Richard Thomas Tracy (1826-1874)




Dr. Richard Thomas Tracy (1826-1874)


Richard Thomas Tracy M.D. physician, was born on 19 September 1826 at Limerick to a Protestant professional family, son of Thomas Tracy, gentleman, and his wife Elizabeth, née Coglan. At sixteen he determined to be a doctor and not enter the Church as his mother had hoped. In preparation, he worked for a time as a wardsman and dresser in the County Limerick Infirmary. He began his medical studies in 1845 in the Dublin School of Medicine and in 1848 graduated licentiate of the Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland. In December he was appointed to the Cholera Hospital, Glasgow, and in May 1849 took by examination the M.D., Glasgow, with honours. In 1849 he received a cheque for £10 from F. Kashings(?) Toone of Ballincor for his services to the Poor of Lorha, Tipperary. The cheque was sent to Ballyduff (Dingle, Kerry?). He practised briefly in King's County, Ireland, and at Reading, Berkshire, England, but becoming uncertain of his future, he decided to migrate and South Australia was chosen on the toss of a coin. On 29 April 1851 he married his cousin Fanny Louisa Sibthorpe (Marriage Registration: Richard Thomas Tracy, Limerick, 1851 Vol.6 p.610) and on 16 May they left England in the Ballangeich, to which he was surgeon. They reached Melbourne on 20 August 1851 and soon sailed for Adelaide.

Tracy began practice in North Adelaide and befriended a schoolteacher James Bonwick. On news of the discovery of gold in Victoria, they formed a small party and left for Melbourne in February 1852. They first went to Forest Creek (Castlemaine) and then to Bendigo and had some success. Quickly tiring of the life, Tracy went back to Adelaide in June but soon returned to Melbourne with his wife and infant daughter; until 1864 he practised in Fitzroy, becoming its first health officer, a magistrate, and a trustee of St Mark's Church of England. Moving to Collins Street East, he became assistant surgeon to the East Melbourne Corps of Artillery, Victorian Volunteer Force, with the relative rank of lieutenant, captain in 1867.

An original and active member of the Victorian Medical Association, Tracy later joined the rival Medico Chirurgical Society of Victoria, and helped to unite these two bodies as the Medical Society of Victoria, of which he was president in 1860. He was one of the original committee that first published in 1856 the Australian Medical Journal. He was rapidly successful in his practice and with John Maund was medical co-founder in 1856 of the Melbourne Lying-in Hospital and Infirmary for Diseases of Women and Children (later the Royal Women's Hospital), to which he was appointed honorary physician for life. His work was more and more directed to obstetrics and gynaecology, and he became one of the outstanding figures in these specialities in Australia in the nineteenth century. He was admitted to the University of Melbourne (M.D. ad eund., 1857) and in 1864 was appointed first lecturer in obstetric medicine and diseases of women and children at the university, at a salary of £100 with fees. He performed the first successful ovariotomy in Victoria in 1864 and quickly established an international reputation as a pioneer gynaecological surgeon. In 1871 he was elected an honorary fellow of the Obstetrical Society of London, a very great distinction, and two years later became a fellow of the Medico-Chirurgical Society of London. He visited Britain in 1873 and spent much time in London with the eminent surgeon Thomas Spencer Wells, whom he greatly admired.

Tracy's health, however, was deteriorating and returning to Melbourne in April 1874 he died on 7 November from an abdominal malignancy. He was survived by his wife and six of his seven daughters. He left an estate valued for probate at £24,000, including a valuable collection of books on medical and general subjects which was auctioned soon after his death. A marble bust of Tracy by Charles Summers is at the Royal Women's Hospital, Melbourne.



Forster FM (1965)  A case of ovariotomy instruments sent by Thomas Spencer Wells to Richard Thomas Tracy. J Obstet Gynaecol Br Commonw. 1965 Oct;72(5):810-5.
Forster FM. (1976)  Tracy, Richard Thomas (1826-1874). In: Serle G, Ward R (eds). Australian Dictionary of Biography, Vol. 6 pp.297-8. Melbourne University Press.

Forster FMC (1964) ‘Richard Thomas Tracy and his part in the history of ovariotomy’, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 4 (1964), no 3.

