Item code: C11
There is some dispute over the origin of the name Barclay as some state that is has derived from the place name Berclay in England. However, one of the first spellings of their name de Berchelai indicates that this is the Anglo-Saxon version of beau meaning beautiful in French and lee meaning a meadow or field. In 1153 the Earls of Berkeley built Berkeley Castle as a fortress where Edward II was imprisoned and murdered by his queen in 1327. Some of the family went north to Scotland where they settled in the north-east at Gartley, Mathers, Towie and Pierston in Aberdeenshire. The family quickly established itself in Scotland and had active roles in alliances and offices, and in 1165 Sir Walter de Berkeley, Lord of Redcastle and Inverkeilor, was Chamberlain of Scotland which kept him in close contact with his Royal superior, William the Lion. The 17th century saw a different branch of the family established at Urie near Stonehaven in Kincardineshire. The Barclays were closely involved in shipping and trading ties between the East Coast of Scotland and Scandinavia. In 1621 Sir Patrick Barclay, Baron of Towie, the 17th Laird, signed a letter of safe conduct in favour of John and Peter Barclay, merchants in the town of Banff, wishing to settle in Rostock in Livonia, on the shores of the Baltic. Five generations later Field Marshall Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly, descended from Peter, was born (1761). He became minister of war in 1810 and two years later attained command of the Russian armies fighting against Napoleon. He successfully put into effect his scorched earth campaign against Napoleon. This successful plan resulted in the retreat to Moscow in 1812 greatly contributing to Napoleons downfall. Barclay de Tolly was created Prince in Russia and to this day his memory is honoured in St. Petersburg in the Hermitage. He died on the 25th of May 1818.
Motto: Aut augere aut mori - "Either action or death"
Badge: a hand holding aloft a dagger.
Names associated with the clan: BERCLEY BARCLAY BERCLAY BERKELE BARCLYE BERKELEY BERKLAW BARCKLEY BARKLA BARKLAY BARKLEY BARCULA BARCULAY BERCULA BARCKLY BARCLAYE TOWY TOWIE BARKLAW BARCLET BARCLAY BARCLAY
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