Sir Arthur Mitchell

1826 - 1909

Physician, medical administrator and antiquarian. Born in Elgin (Moray), the son of an engineer, Mitchell attended Elgin Academy and then studied medicine at the University of Aberdeen and then in Europe. His career was devoted to the improvement of care for the mentally-ill. He worked in the new asylum which opened at Larbert, was appointed Deputy Commissioner of the General Board of Lunacy for Scotland (1857) and Commissioner (1870-95). He also served on similar commissions for England and Ireland. He was an enthusiast for institutional care, and published a book The Insane in Private Dwellings (1864) based on his observations of neglect and misery amongst the mentally-ill kept at home.

Mitchell was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (1866) and served as the Society's Vice President (1889-94 and 1896 - 1902). He was also a noted antiquarian who served as Secretary and Vice-President of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Vice-President of the Scottish Meteorological Society, President of the Early Scottish Text Society, and a Professor of Ancient History at the Royal Scottish Academy. Mitchell was knighted in 1887.

He died in Edinburgh and lies buried next to his wife at Rosebank Cemetery. His funeral was attended by his friend Dr. Joseph Bell (1837 - 1911). His son was the architect Sydney Mitchell (1856–1930).

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