Sir James Mantle Barclay

1750-93. He was born on 2 October 1750 at Kingston, Hampshire, the second son of Sir William Blois Barclay, 5th Baronet Barclay, and of his wife, Susanna Church of Gloucester.

Barclay was present as a boy at the capture of Havana in 1762, and in 1769 he succeeded his brother, Sir William, as the 7th Baronet Barclay of Pierston, Ayrshire.

On 4 March 1777 he was commissioned lieutenant of the Amazon 32, Captain Maximilian Jacobs, serving in North America. Later commanding the galley Hussar, he was present at the relief of Rhode Island in August 1778, and by 1782 he was serving aboard the Britannia 100, Captain Benjamin Hill, the flagship of Vice-Admiral Hon. Samuel Barrington in the Channel fleet.

Barclay was promoted commander on 1 May 1782 and he joined the Harpy 18, retaining her until she was paid off in the spring of 1783, and having been posted captain on 21 January.

From August 1786 he commanded the Leander 50, in which he saw service at Nova Scotia flying the flag of Commodore Hebert Sawyer. During May 1788 he was a member of the court-martial which erroneously passed a sentence of dismissal from his ship upon Captain Isaac Coffin for keeping false musters, when the correct punishment should have been dismissal from the navy. He subsequently returned home with the promoted Rear-Admiral Sawyer in August 1788, apparently ‘in some disgust’.

During the Spanish Armament of 1790 Barclay commanded the newly commissioned Windsor Castle 98 with the flag of Rear-Admiral Sawyer.

He died on 12 June 1793 in Aix-le-Chapelle, Westphalia, the modern-day Aachen in Germany, and was succeeded as 8th baronet by his brother, Robert Barclay, who later became the MP for Newport, Isle of Wight.

Barclay was unmarried. He was not highly regarded by the future Admiral Sir Thomas Byam Martin, and whilst under his command the Leander was considered to be a poorly-disciplined ship.