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Glenbuchat Heritage

116 James Wiliam Barclay Election  Poster
The Glenbuchat Image Library
116 James Wiliam Barclay Election Poster

James William Barclay, Politician

Election Poster 1872 in support of the candidature of James William Barclay (From Aberdeen City Archives)

James William Barclay son of George Barclay builder of Cults Aberdeen was educated at Aberdeen Grammar School and Aberdeen University. He started work as a grain merchant in Castle Street and subsequently became a ship-owner. Prior to that, he had represented the 1st Ward in Aberdeen town council from 1864-1867 and the 3rd Ward from 1868-1871. He was a ship-owner. He stood as a second, but unsuccessful Liberal candidate in the 1872 Aberdeen by-election, caused by the death of the sitting MP, Col. Sykes. John Farley Leith, also a Liberal, was successful. It is not at all clear to me why Barclay stood against another candidate who was of the same party. In 1873 Barclay ultimately succeeded in becoming an MP, but in a different constituency. He was a Member of Parliament for Forfarshire in 1873 and appears to have held his seat for some considerable time until 1992. He supported the tenants’ rights movement.
He was the tenant of Loch Auchlossan farm near Aboyne for 25 years and a noted agricultural improver and breeder of Aberdeen Angus cattle. In 1901 he purchased the 15,000 acre Glenbuchat estate. He was a Chairman of the North of Scotland Canadian Mortgage and Investment Company of London
This election poster (above) asks the Aberdeen electorate to support the Liberal candidate James W Barclay, rather than the other Liberal planning to stand in the city, John Farley Leith. Farley Leith was returned as the Member of Parliament for Aberdeen in the 1872 by-election.
James Shaw was the Tory candidate in the 1872 by-election, brought about by the death of the MP Col Sykes. Both John Farley Leith, whom Shaw attacks here, and James Barclay, stood as Liberal candidates. John Farley Leith won.

The Electors lament

Description: This song is addressed to James William Barclay (1833-1907). Barclay stood as a second, but unsuccessful Liberal candidate in the 1872 Aberdeen by-election, caused by the death of the sitting MP, Colonel Sykes (referred to in the last verse). John Farley Leith (referred to in the final line, also a Liberal, was successful. Barclay became MP for Forfarshire in 1873.

Tune "Will Ye No Come Back Again"

Words Our worthy Member’s ta’en the thraw,
Because we cuffed the Chinamen;
But wily Will, an’ ither twa
Hae gane to coax him back again.
Will ye no come back again?
Will ye no come back again?
Better frien’s we’ll be wi’ Yeh,
Will ye no come back again?

Our Provost’s periods thrilled the thrang,
Within yon Inn beside the Den,
For aye the burden o’ his sang,
Was will ye no come back again?
Will ye no come back again?
Will ye no come back again?
The Provost, neist, will be M.P.,
Wou’d ye just now come back again.

Your Cote Celestial, to be sure,
Some for the moment did bewail;
But yet we deemed your conscience pure,
Although ye stuck to Cobden’s tail.
Will ye no come back again?
Will ye no come back again?
Your independent frien’s forgie—
They’ll gladly greet you back again.

The warld kens ye’ve ships at sea,
A’ copper bottomed like oursel’s;
Nor for their freights ye care a flea,
Or China Silks, or Yorkshire bales.
Will ye no come back again?
Will ye no come back again?
Ye viewed our weal we’ single e’e,
Will ye no come back again?

Our dainty Dean is no far wrang,
‘Bout Cant(on) things we little ken;
But we’ll believe that Pee-Twa Shang
Means green cheese until ye explain.
Will ye no come back again?
Will ye no come back again?
We’ll drown our diff’rences in tea,
Will ye no come back again?

‘Tis true a TODD is in the fauld,
And SYKES this day makes his Salaam;
A chiel’s amang us, wha, for “Auld
Langsyne,” to our respect lays claim.
Will ye no come back again?
Will ye no come back again?
Better lo’ed ye couldna be,
Were ye among the Chinamen.

We lang to meet the doughty three,
Wha gaed—your favour to regain—
Our granny dreamed yestreen that ye,
Or Sykes, cam’ wi’ them by the train.
If ye’ll no come back again,
Should ye no come back again,
Ye needna ferlie then should we,
For you, send FARLEY back again!



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