Alfred Richard Barclay

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Alfred Richard Barclay (8 August 1859 – 10 November 1912) was a New Zealand Member of Parliament for two Dunedin electorates, representing the Liberal Party.


Early life

Barclay was born in Ireland in 1859. [1] He was the eldest son of the Rev. George Barclay and Annie Barclay (née Clifford). The family came to New Zealand in 1865 and arrived on the Dona Anita in Lyttelton, and settled in Timaru. [2] Barclay received his education from the public school in Timaru, from Christ's College in Christchurch, and from the University of Otago in Dunedin. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1878, with Bachelor of Laws in 1884, and was admitted to the bar in 1887. He practised as a barrister and solicitor for some time, and was appointed lecturer in constitutional history at the University of Otago in 1891. [1]

Member of Parliament

New Zealand Parliament
1899 1902 14th City of Dunedin Liberal–Labour
1905 1908 16th Dunedin North Liberal–Labour

Barclay represented one of the City of Dunedin seats in the New Zealand House of Representatives between 1899 and 1902. [3] He returned to Parliament as the MP for Dunedin North from 1905 to 1908. He was defeated in the elections in both 1902 and 1908. [4]

Barclay was an admirer of Karl Marx: Barclay produced a pamphlet on Marx in 1899, and quoted him in his maiden speech in Parliament. [5] In 1907, Barclay introduced a motion in the debating chamber for the nationalisation of the supply of food and clothing. [5] He was a strong opponent of the Second Boer War. [6]

He was nominated as the Labour Party candidate for Dunedin North in 1911 but withdrew because of illness. [7]

Family and death

On 26 October 1887, he married Annie Baron, the daughter of Henry William Baron of Dunedin. [8] They had three children: George (born 1898), Elfreda (born 1900), and Frederick (born 1904). He died on 10 November 1912 and was survived by his wife. [9]



  1. 1 2 Scholefield, Guy, ed. (1940). A Dictionary of New Zealand Biography : A–L (PDF). Vol. I. Wellington: Department of Internal Affairs. pp. 38f. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  2. "Obituary". Ashburton Guardian . Vol. xxix, no. 7543. Ashburton. 20 July 1908. p. 2. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  3. "Otago". Timaru Herald. Vol. LXII, no. 3129. 8 December 1899. p. 3. Retrieved 6 July 2010.
  4. Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. p. 182. OCLC   154283103.
  5. 1 2 Gustafson 1980, p. 24.
  6. "Personal Matters". The Evening Post . Vol. LXXXIV, no. 115. 11 November 1912. p. 7. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
  7. "Obituary". The Star . No. 10615. 11 November 1912. p. 2. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
  8. "Marriages". Otago Daily Times . No. 8020. 4 November 1887. p. 2. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
  9. "Deaths". Otago Daily Times . No. 15608. 11 November 1912. p. 4. Retrieved 18 July 2015.

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New Zealand Parliament
New constituency Member of Parliament for Dunedin North
Succeeded by