William Favill Tuke (1863-1940), was the first of three members of the banking branch of a renowned and extensive business family (several had been active Quakers and philanthropists), to occupy the Barclays chair, though in William’s case it was in a caretaker role following the death of Frederick Goodenough. As Mr Goodenough’s death came unexpectedly there was some uncertainty as to who should succeed as chairman - Edwin Fisher or Goodenough’s own son, William. The board delayed the decision by appointing Mr Tuke for a specified period of two years.
The Tukes had been partners in three of the smaller country banks of the 1896 merger which created Barclay and Company Ltd. William’s own father William Murray Tuke (1822-1903), had been active in the family’s substantial tea business in York, and had moved south in 1849 to establish its London office. In 1863 he joined his brother-in-law in the Saffron Walden Bank. In 1891 William Favill, his eldest son, followed his father into the partnership at Saffron Walden, continuing after the merger as a Barclays local director both there and at Royston local head office. He was then appointed as a chief inspector in 1904, and in 1912 as the first assistant general manager at head office, succeeding to the general managership in 1916.
Described in the official history by his son Anthony as ‘a good natural banker’, William was elected to the main board in 1920, becoming Mr Goodenough’s vice-chairman in 1925, and deputy chair in 1932.
A freeman of Saffron Walden, he also served as mayor and alderman in the town.