverend Thomas Tracy Clarke the 2nd son residing at Beaumont Lodge Old Winsor in the count of Berks.
18.104.22.168.2.1.3 The Reverend Malachy Clarke 3rd son now residing abroad
22.214.171.124.2.1.4 Christoper Clarke M.D. the 4th son now residing at Naas in the county of Kildare. M.R.C.S. England A.B. & M.B. Trinity College Dublin. Physician to Clongowes College Kildare. He married Mary daur of the late Daniel Hodgens Esq of Dove House Blackrock Co. Dublin
126.96.36.199.2.1.5 Catherine Clarke a nun at the convent of at Navan in the county of Meath
188.8.131.52.2.1.6 Maria Clarke now residing at Meldrum House.
184.108.40.206.3. James Tracy born in 1744 at Donore and died in the year 1834 aged 90 years & was buried at Castletown Greghegan having married Dorothy Carroll Balinabarna in the parish of Kilcumreagh in the county of Westmeath and had issue.
220.127.116.11.3.1. Martin Tracy the present claimant who is a bachelor & is now residing at Streamstown in the count of Westmeath.
18.104.22.168.3.2. William Tracy died unmarried in his 24th year and lies buried at Castletown Greghegan
22.214.171.124.3.3. Daniel Tracy late of Streamstown died 5th November 1855 and was buried at Castletown Greghegan having married Bridget White on the 17 November 1848. She is now living at streamstown having had issue.
126.96.36.199.3.3.1 James Tracy who died at Demarara 11th May 1841
188.8.131.52.3.3.2 Martin Tracy now living in New York in America
184.108.40.206.3.3.3 William Tracy now living in Streamstown. He married Hannah Jordan and has issue 3 children
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168 Joseph Tracy
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199 Mary Tracy
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206 Daniel Tracy
220.127.116.11.3.3.4 Joseph Tracy now living in America
18.104.22.168.3.3.5 Mary Tracy who died unmarried
22.214.171.124.3.3.6 Dorethy Tracy now living at Ballymore in the county of Westmeath unmarried
126.96.36.199.3.3.7 Anne Tracy now living at Streamstown and unmarried.
188.8.131.52.4. Anne Tracy born in 1746 at Donore in the county of Westmeath she was married in 1762 to the Late Mr. Patrick Seery in the county of Westmeath and had issue
184.108.40.206.4.1 Bridget their daughter now living in Lara in the county of Westmeath.
220.127.116.11 William 4th Viscount succeeded his father as eldest son & having married twice had issue. He died 17th April and was buried at Toddington 19th April ????
1st wife Frances Daughter of Lacester Darerour Harford by whom there was issue one son and one daughter.
18.104.22.168.1a Honorable John son of William 4th Viscount Tracy by Frances his 1st wife He died young and unmarried.
2nd wife Jane third and youngest daur of Sir Tho Lagh who died before his father the 2nd Lord Lagh by his 2nd wife Daur of Patrick the 19 L Karry ancestor of the present Marquis of Lansdown by whom there was issue 1 son
22.214.171.124 Honorable Charles 2nd son of John 3rd Viscount Tracy who died and was buried at Todington 6th May 16?6 young ??? ????
126.96.36.199 The Honorable Ferdinande 3rd son of John 3rd Viscount Tracy he was left by Sir John Tracy Bart heir to the Stanway estate where he bacame ??? He married and had issue 2 sons
married Miss Catherine Keck the daur of Sir Ant Keck Commissioner of the Great Seal and brother of Francis Keck Esq of Great ???
188.8.131.52.1 Ferdinande Tracy eldest son of the Hon Ferdinande Tracy and Catherine his wife. He died an infant and was buried at Toddington the 19th February 1682.
184.108.40.206.2. John Tracy 2nd son of the Hon Ferdinande Tracy & Catherine his wife. He suceeded to the Stanway Estate on the death of his father. Married and died leaving his wife and six sons surviving him
married Anne daughter of Sir Robert Atkins of Saperion in the county of Gloucester Chief Baron of the Exchequer
220.127.116.11.2.1 Robert Tracy the eldest son. He married the daughter of Sir Robert Hudson Esq. He left his own estates intact but died without issue in Sept 1767 having by his will dated 16th Oct 1766 left his estate to the children of his brother Anthony.
18.104.22.168.2.2 John Tracy surnamed Atkins 2nd son. He was the survivor of the family. He was Cursilor Baron of the Exchequer but died without issue in July 1773. His will being proved in 1774.
22.214.171.124.2.3 Ferdinande Tracy 3rd son. He was mentioned in the will of his great uncle Francis Keck Esq dated june 1788 but died without issue.
126.96.36.199.2.4 Anthony Tracy surnamed Keck 4th son. He married 1736 Lady Susan Hamilton sister to the Duke of Hamilton. He died July 1767 without male issue leaving his 2 daur ???
