Born in Las Palmas, Canary Islands, to British parents, he was educated in Spain and England. He moved to Lealt on the Scottish island of Jura in the 1960s where he spent more than a decade researching and excavating Jura and establishing it as a significant Mesolithic site.
Mercer wrote a children's novel, Lizard Island Expedition (1965), drawing on his own experiences in the Balearics. He also published a guidebook to the islands of Colonsay, Gigha and Jura (1974) and several books on the Canary Islands. He also published a history of wool spinning.
Lizard Island Expedition (novel), Oliver and Boyd, 1965.
Canary Islands: Fuerteventura, David & Charles, 1973.
Hebridean Islands: Colonsay, Gigha, Jura, Blackie, 1974.
Spanish Sahara, Allen & Unwin, 1976
The Spinner's Workshop, Prism Press, 1978
The Canary Islanders: their prehistory, conquest, and survival, Collings, 1980.
John Mercer is the name of:
Captain John Mercer (died 1756), colonial Virginia militiaman killed at the Battle of Great Cacapon
John Mercer (colonial lawyer) (1704–1768), colonial Virginia lawyer
John Francis Mercer (1759–1821), Governor of Maryland, 1801–1803, son of the Virginia lawyer
John H. Mercer (1922–1987), Ohio State University glaciologist, namesake of Mercer Ice Stream
John Mercer (scientist) (1791–1866), British textile chemist
John Mercer (Australian pastoralist) (1823–1891), landowner, pastoralist and politician in colonial Victoria
John Mercer (baseball) (1892–1982), Major League Baseball first baseman
John Mercer (archaeologist) (1934–1982), British archaeologist and author
John Mercer (American politician) (born 1957), legislator in the state of Montana
Johnny Mercer (1909–1976), American songwriter
Johnny Mercer (politician) (born 1981), British politician
Jack Mercer (1910–1984), American animator
Jack Mercer (cricketer) (1893–1987), cricketer for Glamorgan