Barclay, John was born at Pont-A-Mousson, in Lorrain, where his father, William Barclay (q.v.), was law professor, in 1582. He studied at the college of the Jesuits there, and the brethren, observing his genius, attempted to draw him into their order. This offended his father, who left the college with his son in 1603 and returned to England. He wrote verses in praise of King James, and would doubtless have succeeded at court had he not been a Romanist. His literary reputation rests on his Argenis (1621, and many editions since), which had an immense popularity, and was translated into various languages. We mention him here for the following works Series patefacte
divinitus parricidii, etc. (A History of the Gunpowder Plot, Amst. 1605, 12mo); Pietas, etc. (a defense of his father's work, De Potestate Pape, against Bellarmine; Paris, 1611, 4to); Paraenesis ad Sectarios hujus temporis (Rome 1617, 12mo; an appeal to Protestants in favor of Romanism). He died at Rome, Aug. 12.1621. — New Genesis Biog. Dictionary, 2:49; Allibone, Dictionary of Authors, 1:117.