188.8.131.52.2.5 Thomas Tracy 5th son. Sandywell Park. He married Mary the daur & heiress of Sir William Dodwell but died in 1770 without male issue. His son Dodwell dying in his lifetime.
184.108.40.206.2.6 William Tracy 6th son was baptised in January 1721. Died and was buried at Stanway in May 1729 being only 8 years when he died.
220.127.116.11.1b Thomas Charles 5th Viscount succeeded his father 1712. He was the settler of the Tracy Estates in 1748 ??? married twice died and was buried at Toddington on the 7th June 1756
1st wife Elizabeth eldest daur of William Kevl Esq who died before his father Sir William Kevl of Ebringhim in the county of Glousester Bar. She was born 11 Sep 1689 died and was buried at Toddington 19 Nov 1749. By her was issued 2 sons.
2nd wife Frances youngest daur of Sir John Packington of Westweed in the county of Worester Baronet. She died and was buried at Toddington 26 April 1754 and there was issue 3 sons & 4 daurs
18.104.22.168.1.1.a The honorable William Tracy eldest son of Thomas Charles 5th Viscount He joined his father in the settlement of the 16 Sept 1748 but dying in his fathers lifetime without issue was buried at Toddington on the 15 April.
The Honorable Jane who married on the 17 Oct 1743 Capel Hanbury Esq of Penly pool in the county of Memmouth. She died on the 13 Aug 1744 ??? issue only son
22.214.171.124.1.2.a Thomas Charles 6th Viscount succeeded on the death of his father 1756. He was a ??? ??? ??? in 1773. He died on the ??? and was buried at Toddington on the 18 August 1792 in the ??? year of his age. He was married but died without issue.
married Harriet daur of Peter Bathurst Esq. Of Claranden Par in the county of Wilts by his second wife Lady Selina Shirley daur of the Earl Ferrens by this marraige there was no issue.
126.96.36.199.1.3.b John 7th Viscount succeeded on the death of Tho Cha the 6th Visc his half brother 1792. He was DD in 1761 made Warden of All Souls Oxford and died on the 2nd February 1793 unmarried leaving his brother Henry his surviv.
Honorable Robert Packington second son of Thomas Charles 5th Viscount by Frances his 2nd wife. He went out as a cadet in the E.I comp Service. He died in Bombay in the East Indies unmarried as appears by his will dated 29th July 1748
188.8.131.52.1.4.b Henry 8th Viscount succeeded his brother John 7th Viscount in 1793. He was an officer in the army and married 12 Dec 1767 to a daur of Ames Weaver Esq. He died without male issue & was buried at Toddington 11 May 1797 leaving an only daughter surviving him
Henrietta Susanna Tracy Eldest and only daur of Henry 8th Viscount She was married in 1798 to Charles Hanbury 3rd son of John Hanbury Esq. Of Penty Pool in the county of Mommouth . He afterwards took the name of Tracy now Lord Sudley. Ì
Regarding 1.1.1b above:
Tracy, Hon. Robert, Judge of Common Please, 5th s. of Robert, Viscount Tracy, Toddington, Glos., M.T., 15 April 1673, called 1680. 14 Nov 1699.
Keane E, Phair PB and Sadleir TU (1982) Kings Inns Admission Papers 1607-1867. Stationery Office, Dublin for Irish manuscripts Commission.
GO Ms 184 LE II p 131 John Tracey Viscount Tracey of Rathcoole [3rd Viscount?] married, thirdly, Elizabeth, dau of Edward Leigh
17 May 1856 (NG) The Tracy Peerage
In our last publication we briefly referred to the fact that a new claimant to the Tracy Peerage had been discovered in the person of Mr. Martin Tracy, of Streamstown, in the county of Westmeath. we have been informed that within the past week important information has been obtained, - and most conclusive facts have been brought to light, which leave not the shadow of doubt as to Mr. Tracy's ultimate success in establishing his claim to this ancient. The family of Tracy is well known in the parish of Horseleap, where the father (Mr. J. Tracy) of the present claimant cultivated extensive farms, and was much and actively engaged in other business pursuits during his long life - he having reached the patriarchal age of ninety, and died only a few years since, a reputedly wealthy man. We understand that Mrs. C. Clarke of Meldrum House, a lady of superior intellectual acquirements, who is granddaughter of William Tracy, third son of Judge Tracy, and still in the enjoyment of excellent health and unimpaired faculties entertains a distinct and clear remembrance of her grandfather. As far as we have been able to learn, the family of the claimant are not allied to any family bearing the name residing in this or adjoining counties, but stands perfectly distinct as the real descendants of the first Viscount Tracy, of Rathcoole, created a peer for services rendered the crown by raising a regiment of dragoons in Ireland - a fact which proves that he must have possessed considerable wealth and much influence and played no inconsiderable if not conspicuous part during a stormy period of our country's history. We wish his descendants success in the prosecution of his claim, and shall eagerly watch every new phase in this long-contested and interesting peerage case. - Leinster Express
2 Dec 1856 (BL) The Tracy Peerage
We are happy to inform our readers that the late Attorney-General, Sir A. Cockburn, now Lord Chief Justice, has reported to her Majesty most favourably on the claim of Martin Tracy, Esq., of Streamstown. This is a great triumph for Mr. Tracy, more particularly when such a report emanates from a lawyer possessing the acuteness and great legal talant of the late Attorney-General. We stated a short time since that Mr. Tracy would undoubtedly prove his claim to the titles of Viscount and Baron Tracy of Rathcoole and the report of the Attorney-General to her Majesty confirms us that we were right. The Attorney-General concludes his report as follows:- "Having fully considered the nature of the evidence laid before me on behalf of the claimant, Martin Tracy, esq., in support of his petition to your Majestry, I beg humbly to report - That in my opinion the evidence submitted is sufficient to justify my referring the petition of the claimant and the statement in support thereof, to the House of Lords for consideration and adjudication thereon, if your Majesty shall be graciously pleased so to do; all which I humbly submit to your Majesty (Signed) A. Cockburn. We beg to congratulate the claimant upon his prospects of sucess, which are much nearer realisation than we expected, but not that we hoped for. - Westmeath Independent.
