David Barclay (Quaker)

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Col. David Barclay (1610 – October 12, 1686), of Mathers, St Cyrus, Kincardineshire in Scotland, was 1st Laird of Urie near Stonehaven, Kincardineshire, Scotland, and father of Robert Barclay, the eminent Quaker apologist. Following active service in Europe as a professional soldier under Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, he attained the rank of Colonel and fought in the English Civil War on the side of the King. In 1647 he purchased the lands and barony of Urie in Kincardineshire from William Keith, 7th Earl of Marischal.

As a known associate of the Earl Marischal he was subsequently confined in Edinburgh Castle where he was converted to Quakerism in 1665 by the celebrated laird of Swinton, who was confined in the same prison.


Col. David Barclay was the son of David Barclay (1580–1660), 11th of Mathers, of Kincardineshire, Scotland and Elizabeth Livingstone, daughter of John Livingston of Dunipace.

He married Katherine Gordon (1621–1663), daughter of Sir Robert Gordon, 1st Baronet, MP (1580–1656), founder of the Gordonstoun estate, and Louisa Gordon of London, on December 24, 1647 in Kincardine.

By Katherine he had two daughters, Lucy and Jean, and three sons, Robert, John, and David.

  • Lucy died unmarried.
  • Jean married Sir Ewen Cameron of Lochiel, to whom she bore eight children.
  • Robert Barclay, the eldest son, who became celebrated as the apologist for the Quakers.
  • John, the second son, settled in East Jersey in America, where he married and left issue.
  • David died unmarried.

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

ODNB article by Brian M. Halloran, ‘Barclay, Robert (1611/12–1682)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [1], accessed Dec 3, 2007.