Dr Archibald Campbell Clark

In the far top corner of the graveyard lies the largest memorial stone where the first Superintendent rests,


Archibald Campbell Clark was born at Tarbert, Loch Fyne, the son of Donald Clark, a merchant and his wife Margaret Campbell. His father died when he was young and they then moved to Lochgilphead. He was educated there at the Free Church School. From around 1867, he assisted at the local asylum, where he learnt an empathy for the patients and a need to learn more about how the brain functioned.

He worked for some years as a warehouseman in Glasgow, then studied medicine at Edinburgh University, graduating MB ChB in 1878 and gaining his doctorate (MD) in 1886.

His Work in Asylums

He was assistant medical officer at the Melrose Asylum before joining the Edinburgh Asylum under Dr Thomas Clouston. He was twice married and had two sons and one daughter.

Around 1890, he became Medical Superintendent of the Glasgow District Asylum at Bothwell. In 1895, he was appointed Chief Medical Superintendent of the newly completed Lanark Asylum, Hartwood Hospital; with over 2,500 patients, it was to become the largest asylum in Europe.

Dr Archibald Campbell Clark aimed to “cure where possible and give the best possible care when a cure cannot be found.”

Controversially by today's standards (but acceptable at the time), Hartwood employed electroconvulsive therapy and was the first place in Scotland to perform a lobotomy in an attempt to control behaviour.

He was the first to advocate professional training of all staff and had a strong reputation for improving the actual conditions of those detained within the hospital.

His Work

He lectured at St Mungo’s College in Glasgow and was president of the Caledonian Medical Society. He is also recognised for writing several publications such as :

  • The Special Training of Asylum Attendants (1884)
  • Essays on Hallucinations by Asylum Attendants (1884)
  • Handbook for Instruction of Asylum Attendants (1885)
  • Experimental Dietetics in Lunacy Practice (1887)
  • The Sexual and Reproductive Functions, Normal and Perverted, in Relation to Insanity (1888)
  • Etiology, Pathology and Treatment of Puerperal Insanity (1888)
  • The Future of Asylum Service (1894)
  • A Clinical Manual of Mental Diseases (1897)
  • The Therapeutic Value (on Mental Health) of Spleen Removal (1898)
  • On Epileptic Speech (1899)

His Death

Dr Campbell Clark died of influenza on 28th November, 1901, at his house in Hartwood Village within the grounds of the hospital and was burried within the hospital cemetery in Hartwood on 2nd December, 1901.


Bronze emorial plaque to Archibald Campbell Clark, Royal Edinburgh Hospital

Memorial plaque to Archibald Campbell Clark, Royal Edinburgh Hospital