Forster, Frank MC.  Dr. Richard Thomas Tracy. Old Limerick Journal, No. 23 Spring 1988 – Australian edition [online]

McCalman, Janet, Sex and Suffering: Women's Health and a Women's Hospital. The Royal Women's Hospital, Melbourne 1856-1996, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1998.

McCalman, Janet  (1999) Sex and Suffering: Women's Health and a Women's Hospital. Johns Hopkins University Press.Pearn JH. Dr Richard Thomas Tracy MD, LRCS 1826-1874. In: A Doctor in the Garden. Brisbane: Amphion Press, 2001; 358-60.)

Sayers CE (1956) The Women's Melbourne

Tracy RT (1865) Inaugural Lecture of the Course on Obstetrics and Diseases of Women and Children. Melbourne: [Publisher unknown], 1865.
University of Melbourne Medical School Jubilee 1914, Ford and Son, Melbourne, 1914.






Image source: Sex and Suffering: Women's Health and a Women's Hospital p 5



Richard Thomas Tracy; M.D. Member 1857, PIV, Brunswick Street, Collingwood, Vic, Australia
Richard Thomas Tracy; M.D. Member 1858, PIV
Richard Thomas Tracy; M.D. Member 1859, PIV, Brunswick Street, Melbourne, Vic, Australia
Richard Thomas Tracy; M.D. Member 1860, RSV, Brunswick Street, Melbourne, Vic, Australia



Richard Thomas Tracy




Thomas Tracy (b.c. 1786-1848) m. Elizabeth Coghlan (b.c. 1799 – 1866) 14 September 1813 Saint Michael Limerick (LDS)

1. Thomas Tracy, (bootmaker, 13 Patrick-street) and Eliza Coghlan/Coglan

               1.1 John Coghlan Tracy, born 1822, TCD M 1846. B.A. Vern. 1849.

26 January 1852 Cork Examiner

... John C. Tracy, Esq., of Limerick, to Lucile Marie Josephine Catharina, eldest daughter of Albert Courtois of St. Quentin, Aisne, France.

17 May 1858 The Argus (Melbourne, Vic)

DEATHS. On the 16th February, at his residence in London, the Rev. John Coghlan Tracy, B.A., Trinity College, Dublin, Assistant Minister of Stockwell, Surrey, and only brother of Richard T. Tracy, M.D., of this city.

Obituary: John C., Tracy, Rev, London 17/02/1858 Ass. Minister of Stockwell Episcopal Chapel, Surrey; son of late Thomas Tracy of Limerick City

               1.2 Dr. Richard Thomas Tracy (b. 19 September 1826 d. 7 November 1874 Melbourne, Australia) m. Fanny Louisa Sibthorpe 29 April 1845

Richard Thomas Tracy (s. of Thomas Tracy) m. Frances Louise Sibthorpe (d. of William Going Sibthorpe) 29 Apr 1851 St Michaels, Lim, Ire 

1.2.1 Eva Tracy (d. 1903) m. Henry St. Quintin (1846-1916)

                  Eva Helen Adelaide Tracy of Adelaide m. Henry William St Quintin of Cambridge 1870

1.2.2 Blanche Mary Tracy (1859-1943) m. Charles D'Ebro (1850-1920)

1.2.3 – 1.2.7


Thomasina Felicia Tracy, Patrick Street 08/01/1842 aged 5, of scarletina, dau of Thomas Tracy


Frances Maria Tracy m. Leslie Acheson 20 January 1846 Limerick Saint Michael (LDS) [see above]

Frances Maria Tracy, of full age, spinster, lives Patrick Street, (s. of Thomas Tracy, boot maker) married Leslie Acheson, of full age, widower, woolen draper, lives Georges Street, (s. of Robert Acheson, Presbyterian clergyman) 20 January 1846 St. Michael Church of Ireland Wit: W. Cochane & James Newson [Limerick Limerick PLU]


Richard Thomas Tracy (s. of Thomas Tracy) m. Frances Louise Sibthorpe (d. of William Going Sibthorpe) 29 Apr 1851 St Michaels, Lim, Ire [see above]

Richard Thomas Tracy, of full age, bachelor, Doctor of Medicine, lives Georges Street, (s. of Thomas Tracy, boot maker) married Frances Louise Sibthorpe, of full age, spinster, lives Bank place, (d. of William Going Sibthorpe, gentleman) 29 April 1851 St. Michael Church of Ireland Wit: W. G. Sibthorpe & John Sibthorpe [Limerick Limerick PLU]



Patrick Street died at the house of her son-in-law, Thomas Tracy, widow of the late John Coghlan, dau of Thomas Lloyd of Clover Hill, Limerick


1848 Thomas Tracy of 13 Patrick St Limerick, 24 February 1848, Prerogative Court will. Char1/13/p153.

Obituary: Thomas Tracy, Patrick Street 05/01/1848 aged 62


May 11, 1849 (BL) University of Glasgow

...took their degree of doctor of medicine with honours...Richard T. Tracy...