Case on the part of Matthew Tracy, of No. 40 Kensington Gardens Square, London
Also based on his descent from William Tracy and Mary O’Brien but very different to that stated above.
184.108.40.206 William Tracy (3rd son of the Judge), born 16th of February 1692, at Tucks or Tooks Court, in the Parish of St. Andrew’s, Holborn...married [Mary O’Brien], and settled, and had one son. William Tracy, settled at Ross, in the King's County, Ireland. He died 15th October 1734 and was buried in the Church yard of Castlebrack in the Queen's County.
220.127.116.11.1 John Tracy, born in 1727, settled in County Mayo, where he married Catherine, daughter of John Treston, Esquire, of that County, by whom he had an only son. Died in 1799. Married into a Roman catholic family appears to have adopted their religious profession.
18.104.22.168.1.1 Edward Tracy, born in 1755. who married, first Mary, daughter of John Treston, Esquire, of Cottage, in the County of Mayo, by her he had issue
22.214.171.124.1.1.1a Luke, better known as John, born in 1786, died in 1834 at Greenwich, having married the widow of Captain Hill, but died without issue.
And secondly Margaret, daughter of Martin Mc Hale, Esq., of Cloonkeash, in the parish of Turlough, county of Mayo, and by her had issue:
126.96.36.199.1.1.2b Catharine, who married Mr. Patrick Owens.
188.8.131.52.1.1.3b Martin, the father of the Claimant, born 1800 and died in 1847 and was buried in Abney Park Cemetery Stoke Newington, having married Catherine, daughter of Matthew Toole, Esq. of Tuam, in the county Galway, and by her he left issue:
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11. Edward, born in 1828, was drowned while bathing at Bhooz at Bombay in the East Indies, in 1850, unmarried, where upon the title to the Peerage devolved upon the Claimant
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124. Matthew, the Claimant, born in 1829.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52. Luke Charles.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11. Robert Alfred Martin.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124. Arthur Walter.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52. Constantine Henry.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11. Augusta Mary.
18.104.22.168.1.1.4b Mary, married to Mr. Mullawney
22.214.171.124.1.1.5b John, born in 1804, died in 1848, leaving issue.
July 1852 Gentleman's Magazine
Sept 19. Whilst bathing at Bhooj, India, aged 21, Edward Tracy, Bombay Art. eldest son of the late Martin Tracy, esq. of Stoke Newington, great-grandson of the Hon. Robert Tracy.
TracyTracy of RathcoolePeerage Petitions. PeerageDate range: 1853 - 1862.
November 25, 1854 (FJ) Marriage
November 23, in the Parish Church of Loughboy [Lugboy, Annagh, Mayo], by the Rev. Mr. Horan, Matthew Tracy, Esq., of South Hackney, London, eldest surviving son of the late Martin Tracy, Esq, and great-grandson of the Hon. Robert Tracy, to Anne Kate, only daughter of Luke Treston, Esq, of Feamore, county Mayo.
- At Loughboy, Matthew Tracy, esq. of South Hackney, eldest surviving son of the late Martin Tracy esq. And great-grandson of the Hon. Robert Tracy, to Anne-Kate, only dau. of Luke Treston, esq. of Fenmore, Co. Mayo.
The Gentlemans Magazine and Historical Review January 1855.
15 December 1859 (BL) The Tracy Peerage Case
...It is consequently, with much satisfaction that we record a new claimant to this long disputed succession in the person of Mathew Tracy, esq., of Hackney Terrace, Hackney, County of Middlesex...tracing his descent in gradual succession from Robert, the second Viscount Tracy...
