William Tuke

William Tuke

William Tuke (March 24, 1732 - 1822) was an English businessman, philanthropist and Quaker. He was instrumental in the development of more humane methods in the custody and care of people with mental disorders, an approach that came to be known as moral treatment.

William Tuke was born in York to a leading Quaker family. He went into the family tea and coffee merchant business that had been started by Mary Tuke in 1725, and she passed it on to him in 1755. It became part of Twinnings tea company after the second world war. [http://www.mdx.ac.uk/WWW/STUDY/Quasho.htm]

During his lifetime, William Tuke became more involved with the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

Following the death of Hannah Mills in appalling conditions in a local insane asylum in 1790, William Tuke was asked to take the lead in Quaker efforts to develop a more humane alternative. He solicited funds from friends, Quakers, and physicians. He spent two years discussing plans with the local Quaker group (York Monthly Meeting) describing the fundamental principles of the proposed institution. It opened in 1796 as the York Retreat. The approach was widely derided at first, and William Tuke noted that "All men seem to desert me." [http://www.quakerinfo.com/qt_retr.shtml] However, it became famous around the world as a model of more humane and psychologically-based approaches. William's son, Henry Tuke co-founded the treat and continued his work. As did his grandson, Samuel Tuke, who also helped publicize the work and the term moral treatment.

Tuke was one of a few voices in Britain opposing the humanitarian impact of the East India Trading Company on other countries. [http://www.opendemocracy.net/theme_7-corporations/article_904.jsp]

External links

* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/tuke_william.shtml BBC Website - brief William Tuke biography]

* [http://books.google.com/books?id=0yRUKjdi9LEC&printsec=titlepage York Quaker memorial statement of 1823 concerning William Tuke] from Google Book search.

* [http://www.tukeinstitute.org/page6/index.html The Tuke Institute] an independent charity

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