1895 The Lancet  
IN our issue of last week we had the mournful duty of .announcing the death of Dr. Hack Take. The following details of his life and estimate of his work will be of interest to his many friends and admirers. Daniel Hack Take was born at York on April 19th, 1827. He was the youngest son of 'Samuel Tuke and the great grandson of William Tuke, the founder of the York Retreat, whose work in connexion with the humane treatment of the insane was on the same lines as that of Pinel in France, though the
more » ... two laboured independently of each other. Dr. Tuke was delicate as a child, but he was :remarkable, even in those early days, for his high spirit, which seemed to carry him through his troubles in an unexpected way. Although his schooling was often interrupted by illness he was always busy with learning of some sort or other or investigating on his own account. As an instance of this early scientific spirit may be mentioned a journey to the woods with the household cat, which he there deposited in the hope of some day re-finding it as a wild cat. Samuel Tuke, his father, was a well-known Quaker, ana ms son was accordingly brought up in the family traditions, and in due time, when his health would allow, he attended as day scholar at n, Friends' school. Later he went to another Friends' .school at Tottenham, where he numbered among his schoolfellows some who have since become eminent. "When his school education was finished he was thought to have such a legal mind that he was sent to Bradford to study law, but three months of this were quite enough for him, and he was at last allowed to begin the study of medicine, for which he longed. At about this time he seems to have held the post of steward at the York Retreat. He next came np to London, about the year .1849, entering at St. Bartholomew's Hospital. In 1852 he took the Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, and in 1853 he graduated M.D. at Heidelberg. In this same year he married, and went abroad to visit the asylums of Holland, Germany, and France. In 1854 he published his first work, an account of these visits. He was now appointed visiting physician to the York Retreat and to the York Dispensary, and about this time he held the Lectureship of Psychology at the York School -of Medicine. In 1857, on the death of his father, it was decided that the old family house in Lawrence-street, York, should be converted into a private asylum for ladies. This scheme, to which he looked forward with great eagerness, was frustrated by a serious attack of haemorrhage from the lungs, which obliged him to give up practice entirely and to go south. After a year of wandering he settled in Falmouth, where he lived for fifteen years. Here, with improved health, he soon began to take active interest in town matters, such as the library, British schools, working men's club, &c., and at the same time he did much literary work, maintaining throughout the keenest interest in all things relating to psychology and the insane. In 1874 he came to London, where :after a time he settled and gradually resumed practice, unable to resist the temptation so to do. Among his greatest pleasures at this time were his frequent visits to Bethlem Hospital, of which institution he subsequently became a governor; and when within the last year or two he was obliged on account of pressure of work to forego these visits he felt it as a great trial. In 1882 his eldest son, William Samuel Tuke. died at Bournemouth. This was a terrible blow to Dr. Take, who had set high hopes on his medical career, which, as many of W. S. Tnke's fellow students wit) remember, had promised brilliantly. Dr. Take subsequently took up his residence at Hanwell, where the proximity of the asylum proved a great attraction to him. Here he continued to reside till the time of his death, coming up to London daily to his consulting-rooms in Welbeck-street. It was at the latter place, just after his arrival on the morning of March 2nd, that he was suddenly seized with left-sided hemiplegia. After a few hours of incomplete consciousness Dr. Tuke gradually lapsed into a coma, which lasted till his death at four o'clock of the morning of Tuesday, the 5th. A prominent feature in Dr. Tuke's life was his indifference to the pleasures of the table ; a meal would never stand between him and his work, and his family would alternately scold and smile at his ridiculous snatch luncheons of buns and glasses of ginger beer. Of Dr. Tuke's kindness of heart we thinkmany must have a record. He was most genial and sociable by nature, and the meeting of his friends and colleagues was the chief attraction to him at social gatherings, which he in. variably enjoyed. He liked to talk over matters of all kinds, but philosophical subjects and religious questions attracted him most outside the domain of medicine, and such readings and conversations were his relaxation. He was sometimes affec. tionately taxed by his home DANIEL HACK TUKE, M.D., LL.D circle with being senti. mental ; but whilst it was quite true that sentiment" was ingrained in his fibre, as many little relics and hoardings would testify, his nature was far too simple and honest to allow of any. thing that savonred of the unreal. He was rather fond of poetry -Tennyson and Whittier being, perhaps, his favourite authors. He was certainly a hero-worshipper, and when engaged in this cult would take minute pains to learn all he could about the object of his affection, Hampden was thus much in his mind when he was at Oxford last year. Dr. Tuke had many devoted friends amongst young men-he was so exceedingly kind to them and would help whenever he could. A letter written by a medical friend whom he valued much described him as possessing "the gift of inspiring friendship'—it was quite true. In endeavouring to form a true estimate of the value of the work of Dr. Hack Tuke we cannot but feel that it is difficult at present to appreciate its various parts at their just value, but yet we think it is a proper time to note the nature and quantity of what he has done, and its apparent influence on English psychiatry. Dr. Take had a power of continned intellectual work such as is given to very few, and which we are almost inclined to say is given most commonly to those who are not physically robust; he worked regularly till the early morning hours in his study and yet was regular in his London professional work. He always got a clear notion of the end he was aiming at, and never rested or turned till he had reached it. Steady, persistent observation with methodical recording and arranging of facts was his chief power, for, though not, as we have hinted above, without poetical feeling and sentiment, yet he was not imaginative, and he was rather a receiver and a recorder than an originator. He was the cool.eyed observer of nature, and not the far-seeing prophet We have heard him described as a scientific sponge, takirg up greedily whatever was presented to him and renderirg it back uncoloured by any personal tint. His memory for facts and details was till the end extraordinary, and a case once registered in his mind was always fit to be brought ouc for use when the proper occasion came. We believe tiattti
doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(01)93120-4 fatcat:aizvk6uzafcyxa6a6nswvzkrea