Charles Arthur Mercier

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Charles Arthur Mercier (1851-1919) M.D., F.R.C.P., F.R.C.S. was a British psychiatrist and leading expert on forensic psychiatry and insanity.


Mercier was born on 21 June 1851. He studied medicine at the University of London where he graduated. He worked at Buckinghamshire County Asylum in Stone, near Aylesbury. He became the Assistant Medical Officer at Leavesden Hospital and at the City of London Asylum in Dartford, Kent. He also worked as a surgeon at the Jenny Lind Hospital. He was the resident physician at Flower House, a private asylum in Catford. In 1902 became a lecturer in insanity at the Westminster Hospital Medical School. He was also a physician for mental diseases at Charing Cross Hospital.[1]

In 1894 Mercier was secretary of a committee of the Medico-Psychological Association. He published articles in the Journal of Mental Science. He joined the Medico-Legal Society in 1905, and became the president of the Medico-Psychological Association in 1908.[2] Mercier has been described as a pioneer in the field of forensic psychiatry.[3]

He was the author of many important works on crime, insanity, and psychology.[4]

His book Spiritualism and Sir Oliver Lodge (1917) was an exposure of trance mediumship and a criticism of the Spiritualist views of Oliver Lodge. In his book Spirit Experiences (1919) he wrote Spiritualism was based on delusion and fraud.


  • 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)
  • Food, Sleep, and Efficiency (1917)
  • Spiritualism and Sir Oliver Lodge (1917)
  • Crime and Criminals (1918)
  • Spirit Experiences (1919)


  1. ^ Charles Arthur Mercier (1851-1919)
  2. ^ Charles Arthur Mercier, M.D.Lond., F.R.C.P., F.R.C.S., Consulting Physician For Mental Diseases, Charing Cross Hospital; Past President Of The Medico-Psychological Association. The British Medical Journal, Vol. 2, No. 3063), 1919, pp. 363-365.
  3. ^ Paul Bowden, R. V. Chetwynd (1994). Pioneers in forensic psychiatry. Charles Arthur Mercier (1852–1919): Wit without understanding. The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry. Vol. 5, Iss. 2.
  4. ^ Peter Tyrer, Kenneth R. Silk. (2008). Cambridge Textbook of Effective Treatments in Psychiatry. Cambridge University Press. p. 33. ISBN 978-0521842280

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