27 January 1866 (NG) Death

January 23rd, at Dublin, in her 67th year, Elizabeth, relict of the late Thomas Tracy, Esq, Limerick

Obituary: Elizabeth Tracy, Upper Rutland Street, Dublin 25/01/1866 aged 66, widow of late Thomas Tracy, Limerick, granddau of late Thomas Lloyd of Cloverville and Mt. Catherine, Limerick; d. at res of dau, Mrs. Acheson


November 3, 1846 (FJ) Court of Chancery

...The following gentlemen were admitted by the Benchers as students...John Coghlan Tracy, eldest son of Thomas Tracy, of the city of Limerick, bootmaker.

Alumni Dublinenses: Trinity Dublin

John Coghlan Tracy, Pen. (P.T.), Oct 14, 1842, aged 20; s. of Thomas, Calceolarius; b. Limerick. B.A. Vern. 1849.

Kings Inns Admission Papers 1607-1867

John Coghlan Tracy, 1st s. of Thomas, Limerick, bootmaker, and Eliza Coghlan; ed. TCD M 1846.

April 13, 1847 (FJ) Dublin Police

The row at the Music Hall - Mr. Henry Watson, of 6 Lower Pembroke street, attorney's apprentice; Mr. Henry Rice, of 7 Peter street, Medical Student; and Mr. John Tracy, Student, 31 College; were charged with violent and disorderly conduct at the Music Hall, on the night of last Saturday...A young gentleman named Richardson...stating that he should have been taken into custody instead of Mr. Tracy. He was quarrelling, and Tracy was endeavoring to get him away when he was arrested...discharged Mr. Tracy.

September 27, 1852 (BL)

The Bishop of Lincoln held an ordination in the Cathedral of his diocese, on Sunday last, when the following were admitted into holy orders: - Deacon - John C. de Tracy, B.A., T.C., Dublin...

17 May 1858 The Argus (Melbourne, Vic)

DEATHS. On the 16th February, at his residence in London, the Rev. John Coghlan Tracy, B.A., Trinity College, Dublin, Assistant Minister of Stockwell, Surrey, and only brother of Richard T. Tracy, M.D., of this city.



May 11, 1849 (BL) University of Glasgow

Degrees...Doctors of medicines...Richard T. Tracy...degree of medicine, with honours...Richard T. Tracy...


1849 & 1850 Directory of Ireland

Thomas Tracy, Limerick, Licentiates (College of Surgeons)


1851 Census England

John Coghlan Tracy, Head, Unmarried, Male, 27, b. 1824 Ireland, B A Trin Coll Dublin Student Of Law Lincolm Inn London And King's Irons Dublin Private Tutor, 109 Green End Little Munden Ware Hertfordshire England

Richard T. Tracy, visitor, Unmarried, 24 years, b. 1827 Ireland, Member of Royal College, Ireland, M.D. Glasgow, No. 3 Old Buildings, London (Middlesex)


May 2, 1851 (FJ) Marriage

April 29, in Limerick, Richard T. Tracy, Esq, M.D. to Fanny, eldest daughter of W.G. Sibthorpe, Esq, of that city.


July 23, 1852 (FJ) Births

January 18, at Adelaide, South Australia, the lady of Richard T. Tracy, Esq, M.D., late of Limerick, of a daughter.


October 15, 1852 (FJ)

Dr. Tracey, late of this city, is realizing a large fortune by his profession, in which he is distinguished, at the headquarters of the diggings in Australia. - Limerick Chronicle


July 16, 1855 (FJ) Births

At Melbourne, Australia, the lady of Dr. Tracy, formerly of Limerick, of a daughter.


14 April 1857 The Argus (Melbourne, Vic)

On the 3rd inst., at 139 Brunswick-street, the wife of Richard Thomas Tracy, Esq., M.D., of a daughter.     


