William Mercer

William was born 08/Jan/1755.
He joined the 19th Foot at Gibraltar in 1769. Ensign on 26/Dec/1770. Lieutenant in 1778. Sold out 1780 in Dublin and sailed for India in the “Mount Stewart.”  During the voyage, he was taken prisoner by a French and Spanish fleet on  09/Aug/1780. He was landed at Cadiz, Spain and detained at Arcos until exchanged. He sailed again from Portsmouth 06/Feb/1782 on the “Ganges,” reached Rio de Janeiro 01/May/1782 and camped there for a month. He touched at Bombay 16/Sep/1782 and arrived at Calcutta 20/Nov/1782.

Appointed Lieutenant in the Governor’s Body Troop 16/Feb/1783. Aide de camp to Warren Hastings (Governor-General of Bengal) from Feb/1784 to Feb/1785.

Married Barbara Forbes, daughter of Robert Forbes of Corse, Banffshire on 06/Nov/1788.

Went to Madras & Mysore with Lord Cornwallis Nov. 1790 and was said by his brother Thomas to have cut down a native who tried to kill his Lordship.

Invalided at Calcutta 1791, succeeded to Potterhill on the death of his brother Laurence but sold Potterhill to pay his fathers debts.

He was promoted to Brevet Captain, appointed Quartermaster of 2nd Cavalry and left Calcutta for Cawnpore 22/June/1796.

Appointed on 29/ May/1800 to command a troop in the 5th Cavalry raised at Ghazepore.
Died 03/Aug/1801 after a duel with the Hon. Andrew Ramsay brother of the Earl of Dalhousie.

Barbara Drummond Forbes

Descended from a younger son of Forbes of Corse. Daughter of Robert Forbes of Gask and sister of Sir John Forbes Drummond of Hawthornden, 1st Baronet, Commander R.N., who, in right of his wife, Mary Ogilvie of Murtle, heiress by special settlement of Mrs Barbara Drummond (only daughter of William Drummond of Hawthornden, and wife of Bishop William Abernethy Drummond) on whose death in 1789, assumed the additional surname and arms of Drummond. He was created a Baronet, 27/Feb/1828.

After William Mercer was killed in a duel in 1801. Barbara and her children moved to Scotland and lived in Perth.

She is buried at Kinnoull.


  • William Mercer (b:26/Aug/1789 d:31/Mar/1791 at Burdwan.)
  • Ann Abernethy Mercer (b:15/Jan/1794. m:06/Jul/1813 at Broughty Ferry, Dundee. d:1876.)
  • Spouse: Charles McGrigor (b: Jul/1813. Lieutenant Colonel 70th Foot d:15/Mar/1841 at Nottingham having retired from military service.)
  • Eliza Forbes Mercer (b:17/Oct/1795. m:15/Nov/1809 at Perth. d:1881.) Spouse: Richard Charles Blunt, second son of Sir Charles William Blunt, Bart. of Blunt Hall. Richard died at Bretlands House, Surrey, 16/Jan/1846 and is buried at Chertsey. His son, Sir Charles, succeeded as sixth Baronet.)
  • William Drummond Mercer (b:16/Oct/1796. d:18/Aug/1871)
  • Louisa Mercer (b:26/May/1798 at Cawnpore. m:23/Feb/1819. d:08/Feb/1881.) Spouse: Alexander Brodie (Manager of the Bank of Scotland, Stirling.)
  • Charlotte Simpson Mercer (b:29/Jun/1799 at Cawnpore. m:30/Jun/1817. d:18/Mar/1869.) Spouse: Robert Lockhart (of Castlehill, Cambusnethan, Lanarkshire. d:02/Nov/1850.)
  • James Mercer (b:18/Aug/1809. Died in infancy.)

8 thoughts on “William Mercer of Potterhill

  • 5/March/2012 at 7:32 pm

    I have an original oil painting of ‘Bretlands’ circa 1850 which was owned by Richard John Blunt who was the son of Eliza Forbes Mercer. I would prefer this to remain within the family or close family rather then on the wall of someone who has no commections to the family or house. Please email me if you wish to see a photograph of the painting etc. Kind Regards

    • 7/July/2019 at 11:06 pm

      I have just seen your note about the picture you have. I am Philip Mercer the younger son of Lawrence Walter Mercer, who inherited Huntingtower. If you still have the picture I would be interested to see it and and meet you even if you don’t! I live in Scotland and London.

