Name James BARCLAY
Country Of Origin Scotland
Born 1806
Died 1845
Birth/ Baptism Born 4 August 1806, Montrose, Scotland
Parents Thomas (watchmaker) and Agnes Barclay (formerly Oliver)
Apprenticeship Most likely with his father, Thomas Barclay
Skills Clockmaker, Watchmaker, Jeweller
Work Locations Launceston
Street Address
Brisbane Street, Launceston
Marriage/Spouse 26 March 1840 at the residence of Robert Taylor Esq., Franklin Cottage, Launceston, to Anne Stevenson
Arrival 22 June 1834, Hobart on the ship, Charles Eaton
Other June 1834: James arrived in Van Diemen’s Land with his brother Thomas, a baker and confectioner. Another brother David Barclay had arrived a few years earlier and established a clock and watchmaking business in Hobart. David and Thomas remained in Hobart and James settled in Launceston. Sisters Georgina and Frances also emigrated and settled in Launceston, and Agnes, near Hobart.

September 1836: James, armed with considerable experience in London, advertised commencing business as a watch and clockmaker in Brisbane Street, Launceston (former premises of Mr Henry Dowling). The property comprised a two-storey brick house, a two-storey store, a yard and garden, and neighboured Mr J Corbett’s.

July 1838: Advertised the arrival of an extensive range of silver and gold watches, hall and table clocks (guaranteed to be good timekeepers), jewellery, and musical boxes.

September 1838: Convict clock and watchmaker John Flett stole some of James Barclay’s tools, adding three years to his transportation sentence.
After he arrived in 1837, John Flett’s initial assignment was with David Barclay in Hobart, but only for a very short time. After being absent without leave, David sent him back to the Government.

Hobart Town Courier & Van Diemen’s Land Gazette 28 August 1840:
‘Wanted, A Journeyman Watchmaker, who thoroughly understands his business – a very liberal salary will be given. Apply by letter to James Barclay, Launceston, August 24.’

March 1841: Advertised relocating the business to the opposite side of Brisbane Street, former shop of Mr Cameron.

Approx. April 1842: Insolvency.

July 1843: Land and buildings advertised for sale by auction in the insolvent estate of James Barclay, including land and cottage in Lyttleton Street, land in Lyttleton Street neighbouring James Henty’s property, land in Clarence Street, and land and cottage in St George’s Square.

Known employees:
David Fleming
Assigned convicts:
Alexandre Duchene, John Flett, Archibald Simpson (foreman).

Significant Clocks:
James Barclay London & Launceston Bracket clock, circa 1830s (private collection),
James Barclay London & Launceston Single Fusee drop dial wall clock, circa 1830s (private collection).

SEE August 2023 blog:
A Rare Barclay Clock and the Tapestry Footstool

Death 4 September 1845 at his residence, Brisbane Street, Launceston, recorded as a 39-year-old watchmaker.
Brian Loomes, Watchmakers & Clockmakers of the World, Complete 21st Century Edition, 2006, p39 [Thomas Barclay].
TAHO: CSO1/1/732/15852 Arrival 1834; RGD37/1/2 no794 Marriage 1840; RGD35/1/16 no399 Death 1845.
Web: National Records of Scotland, Old Parish Registers Births 312/50 300 Montrose 1806.
Colonial Times 24 June 1834; Launceston Advertiser 15 September 1836, 3 March 1842, 4 September 1845; Cornwall Chronicle 6 March 1841, 6 November 1841, 25 Jun 1842; The Examiner (Launceston) 22 July 1843; Teetotal Advocate 17 July 1843.