8 Papers relating to the claims to the Viscount [of Tracy] http://www.traceyclann.com/files/8 papers.pdf
Page 406: Tracy Peerage. Case on the part of Matthew Tracy, of No. 40 Kensington Gardens Square...July 1862
“A copy of this case, printed in 1862, is in the Inner Temple Library. Matthew claimed that the judge’s son William had a son John (d. 1799), whose son Edward had two sons, Luke and Martin. Luke died without issue, and Martin (d. 1847) had issue Edward (deceased) and the claimant. No report of the hearing, if any occurred, has been found.”
Dr. Baker’s essay in The Sudeleys – Lords of Toddington
March 1862 The Tracy Peerage Case
It is stated that this long-suspended case is likely to be early brought before the Committee of Privileges, in the House of Lords, for further hearing and final adjudication. The present claimant is Matthew Tracy, Esq., who traces his descent from the second marriage of Robert, second viscount, and Baron Tracy - John, the third viscount, and Baron Tracy having died without male issue. He is the eldest surviving son of Martin Tracy, Esq., of county Mayo, Ireland, and seeks to recover possession of the titles, honours, and dignities of the family estate of Rathcoole, county of Dublin. The claimant's petition to her Majesty was referred by the Queen to Sir Richard Bethell, when Attorney-General, to report on its merits, and Sir Richard reported that, in his opinion, the evidence was sufficient to justify his referring the petition of the claimant, and the statements in support thereof, to the House of Lords for consideration and adjudication.
March 30, 1862 The Era (London)
...the present claimant to this peerage is Mr. Matthew Tracy, born in 1829...as the eldest surviving son of Martin Tracy, who died in 1847...
July 1862 Tracy Peerage
Petition of Matthew Tracy, of No. 40, Kensington Gardens-square, in the county of Middlesex, Esquire, claiming to be Lord Viscount Tracy of Rathcoole in the Peerage of Ireland, has presented a petition to the House of Lords praying that, upon the hearing of his claim to the dignity of Viscount and Baron Tracy of Rathcoole, now pending, he may be permitted to prove the extinction of the male issue of the second Viscount Tracy, who would be seniority to the line of William Tracy, the ancestor of the petitioner, by reference to the evidence taken before the Committee of Privileges in the sessions of 1839 and 1843, upon the claim of James Tracy, and to read such evidence from the minutes of the proceedings of such Committee, and to have the benefit of the evidence so given, and that he may be, in like manner, permitted to avail himself of the evidence of Elizabeth Browne Lambe, and of any other evidence given on the hearing of the several claims of the said James Tracy in the sessions of 1847 and 1848; or so far and in such manner as to their lordships shall deem fit; and also that, upon the hearing of the petitioner’s claim, the officers of this House having the custody of the same may be directed to produce the fragments of the tombstone and all letters and documents remaining in their custody since the hearing of such former claim, or either of them.
Case of Lieut. Benjamin Wheatley Tracey, R.N., claiming the titles: Honor & Dignities of Viscount & Baron Tracey of Rathcoole, in the Kingdom of Ireland.
Also based on his descent from William Tracy and Mary O’Brien but very different to that stated above.
126.96.36.199 William Tracy 3rd son of the Judge, and who was born in St. Andrew’s, Holborn in 1692...married [Mary O’Brien], and settled, and had three children, viz.-
188.8.131.52.1 William b. 14th November 1740 [alias Beau Tracey] came to Bath, England on the death of his father [perhaps also called beau Tracy see note below] in 1756...married Sarah Pink, Parish of Walcot, 26th January 1766, and went to Portsea. In 1783, this William Tracey of Portsmouth Common, was involved in the attempt to raise the Royal George, and published a pamphlet on his attempt. [In January 1787, William Tracey of Portsmouth Common, pawnbroker, was declared a bankrupt] Their children were:
184.108.40.206.1.1 Ann b. 25th December 1767 Portsea, married Wm. Scoffield 24th November 1799 Portsea and had two children...
220.127.116.11.1.2 George Thomas Tracey (b. 18th November 1770 Portsea) married Frances Bain Mackay 20th February 1793, Chapel of Garrison, Gibraltar. He was a Purser and Paymaster R.N. 1805. Purser appoint to the HMS Albion 1815. Their children were:
18.104.22.168.1.2.1 Mary Ann Tracey b. 24th February 1796 Parish of Portsea, married Robert Kellow 25th March 1816 Minster, Kent
22.214.171.124.1.2.2 Frances Bain (b. 28th August 1797 Parish of Portsmouth) m. John James Hough 28th August 1815 East Stonehouse Devon. By that lady he had issue a son and three daughters.
[Miss Tracey m. Commander John James Hough (1785-1849)
1815 married Miss Tracey of Co. Cork. (Marshall 8, O’Byrne; for Miss Tracey’s origins see the O’Byrne entry for her brother, Lieutenant Benjamin Wheatley Tracey)
O’Byrne, William Richard A Naval Biographical Dictionary: comprising the life and services of every living officer in Her Majesty’s navy, from the rank of admiral of the fleet to that of lieutenant, inclusive. Compiled from authentic and family documents (London: Murray, 1849).]