13 February 1861 The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.)

Richard Tracy, Esq., M.D., to be assistant-surgeon, with rank of lieutenant, to the Collingwood Company.


17 July 1862 The Argus (Melbourne, Vic)

Tracy -On the 10th Init., at 189 Brunswlck-street, Fitzroy, the wife of Richard Thomas Tracy, Esq, M.D., of a daughter;


17 April 1863 The Argus (Melbourne, Vic)

TRACY.-On the 15th inst., at 139 Brunswick-street, Fitzroy, after a few hours' illness, Ada Maud, fifth daughter of Richard Thomas Tracy, M.D., aged four

years and nine months.

25 April 1863 The Argus (Melbourne, Vic)

TRACY.-On the l0th inst,, at 130 Brunswick-street, -Fitzroy, after a few hour's Illness, Ada Maud, fifth daughter of Richard Thomas Tracy, M D.


2 January 1871 The Argus (Melbourne, Vic)

ST. QUINTÍN-TRACY -On the 16th ult., at St Petor'a Church, by the Rev. H. H. P. Bondfield, assisted by the Bev. R. B Barlow, Henry William, third son of Thomas St. Quintín, Esq., of Hatloy Park, Cambridgeshire, to Eva Helen Adelaide, oldest daughter of Richard T. Tracy, Esq., M.D.


Henry William ST QUINTIN (b1846 d1916) born in Cambridgeshire UK came to Melbourne, Australia approx 1868, and married Eva Helen Adelaide TRACY (twin daughter of Dr. Richard Thomas TRACY) in Melbourne in 1870. They had four children : Adelaide, Erroll, Charles and Edith, all born in Warrnambool. I seek information on Charles Tracy ST QUINTIN (b.1873-d.1935), who married Mary Millicent WILSON in Melbourne in 1900. I believe the ST QUINTIN family returned to England, residing at different times in South Africa and Rhodesia as well as England. Charles died in 1935 in South Africa, but at that time I believe he was separated from Mary, and I also believe she did not reside in South Africa. Mary died in Ballarat in 1949 aged 76. I seek descendants of Charles and Mary, the only trace I have of Mary is a letter written by her solicitor in Ballarat in 1935. Any information on Henry William's brother, John Edward ST QUINTIN (b.1851-d.1907), who came to Australia at roughly the same time would be also appreciated.
Contact: Mooneen Clarke - EMAIL: mclarke@inghams.com.au

Hello everyone,

My gggrandfather was Richard Thomas Tracy. He sailed to Australia as Surgeon in the "Ballangeich" and arrived in Melbourne on 20th Aug 1851. He was born in Limerick Ireland in 1826. He began his medical studies in 1845 in the Dublin School of Medicine. He appears to have finished and graduated in Glasgow.

Also I was looking for any other people with an interest in the Tracy name.
I think his parents were Thomas Tracy and Elizabeth Coghlan.

Rick Whistler mail to :- rwhist...@enter.net.au Oct 7 1997


17 March 1871 Cork Examiner

... Richard T. Tracey, Esq., M.D.


November 1873-5 Army List

Artillery - East Melbourne

A. Surg. R.T. Tracy 24 Nov 63


1873 Dr. Tracy Of Melbourne

The Australian Melbourne Journal contains an interesting account of a meeting of the profession in Victoria to take farewell of Dr. Tracy of Melbourne, on the occasion of a “twelve months” visit to the home country." Prior to leaving, Dr. Tracy seems to have been loaded with marks of esteem and regard. Besides receiving complimentary ad dresses, dinners, resolutions from various quarters, he was presented with £6oo to be expended in plate, and with other substantial testimonials. At the farewell dinner of the Medical Society, it was mentioned that Dr. Tracy was the first to perform ovariotomy in Melbourne, and has now performed the operation in twenty-two cases with only four deaths. Dr. Tracy will be among the visitors at the forthcoming meeting of the Association in London.

The British Medical Journal, Vol. 2, No. 656 (Jul. 26, 1873), p. 89


1874 The Medical Register

Richard Thomas Tracy [Limerick]

190 Collins Street East, Melbourne, Australia

Lic. R. Coll. Surg. Irel. 1848

M.D. Univ. Glasg. 1849.


10 November 1874 The South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA)

TRACY.—On the 7th November, at his residence, 190, Collin’s street, Melbourne, R. T. Tracy, Esq., M.D., aged 48 years.


