TRACY, Sir John II (c.1561-c.1648), of Toddington, Glos.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. c.1561, 1st s. of Sir John Tracy I of Toddington. educ. I. Temple 1580. m. c.1590, Anne, 5th da. of Thomas Shirley I of Wiston, Suss., 2s. 3da. suc. fa. 1591. Kntd. 1591; cr. Visct. Tracy [I] 1643.

Offices Held

J.p. Glos. from c.1591, sheriff 1609-10; commr. to examine waste in forest of Dean caused by ironworks 1618.


Tracy fought in the Netherlands and at the siege of Rouen, where he was knighted by the 2nd Earl of Essex. Soon after his return he succeeded his father to Toddington and other Gloucestershire properties, being granted special livery of his lands on 14 Feb. 1592. During the succeeding decade he sold many properties, including Charlton Abbots, Alderton, Doynton and Great Wormington, for a total of nearly £1,750. In 1608 he bought back Alderton and other lands for £800, and three years afterwards acquired the manor of Frampton for £300.

His social position in Gloucestershire was high enough for him to be elected for the county in 1597. He was named to committees concerning armour and weapons (8 Nov. 1597), maltsters (12 Jan. 1598); and on 22 Nov. 1597 Sir Edward Hoby successfully moved the House for privilege because Tracy had been put on a jury at the court of common pleas during a session of the House. The serjeant was sent to ‘call ... Sir John to his attendance in this House’. As a knight of the shire in this Parliament he could have attended the committees for enclosures (5 Nov.), the poor law (5, 22 Nov.), penal laws (8 Nov.), monopolies (10 Nov.), the subsidy (15 Nov.) and Newport bridge (29 Nov.).

By 1597 it appears that Tracy was holding a minor office at court, as his name appears in the stables section of the household subsidy roll, assessed on £50 lands and fees. He probably owed the post to his connexion with the Earl of Essex, then master of the horse. He is said to have been an active follower of Essex at the rebellion of 1601, but no action was taken against him, and he was not even removed from the commission of the peace. The witness who gave evidence against him may have mistaken him either for his relative Henry Tracy, who had been with the Earl in Ireland, or for Essex’s page, also a Tracy, who was killed during the rising.

During the first 15 years of James I’s reign Tracy had several business transactions with Michael Hickes, but the appointment in 1623 of his brother-in-law, Edward Conway, to be secretary of state did not draw him into political life. Under Charles I he identified himself with the King’s party, and gained an Irish peerage. He was presumably too old to take an active part in the civil war. He died between 7 May 1647 and 14 Feb. 1648, administration of his goods being granted to his grandson John in November 1648.

CP; SP Holl. 6/9, ff. 22-4; Rudder, Glos.770-1; Bristol and Glos. Arch. Soc. Trans. ix. 353; xvii. 136, 142, 150, 159, 177, 244, 247, 257-8; CSP Dom. 1591-4, p. 185; 1595-7, p. 452; 1598-1601, p. 550; 1611-18, p. 155; 1623-5, pp. 161, 190; 1629-31, p. 105; D’Ewes, 552, 553, 555, 557, 560, 561, 565, 578; E179/70/107; CSP Ire. 1599-1600, pp. 29, 35, 41, 60; HMC Hatfield, ix. 156, 413; xi. 61; xii. 497; Lansd. 90, f. 219; 91, f. 192.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: R.C.G.