Register of Marriage of Frances Bain Tracey with John Hough, in the Parish of East Stonehouse, in the County of Devon, where it appears,
That John James Hough, Esq., Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, a bachelor, and Frances Bain Tracey, of this Parish, spinster, were married on the 28th day of August, in the year of our Lord 1815. W.H. Nates, Minister.
126.96.36.199.1.2.3 George Thomas Tracey b. 14th September 1799, died 1800
188.8.131.52.1.2.4 George Thomas Tracey b. 18th June 1801 Parish of Plymouth, died at Sierra Leone in 1827
184.108.40.206.1.2.5 Sarah Pink Tracey b. 22th February 1803 Parish of Liskeard, Cornwall married Richard Lane 24th April 1827 Tonbridge Kent
220.127.116.11.1.2.6 Benjamin Wheatley (b. 22nd July 1805 Parish of Cork) m. Elizabeth Howard (b. 1819 Ireland - daughter of W. Howard, Esq. of Cork) 16th April 1831 Stonehouse Devon and had 5 children up to 1853.
April 16th  At Storehouse Chapel, Lieut. RW Tracey, RN to Elizabeth, eldest daughter of W. Dowand, Esq. of Cork.
The United service magazine
May 6, 1831 (FJ) Marriages
At Plymouth, Lieutenant Tracey, Royal Navy, to Elizabeth, the eldest daughter of W. Dowand, Esq, of Cork.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124 Alicia Howard Tracey b. 1831 approx.
May 15, 1914 (FJ) Death
Bradley - May 11 1914, at Southsea, Alicia Howard, widow of the late Henry Bradley, of Blackheath, and the Temple, and daughter of the late Captain B.W. Tracey, RN, aged 52 years.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 Robert Lambert Tracey b. 1833 [joined the Royal Navy?]
Apr 23, 1833 (BL) Birth
On the 14th inst the lady of Lieut Tracey, R.N. Coast Guard Station, Dunaff Head [Donegal], of a son.
1880 Census - San Francisco, San Francisco, California
Self Robert L. Tracey M 40, b. Ireland, Real estate, Father b. England, Mother b. England
Wife Emily Tracey F 30 SPANISH
Daughter Bessie Tracey F 7 California, United States
Daughter Harriett Tracey F 5 California, United States
Son Robert Tracey M 3 California, United States
Emily Cadiz Tracey d. 17 Apr 1913 San Francisco, San Francisco, California Age: 67 years b. Montevidio Funeral Home: N. Gray & Co. Funeral Records
April 19, 1913 The San Francisco call
Tracey - Entered into rest in this city, April 17 1913, Emily Cadiz Tracey, widow of the late Robert Lambert Tracey and dear mother of Robert E., Bessie E., Arica E and Emily M. Tracey. Friends are respectfully invited to attend the funeral services today (Saturday) April 19 at 10 am at Gray's chapel. Geary and Divisaderop streets. Interment private. Please oralt flowers.
Emilie Mercedes Tracey, 24 years, (d. of Robert Lambert Tracey & Emelie Eugenie Cadiz) m. Andrew Joseph Byrne, 26 years (s. of James Byrne & Ellen Byrne) 29 Dec 1914 San Francisco, California, United States
1910 Census - Alameda Ward 5 California [1940 Census - 1122 10 Street Santa Monica, Los Angeles, California]
SELF Robert E Tracey M 33y b. California Father b. England, Mother b. Uruguay
WIFE Lillian G Tracey F 28y b. California
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 Elizabeth Wallis Tracey b. 1834 approx m. Robert Fitzgerald Maynard b. 1844
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124 Richard Edward Tracey K.C.B. admiral R.N. (b. 24 January 1837 Cork d. 7 March 1907 London) married:
(1) to Janet Douglas Wingate (b. 1844 d. 1875) daughter of the Rev. William Wingate, on 8 Jul 1865 at Boulogne-Sur-Mer, France (marriage recorded for potential Royal Navy widow's pension).
(2) on 30 November 1887 to Hon. Adelaide Constance Rohesia de Courcy (b. 1855 d. 9 July 1926), the only daughter of John Constantine de Courcy, (22nd Lord Kingsale and 29th Baron Kingsale in the Irish peerage) and Adelaide Brown-Westhead. From 30 November 1887, her married name became Tracey. She held extensive lands in Cork.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 Stopford Cane Tracey (b. 1839 Cork d. 18 September 1906 Isle of Wight) (See English Census, 1901 living in Chelsea)
In the English Census, in 1841 they are living in Chesire, in 1861 they are living in Sussex (with Lucy), in 1871 they are living in London.