9 November 1874 The Argus (Melbourne, Vic)


Dr. Tracy died on Saturday night, at his residence, 190 Collins-street east, exactly seven months after his return from Europe. Though his decrease has been known to be imminent ever since he arrived, and' although the period of its occurrence has been pro- longed far beyond the time that his exceedingly weak state then seemed to indicate, his death will occasion a universal feeling of regret throughout the whole of the Austral-asian colonies. We are sure, therefore, that the subjoined biographical notice of him will be generally acceptable.

Richard Thomas Tracy was born on the 19th September, 1826, in the city of Limerick Ireland, and, with an only brother, received an education for entrance to the University of Dublin. As several members of his mother's family were clergymen of the Church of England, it was desired that her sons should qualify themselves for this sacred calling, but at I6 years of age, the subject of this notice had made up his mind to adopt the medical profession, and his love for it never after abated,

After a year's preliminary education of a very practical kind at the County Limerick Infirmary (a beginning which was of much benefit to him in his after career), he went in 1845 to reside with his brother, in Trinity College, Dublin, and then entered upon a full course of medical and surgical lectures, hospital attendance, &c.. During each of the three succeeding Summer seasons or vacations, he volunteered for active work under the board of health, attending the famine fever which was then desolating Ireland, and at Celbridge, in the county of Dublin, almost succumbed to an attack of that disease caught from a patient.

In 1848 be passed his examination, and received the diploma of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland, and immediately afterwards visited Paris, where he saw a great deal of surgical work during that eventful year. In December of the same year, he went to Glasgow, with the intention of taking out a medical degree. There he became acquainted with the now venerable Dr.. Andrew Buchanan, profea8or of tho Institutes of Medicine in the Glasgow University, and through his influence obtained the responsible appointment of resident Surgeon to the Cholera Hospital of that city, containing 700 beds. For four months ho never quitted this hospital, and at the close of the epidemic, he received the thanks of the authorities, as well as a substantial pecuniary bonus.

In May, 1849, he took his degree of Doctor of Medicine in the Glasgow University, and returned to Ireland, and after a short rest, took charge of a dispensary in King's County, but unable to content himself with that limited sphere of action, ho followed his brother, who was then residing as law student in Lincoln. Inn, London. His next movement was the taking charge of the practice of Mr. Hooper, of Reading, Berkshire, of the old firm of Harris, Morris, and Hooper, of. that town, Mr. Hooper having been ordered to give up practice for a year. At the termination of this engagement, he received a nomination for an assistant-surgeoncy in the army, but, after due consideration, he decided to give it up, and have it transferred to a friend, his principal reason for this decision being the reatrictions against marriage for some years, of the existence of which ho was not previously aware. (He was at this time engaged to be married). Negotiations for a share of a practice in London were nearly completed, when, through the kindness of an old city-solicitor (a friend of Dr. Tracy's brother), it was discovered that the affair was a swindle, and he was a little perplexed as to his future course of action. Letters had been received from some relatives of his intended wife, at Adelaide, stating that there was an excellent opening for practice there, and communications had also been received from relatives of his own in Canada, so that his attention was necessarily drawn to the subject of emigration. His ultimate decision was very quickly made one evening early in April, 1851. A number of his brother's friends were present, and it was humorously suggested that by the primitive method of tossing a coin, they should decide whether bo was lo go to Australia or to Canada. Australia won, and Dr. Tracy never had reason to regret the result. That same night he wrote to his intended wife, asking if she had the courage to face the antipodes with him. The answer, as may be supposed, was in the affirmative, and ho at once proceeded to Ireland, and was married in Limerick on the 29th April, 1851, to Miss Sibthorpe, eldest daughter of W. G. Sibthorpe, Esq., still of that city. The newly-married pair proceeded immediately to London, and daily visited that first and greatest of all national exhibitions, which was then open in Hyde-park.

