Biographical Information

Francis T. Brooke was born on August 27, 1763 in Spotsvlvania county, four miles below Fredericksburg on the Rappahannock river.  He is the son of Richard Brooke and Ann Hay Taliaferro and his wife, daughter of Francis Taliaferro, of "Epsom," was born in the same county. His brother was Robert Brooke, governor of Virginia; his grandfather was Robert Brooke, a noted surveyor, who was one of Spotswood's "Horseshoe Knights" and his great grandfather was Robert Brooke, a justice of Essex county about 1700. He was well trained by private tutors, and served in the revolution as a lieutenant in 1780, in Harrison's artillery, Continental line; his twin brother John also received a similar appointment in the same regiment. He served under Lafayette in 1781, commanded a compony in Colonel Febiger's regiment, and joined General Greene at Charleston, South Carolina. serving with him till the close of the war. After studying medicine a year with his brother Lawrence, he turned his attention to the law; was admitted to the bar in 1788, and practiced in Monongahela and Harrison counties. He was made commonwealth's attorney in the district court and practiced in Essex county and in the Northern Neck; elected to the house of delegates in 1794; removed two years after to Fredericksburg, Virginia; was elected to the state senate in 1800, and soon after became speaker. In 1804 he was elected a judge of the court of appeals, of which he was president eight years, from 1823 to 1831. He was again elected judge in 1831 and held the office until his death. Judge Brooke was an intimate friend of General Washington, to whose niece, Mary Randolph Spotswood, he was married in 1791. Their son. Francis T. (1802-37). was graduated at the United States Military Academv in 1826, and was killed at the battle of Okeechobee, December 25. 1837. Judge Brooke's second wife was Mary C. Carter. He died at Fredericksburg, March 3. 1851.

Vertical Tabs