Benjamin Wheatley Tracey, then aged 59, married Lucy Agnes Troy (widow) nee Lucy Agnes Glynn on 1 Mar 1866 at St Georges Catholic Church, Southwark, Surrey (marriage recorded for potential Royal Navy widow's pension). ADM 13/71 Marriage Certificates
184.108.40.206.1.2.7 Margaret Foote Shepeard Tracey b. 13th March 1808 Parish of Portsea (unmarried)
220.127.116.11.2 Thomas b. 23rd June 1743
18.104.22.168.3 Sarah b. 23rd July 1746, went with her brother to Portsea, and married Richard Hoare at Kingston Church, Portsea, 15th May 1779 (Witness Ann Tracey) and had two children...
[Note: The London Magazine or Gentleman’s Monthly Intelligence. Deaths...May 1756...21 William Tracy, Esq; commonly called beau Tracy.]
TRACEY. (Lieut., 1829. F-P., 18; H-P., 13.)
Benjamin Wbeatley Tracey, born 22 July, 1805, at the Cove of Cork, is son of the late Geo. Thos. Tracey, Esq., Purser and Paymaster R.N. (1795); and brother-in-law of Commander John Jas. Hough, R.N., and of Capt. Robt. Kellow, R.M,, who died in 1844.
This officer entered the Navy, 14 Jan. 1816, as Fst.-cl. Vol., on board the Albion 74, Capt. John Coode. In that ship, of which his father was at the time Purser, he fought in the ensuing Aug. at the battle of Algiers. Being paid off from her on her return from the Mediterranean in May, 1819, he next, in March, 1820, joined, in the capacity of Mid-shipman, the Vigo 74, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral Robt. Lambert at St. Helena, where he remained until Jan. 1822. Between the latter date and March, 1824, he served at Portsmouth in the Ramilies 74, Capt. Edw. Brace, and Starling 4, Lieut.-Commander Chas. Turner; and he was next from March until Oct. 1824 and from Dec. 1824 until Feb. 1826, employed at Chatham and Plymouth, as Mate, in the Basilisk cutter, Lieut.-Commander John Jas. Hough, and Windsor Castle 74, Capts. Hugh Downman and Edw. Durnford King. He was then transferred to the Java 52, Capts. John Wilson and Wm. Fairbrother Carroll; to which ship, stationed in the East Indies, he continued attached as Mate and Lieutenant (commission dated 30 Jan. 1829) until Jan. 1830. From 29 Aug. 1831 until 1836 he commanded a station in the Coast Guard. This was his last appointment.
Lieut. Tracey is a claimant of the Tracey peerage. He married, 16 April, 1831, Elizabeth, daughter of Wm. Howard, Esq., of Cork, and has issue three sons and two daughters. Agent — J. Hinxman.
William R. O’Byrne (1849) A Naval Biographical Dictionary
Tracey, Benjamin Wheatley.
A Candid and Accurate Narrative of the Operations used in Endeavoring to raise his Majesty’s Ship Royal George, in the Year 1783...William Tracey. 1785
Richard Edward Tracey K.C.B. admiral R.N. (1837-1907)
12 Dec 1853 (BL)
The present claimant to the Tracy Peerage, Lieut. Bejamin Wheatley Tracy, has been referred by the Secretary of State to the Attorney-General.
1874 Tracey Viscounty and Barony (Ireland) Claimant: Cdr. Benjamin Wheatley Tracey, R.N. Result: Petition to amend petition of 1853. Referred to Attorney General.
The pillar of witness: a Scriptural view of the Great pyramid By Benjamin Wheatley Tracey 1876
Edward Tracy Turnerelli (1813-1896), son of Peter Turnerelli (1774 Belfast-1839 London) and Margaret Tracy (d. 1835). They were married in Dublin and the family later moved to London, where Peter became a royal sculptor. Margaret Tracy was a claimant to the Tracy Peerage.
Some early Tognarelli marriages
recorded in Pallot's Marriage Index for England: 1780-1837:
Peter Tognarelli and Margt Treacy [or Treay], 1795, St. Marylebone Parish
Edward was born in Newman Street, London, on 13 Oct. 1813. For a time he studied modelling under his father and at the Royal Academy, but in 1836 went to Russia, where he spent eighteen years, visiting, under the emperor’s patronage, the most distant parts of that country and sketching its ancient monuments. He returned to England in 1854, and, obtaining an independent income by his marriage with Miss Martha Hankey, devoted the remainder of his life to politics as an ardent supporter of conservative principles. In 1878 he earned notoriety as the projector of a scheme for presenting a ‘people's tribute’ — in the form of a gold laurel wreath — to the Earl of Beaconsfield in recognition of his services at the Berlin congress, but the earl declined to accept the gift, and the wreath was left on Turnerelli’s hands. Turnerelli died at Leamington on 24 Jan. 1896. He wrote : 1. ‘Tales of the Rhenish Chivalry,’ 1835. 2. ‘Kazan, the Ancient Capital of the Tartar Khans,’ 1854. 3. ‘What J know of the late Emperor Nicholas,’ 1855. 4. ‘A Night in a Haunted House,’ 1859, and many political pamphlets. In 1884 he published his ‘Memories of a Life of Toil, or the Autobiography of the Old Conservative.’