On the same evening when, as before related, Dr. Tracy had decided to go to Australia, he was offered by Mr. Fry, of Fry and Davidson, Fenchurch-street, who was at the time in Dr. Tracy's brother's rooms, in Lincoln's Inn, the appointment of surgeon to a new ship called the Ballangeich, then on the berth for Melbourne and Adelaide. In this ship Dr. and Mrs. Tracy sailed on the l6th May, 1851, and arrived in Hobson. Bay early in August, All the passengers, except one family and Dr. Tracy's wife and himself, remained at Melbourne, where he was entertained by the passengers at a dinner at the Royal, now the Criterion Hotel. At this time the news of the discovery of gold at Turon, in New South Wales, had arrived in Melbourne, and everything was in a very dull state, in consequence of the exodus, which had already begun. After a few days they continued their voyage to Adelaide, meeting with moat disastrous weather, and they were 26 days before reaching that port. On arrival Dr. Tracy settled in North Adelaide, and met many kind friends, among others, one whom he had known well previously in Dublin, the late Dr. Eades. Towards the end of the year the news of the discovery of gold in Victoria emptied Adelaide of nearly all its male inhabitants, and in the middle of February, 1852, a few weeks after his eldest daughter was born, Dr. Tracy started, in company with Mr. James Bonwick, the well known Australian author, and two other gentlemen, to try his fortune on the gold- fields. Proceeding to the Loddon diggings, and afterwards to Bendigo, Dr. Tracy first engaged in gold-digging, and with very fair results ; but as soon as he could procure from town the necessary appliances, he commenced practice, and continued in active professional work until the end of June, when his health giving way, he left the gold-fields and returned to Adelaide, whence, after a short rest, and after selling off everything, ho carne again with his wife and child to Melbourne. It was at that time a most difficult matter to procure any accommodation, except in tents ; but, after much trouble, ho finally settled down to practice in Brunswick-street, Fitzroy, commencing there on the lat of September, 1852.

In 1854, he built the well-known house in Brunswick street, in which he resided until the end of 1864, when ho removed into Collins-street to the house (No, 190) which he had just built.

During his residence in Fitzroy, Dr. Tracy took a prominent part in all social movements, notwithstanding his active professional duties. In the building of St. Mark’s Church, of which ho was trustee for many subsequent years, he largely interested himself. He was also the first health-officer of that district, and on two occasions ho received handsome testimonials from the borough council in recognition of his services. He also gave much of his time as a magistrate on the local bench, but he never at any time meddled with politics or municipal affairs, his profession on groB8ing his chief attention. He was early identified with the volunteer movement, and received the commission of assistant Burgeon to the East Melbourne Artillery corps on its formation. He was still surgeon of this corps up to the time of his death.

In 1855, after many conversations with the late Dr John Maund, he determined, in association with that gentleman, to start a lying in hospital and infirmary for diseases peculiar to woman and children. They were heartily supported in this movement by a number of ladies; and, as a beginning, they rented the house, 41 Albert street, and earned on work there until the present hospital was built in 1856. The establishment of this hospital was in a great measure due to the exertions of many of Dr Tracy’s personal friends, Mr. Richard Grice being one of the foremost in procuring funds, sufficient to entitle the institution to Government support and to a grant of land Of the great advantages derived by Dr Tracy from his connexion with this hospital, there is no question He himself always gratefully acknowledged them The opportunities it gave him for practice m a particular branch of medicine, determined the special direction m which his abilities from that time more distinctly showed themselves His natural energy, his clear headedness, and his wonderful common sense, would always have given him a leading place in the profession, but the circumstances which inclined him to the subject of obstetrics as a specialty aided him also in reaching a position of eminence not inferior to that of the most celebrated obstetric physicians m the old country But if he derived great advantages from his association with the Lying m Hospital, ho abundantly repaid the obligation in the diligent attention ho gave to his duties He made for it its remark able success and prestige, and he deserved all the renown it brought for him in return When, therefore, the hospital was some years ago incorporated, the contributors only paid him |his admitted duo by electing him physician for life.

Dr Tracy was also closely identified with the establishment of the Medical Society and the Medical Journal. Of the former of these he was president in 1860, and in his retiring address, read at the annual meeting m January, 1861, ho said -

" Shortly after my coming to reside here in l852 I was informed that a medical society was about being commenced One had existed previously the principal object of which had been the circulation of medical periodicals among its members The new Society was designated the Victorian Medical Association, and soon numbered in its ranks a large proportion of the medical men practising in Melbourne and its vicinity The affairs of this body prospered for some time, and the nucleus of a library was formed. A few of the members of the former society and others united, after the lapse of about three years, and originated another society, which was formed the Medico- Chirurgical Society of Victoria I bad been a member of the Medical Association from the first, and, after watching the progress of the two societies for some time I in conjunction with a few others, joined the Medico Chirurgical as well, and at once we used our best efforts to bring about a union of the two This was after a little time, accomplished and the pre sent Medical Society of Victoria was the result."

