This plaster bust of Tuke wearing contemporary dress was sculpted by John Hutchison.

The council minutes from 28 October 1913 record that ‘The Treasurer was directed to accept the offer’ of both Tuke’s bust and ‘an engraving of Darwin’ which Tuke’s representatives wished to gift to the College in the wake of his death on 13 October.

The bust may have undergone some alteration as the council minutes of 18 December 1913 record that the secretary was to inform Tuke’s son that the council had proposed to ‘alter the tint of the bust of his father’.

Sir John Batty Tuke (1835 - 1913)

Tuke graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1856. In 1860 he left for New Zealand where he served as a surgeon and senior medical officer for colonial troops during the Maori War until 1863.

Tuke then decided to specialise in mental diseases and their causes and therefore served an assistantship at the Royal Edinburgh Asylum. Following this he became superintendent of the Fife and Kinross Asylum. He later left this post after being offered a position in Saughton Hall Asylum, a private mental hospital, in Edinburgh. Tuke is particularly important in the history of British psychiatry because of the of the open-doors system of care which he introduced in the 1860s, which provided patients with more care and freedom.

Tuke became a fellow of the RCPE in 1871, and in 1874 and 1894 he also became the Royal College of Physician’s Morison Lecturer. As well as this Tuke played a key role in the foundation of the Research Laboratory of the Royal College of Physicians and represented the RCPE on the General Medical Council (1887 – 1912). Moreover he served as president of the college for three years (19=895 – 1898), his presidency being extended beyond the normal two year term due to the respect he had won in the college.

Beyond the RCPE he also served as a manager of the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary for 10 years and as a member of parliament, representing the dual constituency of Edinburgh and St Andrews from 1900 – 1910. His obituary in the British Medical Journal also noted that ‘he made a number of important contributions to the study of insanity’ publishing on topics which included pregnancy, puerperal insanity and insanity of lactation. He theorised that mental illness was caused by physical problems and was not, as many of his contemporaries believed, caused by moral deficiencies.

His obituary concluded that ‘there will be many in the profession and out of it who will miss his smile of recognition and somewhat quizzical look of regard’.