John Mercer JP FRCS


John Mercer is generally recognised as Great Harwood's most famous son.   John was a self-taught chemist who invented amongst other things a process for treating cotton so as to strengthen it and give it a lustrous appearance.   He is commemorated by the Mercer Clock on the Town Hall Square in Great Harwood.

An examination of the documentary evidence surrounding John Mercer's Family.

Explore the family tree of John Mercer.

John and his wife had six children none of whom married and had issue.   Their son, Robert Clayton Mercer died, aged 53 in 1881.   His will left money to his "cousins" and in turn that involved proving just who his cousins were.  Probate of this estate must have been a lengthy process as an affidavit sworn in 1909 by Thomas Henry Mercer regarding the estate recites details of the family from his personal knowledge.   Useful though this information may have been at the time there are provable omissions and errors in the affidavit.   Another of John's children, Maria Mercer died at the age of 93 in 1913.   Her will left money to personal friends and various charitable causes. It was from this money that The John Mercer Memorial Clock and the Mercer Hall in Great Harwood were built.