St. George Tucker, April 11, 1804-April 2, 1811

St. George Tucker

St. George Tucker

Photo reproduction, 27 x 23 in., circa 1989,
of a painting by Curtis Baker, 1932, after an 1808 engraving
by Charles Balthazar Julien Févret de Saint-Mémin

Location: courtroom foyer, right

Born July 10, 1752 in Port Royal, Bermuda
Died November 10, 1827 in Nelson County, Virginia

Elected by the General Assembly on January 6, 1804 to fill the vacancy created by the death of Edmund Pendleton and began his service on April 11, 1804. Service terminated by resignation.

Attended grammar school in St. George’s, Bermuda, 1768-1770
Attended College of William and Mary, 1772
Studied law with George Wythe, 1772-1773

Other judicial Service:
Judge, General Court, 1789-1804
Judge, U.S. District Court for the District of Virginia (and later the Eastern District of Virginia), 1813-1825

Professional career:
Private practice of law in Williamsburg (1772-1776 and 1811-1813) and in Richmond, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, and Amelia, Virginia (1781-1788)
Clerk, Dinwiddie County, Virginia, 1774
Business (shipping smuggled goods from Bermuda), 1775-1779
Council of State, 1782
Commonwealth’s attorney, Chesterfield County, Virginia, 1783-1786
Notary public, Petersburg, Virginia, 1784
Delegate, Annapolis Convention, 1786
Rector, College of William and Mary, 1789-1790
Professor of law and police, College of William and Mary, 1790-1804
Co-author, Blackstone’s Commentaries with Notes of Reference, 1803

Military service:
Revolutionary War (Continental Army)

Author, William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England, the first major treatise on American law, first published in 1803.

Further reading/Research collections

Elected, Journal of the Virginia House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia, 1804 Session, 68; dates of qualification and resignation, 16 Va., xx; birth, death, and professional career, Tucker, St. George, Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, retrieved on April 6, 2020; Charles T. Cullen, “St. George Tucker, College of William and Mary, 1790-1804,” in W. Hamilton Bryson, Legal Education in Virginia: A Biographical Approach, 1779-1979 (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1982), 657-686; attended the College of William and Mary in 1772, then left the college to study law with George Wythe, Charles T. Cullen, “St. George Tucker,” W. Hamilton Bryson, ed., The Virginia Law Reporters Before 1800 (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1983), 104-105; portrait, Library of Virginia portrait files; painting, after 1808 engraving by Charles Balthazar Julien Févret de Saint-Mémin. The 1932 painting was loaned to the Commonwealth of Virginia by a private owner from 1963 to 1989.