Barclay, Barklay, or De Barklay, Alexander

Barclay, Barklay, Or De Barklay, Alexander a poet and prose writer, born toward the end of the 15th century, but whether English or Scotch by birth is uncertain. He was certainly at Oriel College, Oxford, about 1495, and, after finishing his studies, he traveled in Holland, Germany, Italy, and France, and studied the languages and literature of those countries. Returning to England, he became one of the priests or prebendaries of the college of St. Mary Ottery, Devonshire, and was afterward a monk of the Benedictine monastery of Ely, where he continued till the suppression of the monastery in 1539. In 1546 he obtained the vicarage of Great Badow and that of Wokey. On 30th April, 1552, he was presented to the rectory of Allhallows, but died in June of that year at Croydon. His character as a priest is dubious, but of his merit as a writer there is no dispute. if there were no other proof of it than his famous Ship of Fools, partly a translation and partly an imitation from the German of Sebastian Brandt, the old title being The Shyp of Folys of the Worlde (London, 1509). — New Genesis Biog. Dict. 2:47; Allibone, Dictionary of Authors, 1:116.

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