Francis T. Brooke

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Francis T. Brooke
Francis Brooke.jpg
4th Chief Justice of Virginia
In office
1823 – March 3, 1851
Preceded by William Fleming
Succeeded by Henry St. George Tucker, Sr.
Justice of the Virginia Supreme Court
In office
March 4, 1811 – March 3, 1851
Personal details
Born August 27, 1763
Spotsylvania County, Virginia
Died March 3, 1851(1851-03-03) (aged 87)
Spotsylvania County, Virginia
Spouse(s) Mary Randolph Spotswood, Mary Champe Carter
Profession Lawyer, soldier, politician, judge

Francis Taliaferro Brooke (August 27, 1763 – March 3, 1851) was a Virginia lawyer, soldier, politician and judge. He served in both the House of Delegates and the State Senate before being appointed to the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals (which later became the Supreme Court of Virginia).


Brooke was born in Spotsylvania County, Virginia. His parents were Richard Brooke of Smithfield and Ann Hay Taliaferro. These parents are the uncle and aunt of Major General Dabney Herndon Maury. His brother Robert Brooke became governor of Virginia, and his brother Lawrence Brooke was the surgeon of the Bon Homme Richard, commanded by John Paul Jones. He was educated by tutors and in private grammar schools in Fredericksburg.

During the American Revolution he was active in the militia and served on General Greene's staff with the rank of lieutenant. At the end of the war he studied medicine for a year but then decided to study law in his brother Robert’s office. He was admitted to the bar in 1788 and practiced in Monongahela and Harrison counties. Later he was made Commonwealth’s Attorney in the district court and practiced in Essex County, Virginia, where he was elected to the House of Delegates in 1794. Two years later he moved to Fredericksburg and was elected to the State Senate in 1800.

After the Revolution, Brooke remained active in the Virginia militia and was promoted to the rank of major in 1796, lieutenant colonel in 1800 and brigadier general in 1802. He was an original member of the Virginia Society of the Cincinnati.

In 1811 Brooke was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of Appeals and was president of that court for eight years, from 1823 to 1831. He was elected again in 1831 and held the office until his death on March 3, 1851.

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