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
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.