Barclay, William

, a learned and eminent Civilian, was born in Aberdeenshire, in 1541, and descended from one of the best families in Scotland. He was in favour with Mary queen of Scots but, after that princess was dethroned, and detained in captivity in England, finding that he had no prospect of making his fortune in the court of her son James, he resolved to retire into France, which. | he did about 1573. He was then more than thirty years of age, and went to Bourges, in order to study law. He there took his doctor’s degree in that faculty, and had applied himself so closely to his books, that he was qualified to fill a chair. Edmund Hay, the Jesuit, who was his countryman, and is said to have been related to him, procured him accordingly a professorship in civil law in the university of Pontamousson, by his interest with the duke of Lorrain, who had lately founded that seminary. And the duke not only conferred upon Barclay the first professorship, but also appointed him counsellor of state, and master of requests. In 1581, Barclay married Anne de Malleville, a young lady of Lorrain, by whom he had his son John, who afterwards became a writer of considerable note, and whom the Jesuits endeavoured to prevail on to enter into their society. But Barclay opposing their scheme, the Jesuits resented it so highly, and did him so many ill offices with the duke, that he was obliged to leave Lorrain. He then went to London, where king James I. is said to have offered him a place in his council, with a considerable pension but he declined these offers, because it was made a necessary condition of his accepting them, that he should embrace the protestant religion. In 1604, he returned into France, and accepted the professorship of the civil law, which was offered him by the university of Angers. He taught there with reputation, and is said to have been fond of making a splendid appearance in his character of professor. But he did not hold this office long, dying in 1606. He was buried in the church of the Franciscans. He appears to have been much prejudiced against the Protestants and was a zealous advocate for passive obedience, and the divine right of kings, as appears from his writings, of which the following are “the principal, 1.” De Reguo et llegali Potestate ad versus Buchananum, Brutum, Boucherium, et reliquos Monarchoniachos,“Paris, 1600, dedicated to Henry IV. 2.” De Potestate Papse, quatenus in Reges et Principes seculares Jus et Imperium habeat,“Franco!’. 1609, 1613, 1621, Hannovias, 1612, in 8vo, and Lond. in English, 1611, in 4to, Mussiponti, 1610, 8vo, and Parisiis, 1600, 4to. In this he proves that the pope has no power, direct or indirect, over sovereigns in temporals, and that they who allow him, any such power, whatever they may intend, do very great prejudice to the Roman catholic religion. 3.A commentary | upon the Title of the Pandects de Rebus creditis et de Jure] urando,“Paris, 1605, 8vo. 4.” Prcemetia in vitam Agricolse," Paris, 1599, 2 vols. 8vo. This last is said to be an excellent commentary on Tacitus. There are two letters from him to Lipsius in Burman’s Sylloges Epistolarum, and four from Lipsius to him. 1

1 Biog. Britannica, from Mackenzie, vol. III. Granger, vol. I.