[European Mag. 1821, i. 387-93; Gent. Mag. 1839, i. 548; Autobiography of Tracy Turnerelli; Times, 25 Jan. 1896; Exhibition Catalogues; Jordan's Autobiogr. p. 118.]
1 September 1855 (N) Talk of the Week
Mr. Edward Tracey Turnerelli, a gentleman who after a residence of sixteen years in Russia, has published some sketches of Russian life...
September 1880 Tracy Peerage
Mr Tracy Turnorelli, who connection with the golden wreath rejected by Lord Boaconsfield will be widely remembered has published some letters regarding his claim to the Tracy "Titles and Estates”. He states that the advisability of bringing this claim for the third time in his family history before the House of Lords is at the present time occupying the attention of his legal advisors.
1 December 1880 Inangahua Times, NZ
Another Claimant! This time it is Turnerelli of the Golden Wreath. Sixty years ago his mother laid claim to the "Tracey peerage and estates" and died. A cousin subsequently made a second attempt and now T.T. having brought to light certain fresh facts, proposes to make a third attempt and is anxious to put himself in communication with any person who can afford him any additional information.
Converts to Rome : a list of about four thousand Protestants who have recently become Roman Catholics (1885)
Mrs. Tracy Turnerelli, sister of Thomson Hankey, M.P., and cousin of Earl Bathurst (1866.)
Mr Tracy Turnerelli in a letter to a Carlow journal, stated his father was the son of an exiled Italian nobleman, and that he was placed in Carlow College, where he completed his education.
Apr 18, 1903 (IT) The bust of Grattan...Peter Turnerelli, othwise Tognarelli, to whom the portrait of Grattan is due, was an artist who established his reputation by a bust of the Princess Charlotte, exhibited in the Royal Academy of 1802. After that Wellington, Blucher, Platoff, Aberdeen, Palmerston - every celebrity sat to him. He married Margaret Tracy, a claimant to the Tracy peerage. Their son Edward Tracy, born in 1813, a protégé of the Russian Emperor, and the husband of the rich Miss Hankey, became the well-known Tracy Turnerelli of a later date...
Notes and Queries (1945) 188 (8): 171-b-171.
...Another memorable instance is the grave of Tracy Turnerelli, in Leamington cemetery. His proper surname was Turner, but he thought euphony demanded the addition of "elli". Modesty was never a besetting virtue of his. Some years before his death he bought a plot of ground in the cemetery and built a strong vault. Over this he erected a huge rough rock, or monolith, weighing tons, and a sculptor was engaged to cut smooth facets on all four sides. On each of these facets he instructed the sculptor to incise various virtues he possessed or imagined.
He achieved some notoriety once by collecting thousands of pennies from workingmen, to pay for a gold wreath (or victor's laurel) which he presented to Lord Beaconsfield when Prime Minister. The latter declined the gift. Turnerelli then melted down the gold and spent the proceeds on plum puddings for the poor.
There is also a document listed in the Genealogy Office Dublin, gives a genealogy of the O’Tracy who were probable located in the west of Ireland, which also references the Viscounts of Rathcoole.
1720’s Accordingly, I set out, and made my way through Kilkenny, where I had the good fortune of meeting with a Gentleman, who, taking pity of my helpless condition, and in regard of some services done him formerly by my father, ordered a support for me, and put me to a school in that Town, endowed by the Ormond Family: Captain [William?] Tracy, I think, of Lord Nassau Pawlet’s Horse, Son to Judge Tracy of London, paid for my Maintenance and Education for near three years, but a Reverse in his affairs, and a melancholy, which I was told, he had contracted by the Terrors of a Shipwreck, from which he narrowly escaped with Life, put a sudden stop to all Remittances from that Gentleman. I had at this time equaled, if not surpassed, the most forward Youths in the School, of whom I saw many advanced before me to the University, not without concern and sorrow, to find that nothing stopped my progress, but the want of means, and that all my hopes were vanished at my disappointment in the fortunes of Mr. Tracy, of whom I never heard more, till I found him, in the Year 1728, in the most deplorable condition that can happen to human nature, deprived of his senses, at Montpelier, where he found no cure but in Death.
Clancy, Michael (1750) The memoirs of Michael Clancy, M.D. Dublin, MDCCL. . pp.30-1.
1731 An Historical list, of all horse-matches run
1733 The London Magazine
Capt. Tracey, son to the late Judge Tracey, promoted to the Post of a lieutenant in the Foot-Guards.