It was with Dr Maund, too, that he was associated m the early struggles of the Medical Journal, a publication which, now in the nineteenth year of its existence, has always numbered him among its steadiest friends and most valued contributors His papers on the subjects with which his special experience furnished him, are all of the most practically interesting kind, and they show not only how thoroughly he was master of his ort, but how conscientiously ho kept pace with the progress of obstetric surgery in the old country Nothing could be a more complete acknowledgement of his eminence in this direction than the compliment paid him m 1871 by the Obstetrical Society of London, who elected him an honorary fellow of their body. This is a distinction but rarely conferred, the list of British honorary fellows amounting to nine only. When the Medical School of the University was formed Dr Tracy was appointed lecturer and examiner m obstetrics and diseases of women and children, the duties of which office he continued to perform until the commencement of his long illness "When the Medical Benevolent Association was proposed to be started, nine years ago, he entered warmly into the project, and was one of its most active supporters and advocates, some of the pleasantest meetings of the committee being held at his house About three years ago his health began steadily to fail. The symptoms were for a long time exceedingly obscure. He lost flesh, he had a constant pain in the right side, his appetite was impaired and he suffered from sleeplessness his robust typically healthy look forsook him, and it was manifest that his disorder was a serious one He nevertheless refused to refer these unfavourable changes to any cause other than overwork, and there seemed no good reason to doubt that this was the explanation He had been labouring constantly for 23 years at his profession, taking very little rest and giving himself very short holidays The necessity of a long period of leisure was apparent, and his many friends, therefore, urged upon him the desirability of a visit to Europe. To this proposition, after some hesitation, he finally consented, and he left in the mail steamer, on February 28 of last year As soon as his intention to go home was made known, a meeting of his friends and patients was held, and the sum of £600 was subscribed, to be expended by him during his visit, in the purchase of a suitable memorial expressive of their regard and respect He was also entertained at a dinner given by the Medical Society, and an address was presented to him on the occasion. The Meridian Lodge of Freemasons too expressed their good opinion of him at a banquet, and presented him with a valuable jewel in recognition of his long connexion with the craft. In short his going away w as generally regarded as a public event, and evidences of the high esteem in which he was held were to be found on all sides. But the hopes so generally enter tamed that his visit to Europe might result in his restoration to health were, unhappily, ill founded. For a while the change of scene and the relinquishment of professional anxieties seemed to revive him, but the malady from which he was suffering was too surely fatal to be either cured or much relieved, and this view was taken by the many eminent members of the profession whom he consulted, so that when ho re turned to Melbourne last April, it was clear that his days were numbered. For seven months ho has lingered, slowly but surely wasting. For some time past lie has been kept almost constantly under the influence of morphia yet his sufferings have frequently been of the severest kind, and he has been unable to take nourishment save in the simplest and blandest form. His mind, however, has been unclouded all the time Ile has shown a keen interest in all the events that have occupied public attention, and he has taken a calm and dispassionate view of his approaching end. He has arranged all his affairs down to the smallest particulars and only about a week ago, he wrote with his own hand the following directions about his funeral -


"Directions for my Funeral

"I wish any public notice of my funeral to contain merely the date, hour, and destination. I desire that no refreshments of any kind shall be provided for those who attend my funeral, nor any distribution of scarfs, gloves, or other such emblems of mourning The hearse to be perfectly plain, no plumes or glass sides, and drawn by two horses No attendants with feathers or plumes As many plain mourning coaches as are necessary to convey the pall bearers and chief mourners, as no other carnages are allowed to accompany the hearse within the gates of the cemetery I will give the names of the eight pall bearers. The chief mourners will be those of my sons in law who may be in Melbourne, and their immediate relatives.”

These arrangements he had decided upon before the present movement commenced relative to reform in funerals-another of the many evidences which might be quoted of the habitual common sense view ho took of whatever concerned him. On Saturday noon, after being lifted out of bed for a little change of position, ho said, "I feel very weak," He soon after became insensible, and died at half-past 9 in the evening.

