Charles Arthur Mercier (1851 - 1919)

Charles Arthur Mercier FRCS, FRCP, the son of a clergyman, was born on 21 June 1851. He studied medicine at the University of London, and after graduating took a position at Buckinghamshire County Asylum in Stone, near Aylesbury. Mercier then became Assistant Medical Officer at Leavensden Asylum, and the City of London Asylum at Dartford, Kent. Soon afterwards he was appointed Superintendent of Bethel Hospital in Norwich, and Surgeon to the Jenny Lind Hospital. He also became the Resident Physician at Flower House, a private asylum in Catford. In 1902 he was appointed Lecturer in insanity at the Westminster Hospital Medical School and the London Medical School for Women, and, around the same time, the Physician for mental diseases at Charing Cross Hospital.

In 1894 Mercier was secretary of a committee of the Medico-Psychological Association. He was a regular contributor to the ‘Recent Medico-Legal Cases’ series in the Journal of Mental Science. He joined the Medico-Legal Society in 1905, and was appointed president of the Medico-Psychological Association in 1908. He also testified before the Royal Commission on the Care of the Feeble-Minded (1904-8). In 1911 he was Visitor to the State Inebriate Reformatory. He was twice married.

His other important works include: The Nervous System and the Mind (1888); Sanity and Insanity (1890); Lunatic Asylums, their organisation and management (1894); Psychology, normal and morbid (1901); A Text-Book of Insanity (1902); Criminal Responsibility (1905); Crime and Insanity (1911); Conduct and Its Disorders (1911); A New Logic (1912); Human Temperaments: studies in character (1916); On Causation (1916); Crime and Criminals (1918).