Barclay, Alexander

(?1475-1552)
   Barclay was chaplain at the College of St. Mary Ottery, Devon, then a Benedictine monk at Elywhere he probably wrote his eclogues. Later he became a Franciscan friar of Canterbury, and in 1552, rector of All Hallows, London. His poem "The Ship of Fools" (1509) was a translation-not literal, but an adaptation to suit English conditions - from "Das Narrenschiff " (1494), a poem by the German humanist, moralist and satirist Sebastian Brant, in which more than 100 fools are gathered on a ship bound for Narragonia, the fools' paradise. His poem "Geographers" is a salutary reminder to people not to get above themselves. All knowledge, he says, is of little value if we do not know ourselves or how we should conduct ourselves. Some of his other poems: "Eating in Hall," "Here Beginneth the Castle of Labour," "Preachment for Preachers," "Star of the Sea," "The Life of Saint George," "The Mirror of Good Manners," "The Tudor Rose," "Winter."
   Sources: Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite DVD, 2006. English Poetry: Author Search. Chadwyck-Healey Ltd., 1995 (http://www.lib.utexas.edu:8080/search/epoetry/author.html). Great Books Online (www.bartleby.com). The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The Oxford Book of Late Medieval Verse and Prose. Douglas Gray, ed. Clarendon Press, 1985. The Oxford Companion to English Literature. 6th edition. Margaret Drabble, ed. Oxford University Press, 2000.

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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  • BARCLAY, Alexander — (c. 1475 1552) Alexander Barclay was a humanist, a priest, a poet, and a translator. Tradition holds that he was born in Scotland, although scholars propose either Glouces­tershire or Lincoln. He was ordained in Exeter as deacon and priest in… …   Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary

  • Barclay, Alexander — ▪ English poet born c. 1476 died June 10, 1552, Croydon, Surrey, Eng.  poet who won contemporary fame chiefly for his adaptation of a popular German satire, Das Narrenschiff, by Sebastian Brant, which he called The Shyp of Folys of the Worlde… …   Universalium

  • Barclay, Alexander — (1475? 1552)    Poet, probably of Scottish birth, was a priest in England. He is remembered for his satirical poem, The Ship of Fools (1509), partly a translation, which is of interest as throwing light on the manners and customs of the times to… …   Short biographical dictionary of English literature

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