Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Barclay, Robert (1774-1811)

BARCLAY, ROBERT (1774–1811), lieutenant-colonel, entered the army as an ensign in the 38th regiment on 28 Oct. 1789, and embarked with his regiment for the East Indies, where he signalised himself in most of the actions fought there in 1793. He was so distinguished by his talents and courage that he was promoted to a lieutenancy on 31 May 1793, and to a company on 8 April 1795, and on both occasions out of his turn. Having been taken prisoner by the enemy, he suffered much in captivity, and in the year following his promotion he returned to England. Though entitled to six months' leave, he hastened to rejoin his regiment, then in the West Indies.

His distinguished qualities having become known to Lieutenant-general Sir John Moore, he was promoted to a majority in the 52nd on 17 Sept. 1803, and on 29 May 1806 to a lieutenant-colonelcy. In 1808 he accompanied Sir John Moore in the expedition to Sweden, and afterwards to Portugal. He was mentioned in despatches for his distinguished conduct at the battle on the Coa on 24 June 1810. He afterwards commanded a brigade, at the head of which, when charging the French on the heights of Busaco, he received a wound below the left knee. For his conduct at Busaco he was again honourably mentioned in despatches. His wound obliged him to leave the service, and he died from the effects of it on 11 May 1811.

[Historical Record of the 52nd Regt. p. 122; Despatches of Field-Marshal the Duke of Wellington, iv. 184–306; Army Lists.]

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