Treacy/Tracy family papers (1813-1853)
Contains: Letter from Elizabeth Treacy to her cousin James, dated Oct. 10, 1853; Lease of twenty acres of land in lower Ballylehane [Killabban, Laois] from Henry Hovenden to William Treacy, 4th September 1813; Revenue exchequer for Treacy/Hovenden (cover only - no date); Revenue exchequer accounts for William Treacy/ John Moore Hovenden, 1827; [Accounts] Thos. Gregory to Wm. Treacy, 1826; Revenue exchequer accounts, William Treacy, plaintiff, John Moore Hovenden, defendant, trinity term, 1827; Common Pleas, copy costs, William Treacy, plaintiff, John Moore Hovenden, defendant, Easter term, 1826; Common Pleas, costs of outlay and findings, Tracey [sic]/Hovenden, Easter term, 1826; Indenture of James Rouget, son of Daniel Rouget, to Elisha Mollet, captain of the brig, Two Brothers, dated 1793; Letter from William Harte of Dublin to James Treacy of New York City, dated Sept 8, 1851; document titled "The Rathcool Peerage"; document relating the extinction of the title of viscount for the Tracy [i.e., Treacy] name; document titled "Baron Sudeley" tracing the Tracy [i.e., Treacy] lineage; will of Anne Treacy, dated 1824.
FHL British Film [1696691 item 2] - LDS
Catalogue of the manuscript indexes and compilations of John D’Alton
11. One volume quarto, containing full notes and contents of sundry Charters, Patents, and Inquestions, from the Rolls’ Office; with particulars of the Descent and Pedigree of the King, Malone, and Tracy Families.
53. Thirty volumes octavo, similar compilations for illustrating, the histories of families, with the authorities, selected as the last, and for the same reasons and object; being, in truth, a continuation of the three former, and as such are they classed and arranged.
Vol. 4 contains similar compilations and notices of the families of De Bathe, Hudson, Johnstone, and Tracy.
D’Alton, John (1845) The History of Ireland: From the Earliest Period to the Year 1245, when the Annals of Boyle ...Dublin.
Guide to the John D’Alton Collection ca. 17th-19th centuries – Chicago University Library
Series XI: Number 11
Notes and contents of sundry charters, patents and inquisitions from the Rolls Office
Series XLVII: Number 53
Illustrations of various Pedigrees of Ireland. Syllabus of selected pedigrees, wherein the origin of each of these families, their habitats, the periods when and places where they existed etc., are detailed.
Sir William Betham's Manuscripts
Pedigrees, rolls on vellum. Not traced
'60/150. Pedigrees of the families of Turner, Mostyn, Trimleston, Tracy, Talbot of Malahide etc. and papers relating to the claim of the Earl of Shrewsbury to the Earldom of Waterford. Rolls on vellum with the arms emblazoned in gold and colours, by Sir Richard Carney, Ulster King of Arms [1687?]; papers by Sir William Betham, etc.
P. B. Phair. Sir William Betham's Manuscripts. Analecta Hibernica, No. 27 (1972), pp. 1-99
Moments in Time
Alum employs his unusual skills to repair one of the world’s most valuable watches
By Joe Wills
...The watch was commissioned in 1719 by Sir Thomas Tracy, a member of the British House of Lords. The Tracy family were originally high-born nobility in France, known there as “de Tracy.” By the 18th century, they were cousins to kings and queens on both sides of the English Channel. Amid a long line of scholars, soldiers, and scalawags, the best known was William Tracy, one of the four knights who were said to have assassinated Thomas à Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1170.
The watch was bequeathed to Sir Thomas Tracy’s second son: a consolation prize, as the eldest son inherited the family fortune. The younger Tracy, watch in hand, left Britain for the New World. Befitting the Tracy pedigree, his American-born son, named Frederick, fought for his newfound land in the Revolutionary War and became a captain in the Continental Army and a member of George Washington’s inner circle.
The next known owner of the watch was Frederick Augustus Tracy, perhaps the captain’s grandson. A lieutenant in the Union Army, he fought in many battles of the Civil War. On June 29, 1862, Tracy barely survived the Battle of Savage’s Station in Virginia, where General McClellan’s troops struggled to repulse the Confederates under Robert E. Lee. Worried he would be captured if the tide turned, on July 9 Lt. Tracy gave his most important possessions, including his watch, to an aide, who was instructed to steal back to New York, where Tracy’s father lived. Tracy also gave the aide an impassioned letter about the fighting he had seen, so there would be a written record of the war in the event of his demise.
Fortunately, Tracy made it out of Virginia, as did the aide and his precious cargo. Sadly, however, that is where the colorful chronicle of the watch and its owners ended. The next reference was to 1945, when the last Tracy descendant, the elderly woman without children, gave the watch away...
Chico Statements, Spring 2007. http://www.csuchico.edu/pub/cs/spring_07/feature_05.html
Several views of the rare watch that Paul Niess had the privilege of repairing. Photos by L. Renée Boyd, Avalon Portraits.
Last update: 02 October 2015