Dr John Kitching:
the third Superintendent of The Retreat, York

John Kitching
John Kitching, reproduced from a photograph in Retreat unlisted collection (2005) in the Borthwick Institute, University of York

Dr John Kitching was, between 1849 and 1874, the third Superintendent of the Friends' Retreat in York. He was the first superintendent able to bring medical experience to the job. Under his leadership, William Tuke's Moral treatment was supplemented by, and then began to be replaced by, medication, diet and hydropathic treatment.

On his retirement in 1874, Kitching presented the asylum's Committee of Management with a memorandum suggesting nearly a score of improvements which he felt needed to be made. One of these was the building of a Turkishg bath and hydropathic treatment suite.

Thank you icon

Paul Dryburgh, Archivist, Borthwick Institute for Archives

Katherine Webb, Archivist, York Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Alexandra Mould, Archives Assistant, Borthwick Institute for Archives

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The Retreat, York

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