Richard Edward Tracey (1837-1907)



Admiral Tracey-Ingles.jpg

Admiral Sir Richard Edward Tracey


Sir Richard Edward Tracey, admiral Royal Navy, son of Commander Benjamin Wheatley Tracey R.N. (claimant to Tracy Peerage Case), was born on the 24 January 1837 in County Cork and died in London on 7 March 1907, and was buried at Kensal Green. (See English Census, 1901 living in Chelsea)


His brother Stopford Cane Tracey (b. 24 or 26 August 1838 Cork d. 18 September 1906 Isle of Wight) was a Staff Commander in the R.N. (See English Census, 1901 living in Chelsea)


Richard Edward Tracey was twice 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).


15 July 1865 Glasgow Herald

Richard E. Tracey, commander, Royal Navy, to Janet Douglas, eldest daughter of the Rev. W. Wingate, 9 Stanley Crescent, Kensington Park, London.-No cards.

15 July 1865 Sun (London)

Tracey—Wingate.— On the 8th inst., at the British Consulate, Boulogne-sur-Mer, Richard E. Tracey, Commander R.N., to Janet Douglas, daughter of the Rev. W. Wingate, 9, Stanley-crescent, Kensington-park.

18 July 1865 Cork Examiner

... Richard E. Tracey, Commander R.N., to Janet Douglas, eldest daughter of the Rev. W. Wingate, Stanley-crescent, Kensington Park. London.

1 June 1867 Hampshire Telegraph

.. Richard E.Tracey RN, of a son. stillborn.

13 February 1875 Pall Mall Gazette & 20 February 1875 Hampshire Telegraph

Feb. 10?. Tracey, wife of Mr. Richard E., Captain Royal Navy



(2) on 30 November 1887 (Sevenoaks, Kent, England???) 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.

Tracey, the Hon. Lady.

Adelaide Constance Rohesia, only child of John Constantine, 29th Lord Kingsale, who d. 1865, by Adelaide, who d. 1885, only dau. of the late Joshua Proctor Brown Westhead, Esq., of Lea Castle, Worcestershire ; m. 1887, as his 2nd wife, Sir Richard Edward Tracey, an Adm. ret., who was A.D.C. to Queen Victoria I8S0-8 ; Second in Command of the Channel Squadron 1888-90; Superintendent of Malta Dockyard 1892-4 and President of the R. Navil Coll., Greenwich, 1897-1900, and who was cr. K.C.B. 1898, and d. 1907.

The county families of the United Kingdom (1919)


Career Synopsis:

15 January 1852, Master’s assistant in the Royal Navy

1854, Midshipman

30/01/1858 Mate/Sub Lieutenant

28 June 1859, Lieutenant

21/11/1864 or 19 April 1865, Commander

29 November 1871, Captain

1 January 1888, Rear-Admiral

23 June 1893, Vice-Admiral

29 November 1898, Admiral

24 January 1901, Retired Admiral


He entered the navy in 1852. He served during the Baltic campaign of 1854 as a midshipman of the Boscawen, and received the medal; he passed his examination in January 1858 while serving on the Harrier, sloop, on the south east coast of America, and was promoted to Lieutenant on 28 June 1859. After studying on board the Excellent he was appointed in July 1860 to the Conqueror in the Channel squadron, and two years later received a supernumerary appointment to the Euryalus, flagship of Sir Augustus Leopold Kuper on the East Indies and China station. While in her he took part in the active operations in Japan, especially the engagement with the forts of Kagosina in August 1863 and the attack on the batteries in the Straits of Simonoseki in September 1864 was promoted to commander. The Japanese government under the Togugawa Shogurata having asked the English naval officers might be lent for training purposes to their newly formed modern navy, the request was granted and Tracey placed in charge of the mission. He and his companions set about organising and superintending the naval school at Tsukiji during 1867-8, and while thus employed he was borne on the books of the flagship. But a new Japanese administration interrupted Tracey’s work, which was not resumed till 1873, when Commander (Sir) Archibald Douglas took out to Japan a second naval mission. Tracey, however for a short time rendered similar services to the Chinese navy, for which he was decorated by the emperor with the order of the Double Dragon, and on the 9th November 1869  was appointed to command the gun-vessel Avon, in which he remained on the China station until his promotion to captain on 29 November 1871. On the 20th July 1876 he was appointed to the Spartan, corvette, which he commanded for four years on the East Indies station, and particularly on the east coast of Africa, where he cruised for the suppression of the slave trade. In January 1881 he became flag captain in the Iron Duke to Sir George Ommanney Wills, commander-in-chief on the China station, and returning home early in 1884 was appointed to the Sultan, which he commanded for a year in the Channel squadron. In April 1885 Tracey became an aide-de-camp to Queen Victoria, and in July was appointed to Portsmouth dockyard. He reached flag rank on 1 January 1888. Tracey first hoisted his flag as second-in-command of the fleet under Sir George Tyron in the manoeuvres of 1889, and in September of that year was appointed in the same capacity to the Channel Squadron. In January 1892 he was made admiral superintendent at Malta, and on 23 June 1893 was promoted to vice-admiral. In 1896 he was an umpire in the naval manoeuvres, and for three years from October 1897 was president of the Royal Navel College at Greenwich. He was invested as a Knight Commander, Order of the Bath (K.C.B.) in May 1898, and was promoted to admiral on 29 November 1898. He retired on 24 January 1901. An engraved portrait was published by Messrs. Walton of Shaftesbury Avenue.