The idea of such a man  as Dr. Tracy may be accounted a public loss, for though not a public man, either in apolitical or municipal sense, he was so well known and so thoroughly respected, both by the medical profession and the public, that he was looked up to as a social institution. He had won his success in the most legitimate way. He was both a scientific and a practical physician, and perhaps no one over more completely inspired confidence in those who consulted him. He was impulsive and quick- tempered, but full to overflowing of kindness and genuine warm-heartedness. He was singularly prompt in emergencies, but equally remarkable for the qualities of patience and endurance when these were required. He was a fast and true friend, and generous, liberal, and open-banded in the extreme. And though his long and painful illness may have anticipated by its shadow the darkness which now rests upon him, he will not be forgotten while rare ability, manliness, and honourable dealing, continuo to be the attributes of those who most worthily practise the godlike art of healing. Dr. Tracy leaves a widow and six daughters-three of whom are married - and three grandchildren. He left special instructions that a post mortem examination should be made, so as to make clear the disease from which he died. This was performed yesterday afternoon by Dr. Motherwell and Neild, Dr. Martin and Mr. James being also present. An enormous cancerous mass was found in the abdomen, involving a considerable portion of the small intestine. It was of necessity absolutely incurable, and no opera ion of any kind could have been of service.

The funeral will take place at 3 o'clock to-morrow.


19 November 1874 The Argus (Melbourne, Vic)



Sir,-It will be remembered that in February, 1873, just prior to Dr. Tracy's departure for Europe, a number of his friends presented him with an address and a sum of 600 guineas, to be applied by him to the purchase of some permanent memorial of their esteem.

Dr. Tracy selected a set of three silver epergnes, and a silver tea and coffee service. Ho also gave Mr. Summers, the sculptor, a commission to execute a portrait bust in


A few weeks ago Dr. Tracy expressed a wish that after his death the bust and plate should be deposited for a few days in some place where his friends could see them, and where those who had contributed the cost could satisfy themselves as to the fidelity with which lie had fulfilled their intentions.

In compliance with that wish, and with the kind consent of Messrs. Walsh Brothers, jewellers, 53 Collins street east, the bust and plate may be seen during the next few days at their place of business-not in the window.

-I am, &c., ROBERT WALLEN.


15 March 1882 The Argus (Melbourne, Vic)

McDonald-Tracy-On the 8th inst, at Warrnam bool, by the Ven Archdeacon Beamish, assisted by the Rev W Swliburn, Arthur Henry, son of Alexander McDonald, of Sydney, to Adelaide Ethel, youngest daughter of the late  R T Tracy, M D , of Melbourne


7 February 1891 The Argus (Melbourne, Vic)

D'Enno-TRACY.-On the 2Sth ult., at Holy Trinity Church, Balaclava, by the Rev. Dr. Torrance, assistcd by the Rev. F.1. Price, Charles A. D'Ebro to Blanche Mary, daughter, of the late Richard T. Traoy, M.D.


26 February 1907 The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW)

TRACY.-January 22, 1907, at Laugridge-road, Earls court, London, Fanny Louisa Tracy, relict of Dr. Tracy, late of Melbourne, Victoria, aged 78, beloved mother of Mrs. Cecil Griffiths.

1907 Australasian medical gazette

TRACY.— January 21st, at 63 Longridge-road, Earls' Court, London, Fanny Louisa, widow of the late Richard T. Tracy, M.D.


George Wingfield Tracy [presume this is an error to think he was the brother of Richard Thomas Tracy. see Honor Lilbush Wingfield Tracy]

Sketcher and gold-digger, was born in Ireland, a son of Thomas Tracy, gentleman, and Elizabeth, née Coghlan. He presumably came to Adelaide with his brother, Dr Richard Thomas Tracy (1826-74), and accompanied him when Richard formed a small party (including James Bonwick) to travel to Victoria from Adelaide on news of the discovery of gold. Castlemaine was the first field they prospected and George Wingfield's only known art works are four small, naive paintings of the Castlemaine goldfields: My Tent, 1852, Diamond Gully, 1853, McIvor, 1854 and Anderson's Creek, New Caledonia 1855 (Pioneers and Old Residents Association, Castlemaine). Although Richard Tracy soon gave up the life of a digger, George Wingfield obviously persisted for some time.


My Tent, 1852

Diamond Gully, 1853

McIvor, 1854

Anderson's Creek, New Caledonia, 1855






Last update: 17 February 2020