Edward Beauchamp Singleton Mercer

Edward Beauchamp Singleton Mercer


Edward Beauchamp Singleton Mercer (1855-1905) was the eldest son of Captain Henry Mercer, a British military officer killed in the Battle of Rangiriri (New Zealand Wars) in 1863. Born in Lewisham, London, he arrived in Auckland, New Zealand in 1861. In 1882, he married Annie Elizabeth Clarke and had a least two children here (Muriel b.1886 and Cyril b.1887). In New Zealand, Mercer was listed as both a clerk and photographer/artist.

By May, 1887, Mercer had declared bankruptcy after making a plea to the Parliamentary Petitions Committee in June, 1886 to find him employment. In February 1888, Mercer applied to patent a design for wooden mounts for photography called the Patent Rakau Mounts, designed to replace cardboard mounts for the use of pictures or ferns.

Deciding to leave Auckland, he sold off his photographic equipment and studio. The family left New Zealand and returned to England, where their eldest child, Muriel died in 1889 in Wimbledon. After the death of Muriel, the family sailed for Cape Town, South Africa. Here they had two more sons, Noel (b.1890) and Vernon (b.1891). He also submitted another patent for a game board.

The family travelled by Zeederberg’s coach and arrived in Bulawayo in August, 1895. Another son was born here, Cecil (b.1896). In Bulawayo, Mercer established himself as a share broker and member of the Bulawayo Stock Exchange. His residence was listed as 221 Abbercorn St East, Bulawayo. By 1899 he was listed as a photographer.

In early 1904 he established the Bulawayo Pictorial Postcard Depot on the Corner of Jameson Street and 6th Avenue, Bulawayo specialising in postcards.

Mercer died on 16th December, 1905 due to cancer of the liver. At the time of death he was living in Jameson St, Bulawayo.


Some of the cards issued by Mercer can be found with a purple imprint for the Bulawayo Pictorial Postcard Depot and are listed under that business entry for catalogue purposes. The listings below do not include the imprint.


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