History of British Sign Language


Charlotte Hippisley Tuckfield, Education for the People

The interest in BSL vocabulary and grammar is seen in a book (1839) by the founder of the Exeter School for the Deaf, Mrs Hippisley Tuckfield. This provides description of signs to help teachers as well as describing the order of signs in the Lord's Prayer through glosses.

Father our- heaven in,-name thy hallowed. Kingdom thy come- will thy done- earth on- heaven in- same. Bread give us daily- trespasses our forgive us- they trespass against us, forgive- same. Temptation lead not - but evil deliver from. Kingdom- power- glory thine forever.

Charlotte Hippisley Tuckfield, née Mordaunt (1877-1848) was the wife of Richard Hippisley Tuckfield, of Devon. They inherited property at Little Fulford Charlotte had the lodge at nearby Posbury House converted into a training centre for school teachers. This later became part of the University of Exeter.

Published initially in The Cottager's Monthly Visitor, (1824-6), in Education for the people, Charlotte Hippisley Tuckfield devoted the fourth section to the education of deaf children. It takes the form of a series of letters.

Education for the people, by Mrs Hippisley Tuckfield, London, Taylor and Walton 1839 (Action on Hearing Loss Library).