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Tartan Illustrated: Barclay Dress Modern
Motto: 'Either Action Or Death'
Since the eighteenth century, Barclay historians, noted for their low level in medieval scholarship, have assumed the Scottish family Barclay (de Berchelai) is a branch of one of the Anglo-Norman Berkeley family of Berkeley in Gloucestershire. However, the link between the Scottish and English families is disputed.
An old family tradition is that the Scottish family is descended from John de Berkeley, who was the son of Roger de Berkeley, provost of Berkeley, and went to Scotland in 1069 with St Margaret . Another theory is that the clan is descended from a John de Berkeley who went north in 1124 with Maud, queen of David.
Another theory of the Barclay origin, put forth by the historian G.W.S. Barrow, points to the small village of Berkley in Somerset (in 1086 Berchelei). In 1086 the overlordship of Berkley belonged to Robert Arundel, whose main tenant was a Robert. Arundel's manors included Cary Fitzpaine (in Charlton Mackerell), near Castle Cary. And Cary Fitzpaine seems to have been held by the tenant Robert as well. At the same time as Henry Lovel of Castle Cary first appears in Scotland, there appear the names of Godfrey de Arundel and Robert and Walter de Berkeley.