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Wilmont Barclay

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Wilmont Barclay
BornWilmont A. Barclay
Kingston, Jamaica
Diedcirca 1932

Wilmont Barclay (?-c.1932) was a professional mind reader, hypnotist, magician who performed as "Maharajah".


Barclay had an illusion show for many seasons in Luna Park, Coney Island, New York, and later in Starlight Park in the Bronx.[1]

One anecdote has Barclay used the term "escape artist" prior to Houdini, and allegedly teaching Houdini his first handcuff escapes in 1895 while they were both performing at a dime museum in Boston.

In November, 1906, Barclay made the London newspapers by placing his wife in a state of suspended animation and burying her six feet underground for 104 hours.

During the 1920's, Barclay worked with Rhadolph Marcellie. Marcellic and his wife performed a mental act and Barclay as Professor Maharajah performed fifteen illusions with an escape from the milk can as a finale. The troupe of "Professor Maharajah's Yogis annd Gooroos of India" disbanded late in 1932 when Barclay died. [2]


  1. Success Book Volume Two by Frances and Jay Marshall (1974)
  2. A History of Blacks in Magic BY JIM MAGUS, Linking Ring, December, 1983