  • 2/May/2013 at 6:54 pm

    I have been contacted by a gentleman who has come upon family papers relating to an Alexander Brodie. Looking through some of these it appears the Alexander Brodie is the Alexander Brodie from Stirling, manager of the Stirling branch of the Bank of Scotland. I do not know his ancestry but it he seems well known to the Mercer family. I think he married on the 23rd February 1819 Louisa Mercer. one of the papers shown to me mentions the Mercers in connection to the bank of Scotland and Alexander Brodie (it appears he got the job thanks to his Mercer connections). These papers may well be of greater interest to your family. my email is: [removed] and the gentleman who contacted me Michael Walker email: [removed]
    Yours ever, Alexander Brodie

  • 4/May/2013 at 12:28 pm

    Hello Alexander

    I have information about Alexander and Louisa. My direct ancestor was John Buchan Brodie, Alexander’s brother.

    Alexander Brodie, born 05.02.1784 in Edinburgh and died aged 81 in 10.7.1865. He was a businessman working in Leith and Glasgow. He married Louisa (nee Mercer) on Tuesday 23rd March 1819 in Edinburgh. Louisa was born in May 1798 in India.

    Alexander and Louisa had 8 children born in Edinburgh, although no mention of whether any of the boys married or had children.

    o William Mercer Brodie, bap 09.12.1819. Died of cholera, India 3.05.1860.
    o Graeme Mercer Brodie, born 07.02.1821. Died in India 3.07.1848
    o Anne Barbara Brodie, born 18.05.1822. Married John Freeman Maclaverty 28.07.1842 in Argyllshire. John Freeman MacLaverty, who was born at Sanda House in 1806, succeeded to Keill and Chestervale, Jamaica, on he death of his father in 1834. He died at Mount Devon, Dollar, in January, 1882, Having had issue:
    1. Louisa b. 07.07.1843
    2. Colin Edmund Breon, born 1845; died 1877.
    3. Graeme Alexander.
    4. William, born 1848; died 1866.
    5. John Freeman, born 1851 ; died in Jamaica, 1882.
    6. George Francis, born in 1852 ; died the same year.
    o George Francis Brodie, born 20.07.1823. Died in China 19.01.1848.
    o Alexander Drummond Brodie, born 21.03.1825. Died 14.01.1876
    o Francis Walker Brodie, born 01.07.1826. Fought and died in the Indian Mutiny 7.6.1857.
    o Margaret Louisa Brodie, born 28.03.1828. No further details
    o Thomas Mercer Brodie, born 30.10.1829. No further details

    Best wishes


    • 4/August/2013 at 10:41 pm


      I am a descendant of Anne Barbara Brodie and John Freeman Maclaverty. They had 13 children ! One of which, Charles Louis Maclaverty was born in Jamaica, but eventually came to Canada in 1903 with his wife and their three daughters (all born in Jamaica). A fourth daughter was born in Canada. Charles is my great grandfather.

      I have read some of your posts Claire regarding James Brodie and Janet Hood, I would be interested in finding out more, since like you, I am descended from there son Alexander.


    • 16/September/2013 at 4:17 pm


      You seem to have researched a lot on the Brodies. My line is from a Janet Brodie who married a George Walker in Forres in early 1700’s. Several of their children’s births were witnessed by James Brodie, Lord Lyon. I would be delighted if you could help me pin down where Janet fits in. I have read elsewhere your reference to Janet Hood’s marriage to James Brodie of Spynie before his official marriage to another. I wonder if “my” Janet is a daughter of Janet Hood’s son Alexander who you say reverted to Forres & was supported by the Lord Lyon??

      Willie Walker

  • 18/November/2018 at 2:03 am

    I am A Mercer My Father Shaffer Mercer West Virginia My Faimly Is of Hugh Mercer I want some answers about my Roots all my way back to the beginning England Scootland Wales Mercerburge was Named after Hugh Mercer all West Virginia Pennsylvania Vergina has My faimlys last name wrote on it and so dose Scootland England Wales. I am tried of not touching my Faimly roots as they are rich in fact.And I know my pedigree Very classy one I my say right up to the Queen who I be Live nearly did A lot of bad things to my long long of pedigree family so in all Respect to whom ever do you think you can help me with this list of anwsers Thank you Kimberly Mercer.


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