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Robert Barclay Manuscripts Collection


Held at: Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College [Contact Us]500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 19081

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Robert Barclay, Quaker theologian, was born in 1648, the son of Colonel David Barclay of Ury, Scotland. He became a Quaker in 1667, shortly after his father joined the Society of Friends. His writings, especially his "Apology for the True Christian Divinity" (Latin, 1676; English, 1678) systemitized the principles of Quakerism. He travelled to Holland and Germany as a lay minister and served as the nonresident govenor of East Jersey. In 1669 he married Christian Molleson, a Quaker, and he died in 1690. His writings were collected and published as "Truth Triumphant" in 1692.

Robert Barclay of Ury, the Younger, was born in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1672, the eldest son of Quaker theologian Robert Barclay and Christian (Mallison) Barclay. He was preaching in public by the age of 22 and continued his ministry until his death in 1747. He was the author of several published works, including "A serious address to the well-meaning followers of Antonia Bourignon" (1708), "An Essay Upon Faith" (1741), and "A Genealogical Account of the Barclays of Urie" (1740).

This small collection consists of manuscript documents by or about Robert Barclay and his works, written during his lifetime.

Purchase, 1993. Belonged to Barclay Family. Previous to FHL acquisition, materials were stored on deposit by the Barclay Family at Friends House, London.

Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
Finding Aid Date
Access Restrictions

This collection is available for research use. Due to the age, fragility, and rarity of these materials, special staff supervision or assistance may be required.

Use Restrictions

Friends Historical Library believes all of the items in this collection to be in the Public Domain in the United States, and is not aware of any restrictions on their use. However, the user is responsible for making a final determination of copyright status before reproducing. See

Collection Inventory

SAFE 1005. Barclay, Robert, 1648-1690. Questions proposed by Mr. Charles Gordon concerning the Quakers principles to Robert Barclay's and his answers there-unto and Mr Charles his considerations of the said answers, 1678.
Scope and Contents

Manuscript, copied from the papers of Charles Gordon by his brother, Robert Gordon, concerning questions posted to Robert Barclay regarding the principles of Quakerism. Includes Robert Barclay's answers to Charles Gordon's questions, Charles Gordon's responses to those answers, Robert Barclay's answers to those comments, and, briefly, Robert Barclay's answers to questions posed by Robert Gordon, who transcribed the previous material.

Physical Description

1 volume (346 leaves) : bound

SAFE 1006. Barclay, Robert, 1648-1690. Robert Barclay's Vindication of his Apology, 1689.
Physical Description

1 volume (12 leaves) : bound.

SAFE 1004. Barclay, Robert, 1672-1747. The Quakers notion of the Divin light felt in a true light... and Remarks on Thomas Bennet's Confutation of Quakerism, 1704.
Scope and Contents

Three separate manuscripts concerning theological issues confronting early Quakers, bound into a single volume. Includes: A letter to a friend concerning the Quaker notion of Divine Light; An Appendix, Being Some Remarks upon Thomas Bennet's Confutation of Quakerism; The first Proposition, concerning the true foundation of knowledge.

Physical Description

1 volume (184 leaves) : bound.

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