Jul 15, 1893 (SS) The Victoria Disaster

Requiem Mass at Malta...present...Vice-Admiral Tracey, Superintendent of the Dockyard...


Dec 23, 1901 (IT) London

...next month, when Admiral Sir R.E. Tracey retires through age...


Sep 8, 1905 (IT) Good Services Pension

...£300 per annum...awarded to Admiral Sir R. Tracey, K.C.B.


Mar 9, 1907 (IT) Special Extra

The Times says:- We regret to announce the death of Admiral Sir Richard Edward Tracey, K.C.B. in London, aged 70. He was second in command of the Fleet under Sir George Tryon during the naval manoeuvres of 1896; President Royal Naval College Greenwick, and an officer of distinguished service, high scientific attainments, and a linguist.

...death of Admiral Sir R.E. Tracey, K.C.B. on March 7, 1907...Board of Guardians...resolution of sympathy...

Mar 12, 1907 (IT) Prince of Wales and the Navy

...meeting of the Royal Naval Fund...the prince of Wales deplored the death of his old friend, Sir Richard tracey, whom he had known for upwards of twenty years, and who for a number of years was a member of that fund. A vote of condolence having on the motion of His Royal Highness...


1906 London Wills

Stopford Cane Tracey of 8 Sloane-gardens Middlesex retired captain from the Royal Navy died 18 September 1906 at Ryde Isle-of-Wight Probate London 16 October to William Thomas Western navy-agent. Effects £402.18.7.

1907 London Wills

Sir Richard Edward Tracey of 8 Sloane-gardens Chelsea Middlesex K.C.B. died 7 March 1907 Probate London 7 October to the honourable dame Adelaide Constance Rohesia Tracey widow. effects £857.5.8

1926 London Wills

Tracey, the honourable Adelaide Constance Rohesia of Royal Court Hotel Sloane-square Middlesex widow died 9 July 1926 Probate London 17 August to Guy de Courcy Glover major H.M. Army and Henry Arthur Whately solicitor. Effects £76679.0.7



1897-1916 Who Was Who

TRACEY, Sir Richard, K.C.B., cr. 1889 ; s. of Commander Tracey, R.N. ; b. 1837 ; m. 1st, Janet, d. of Rev. W. Wingate, 1865 ; 2nd, Hon. Adelaide Constance Rohesia, o. c. Of 29th B. Kingsale, 1887. Entered Navy, 1852 ; Lieutenant, 1859 ; Commander, 1864 ; Captain, 1871 ; Rear-Admiral, 1888 ; Vice- Adm. 1893 ; served Baltic, 1854 (Baltic medal) ; Japan, 1863-64 (despatches, promoted) ; Commanded Naval Mission to Japan, 1867-68 ; A.D.C. to Queen, 1885-87 ; 2nd in Com. Channel Squadron, 1889-90 ; Adm. Supt. Malta, 1892-94; Umpire at Naval Manoeuvres, 1896 ; President Royal Naval College, 1897-1900. Address : 8 Sloane Gardens, S.W. Clubs : United Service, Marlborough. [Died 7 March 1907.



1851/1861/1871 English Census (listing birthplace as Cork)

Charles Mosley, Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition.

Dictionary of National Biography. Edited by Sidney Lee. Second Supplement 1912

National Archives: Naval Cadets to Admirals. ADM 196/14

National Archives: Records of the Admiralty, Naval Forces, Royal Marines, Coastguard, and related bodies. ADM 196/76

National Archives: Marriage Certificates. (Described at item level) 1865. ADM 13/71

R.N. List

The Times 9 and 12 March 1907

William Wingate in Fasti ecclesiĉ scoticanĉ: the succession of ministers in the Church of Scotland from the reformation, Volume 7, pp.717




Portrait of Admiral Sir Richard E. Tracy. Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, Ser. 2, Vol. XXXIV, p. 38, 1929





Kensal Green Cemetery, Kensal Green, London, England







BORN 24 JAN 1837,


AGED 70.












Description: Pedestal with cross broken off but leaning on it. The Friends of Kensal Green describe it as a marble gbled ledger and four step plinth surmounted by a cross and angel, rocks and an ancghor on each side.

Notes: The De Courcy Family Crypt. The admiral is the son-in-law





Last update: 29 August 2021