Colonel David Barclay [1st Laird of Urie], who served with distinction under Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, and, on his return home, attained the rank of Colonel during the great civil war. In 1647 he purchased the lands and barony of Urie from William, 7th Earl Marischal. He was b 1610, m Katherine, dtr of Sir Robert Gordon of Gordonstoun, 1st Bt, and was succeeded by his eldest son.

Robert Barclay, 2nd of Urie, the celebrated Apologist of the Quakers, b 28 Dec 1648, m 1670, Christian, dtr of Gilbert Mollison, and had issue, a second son.

Ury House -- 1790

Miers Fisher bought the place in 1790.

Miers Fisher gave Ury its name, from the country-seat of Barclay, the famous Scotch Friend and the author of The Apology--"Urie" or "Uri," in Scotland.
Rev. S. F. Hotchkin, M.A., The York Road, Old and New (Philadelphia: Binder & Kelly, Publishers, 1892), pp.406-9.

Miers Fisher set about improvements when he established himself at Ury soon after the revolution. He built the parlors on the west side of the house, with the bedrooms above them, and made sundry other additions. To give some degree of uniformity to the north front, with its two older three story buildings at the east and center, he tried the expedient of a row of sham windows at the west of what is now the entrance hall.

These windows were the occasion of much merriment and many witticisms, based on the absence of window glass and the wags expressed constant surprise that a man so noted for his hospitality as Miers Fisher should greet his guests with champagne and no glasses.

The Fishers presumably used the ground floor of the old Swedish fort as the kitchen; what is now the hall (in the 1728) addition was their dining room.

Since the alteration and the raising of the ceiling, the Swede's Hall has been the dinng room.

One of the best things Miers Fisher did at Ury was to plan and establish the "six-square" garden to the southeast of the house and sheltered by it from the sweep of the northwest winds. Many of the old gardens were laid out in four compartments; six is a rather unusual number. The garden, symmetrically arranged, is enclosed by a high, thick boxwood hedge. A box-edged walk, shaded by a grape-covered trellis, runs the entire length of the garden from east to west and divides it into equal parts.

Besides founding the garden, Miers Fisher planted a splendid double avenue of white pines from the gate to the house, and did much else to make Ury House a well appointed country seat of the day. Some of the white pine trees in the avenue still remain. Miers Fisher entertained at Ury the leading men and scientists of Philadelphia, and the eminent strangers that frequented the city during the years when it was the capital of the United States. Among these came Thomas Jefferson and planted on the south lawn a pecan tree, which bore prolifically until it was blown down by a Winter's storm in 1928.
Harold Donaldson Eberlein and Cortlandt Van Dyke Hubbard, "Colonial Philadelphia No. 13 Ury House" (Evening Public Ledger, 1939.10.03). was rebuilt by Miers Fisher, young lawyer, who named it Ury House in honor of a Scotch Friend, author of "The Apology."

Miers, rather more worldly than most Friends, brought to the respendid blockhouse his bride, known to Philadelphia as the "Rhode Island Beauty."
Manning Smith, "Sisters in Historic Mansion Hold Off Invaders" (Philadelphia Record, 1940.01.29.

No further change was made until after the Revolutionary War, when Miers Fisher bought the place for his country seat. He was a lawyer, who also had an interest in his father's shipping firm and a wife famous for her beauty, the former Sarah Redwood, of Newport, R.I.

Then Fisher bought Ury and made additions, building the parlors on the west with bedrooms above them. The ground floor of the old Swedish blockhouse was used as the kitchen and the present hall was the dining room.
Rex Rittenhouse, "Ury House Guest Was Victim Of Jittery Maid" (Philadelphia: The Evening Bulletin, 1945.10.21).



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