Turner, Peter

, son to the preceding Dr. Peter, and grandson to Dr. William Turner, was born in 1585, and was admitted a probationer fellow of Merton college, Oxford, in 1607, where he proceeded in arts, and not being restricted to any particular faculty, as the fellows of other colleges are, became, according to Wood, versed in all kinds of literature. His first preferment was the professorship of geometry in Gresham college, in July 1620, but he continued to reside mostly at Oxford, and held this place together with his fellowship. In 1629, by the direction of Laud, then bishop of London, he drew up a scheme for the annual election of proctors out of the several colleges at Oxford in a certain order, that was to return every twenty-three years, which being approved of by his majesty, Charles I. was called the Caroline cycle, and is still followed, and always printed at the end of the “Parecbolae sive Excerpta, e corpore statutorum universitatis Oxon.” In the same year he acted as one of the | commissioners for revising the statutes, and reducing them to a better form and order. In 1630, on the death of Briggs, Mr. Turner was chosen to succeed him as professor of geometry at Oxford, and resigned his Gresham professorship. How well he was qualified for his new office appears by the character archbishop Usher gives of him, “Savilianus in academia Oxoniensi inatheseos professor eruditissimus.” In 1634 the new edition of the statutes was printed in fol. with a preface by Mr. Turner; and to reward him for his care and trouble, a new office was founded, that of “custos archivorum,” or keeper of the archives, to which he was appointed, and made large collections respecting the antiquities of the university, which were afterwards of great use to Anthony Wood. In 1636, on a royal visit to Oxford, Mr. Turner was created M. D. but having adhered to his majesty in his troubles, and even taken up arms in his cause, he was ejected from his fellowship of Merton, and his professorship. This greatly impoverished him, and he went to reside with a sister, the widow of a Mr. Watts, a brewer in Southwark, where he died in Jan. 1651, and was interred in St. Saviour’s church. He was a man of extensive learning, and wrote much, but being fastidious in his opinion of his own works, he never could complete them to his mind. We have mentioned the only writings he published, except a Latin poem in the collection in honour of sir Thomas Bodley, called the “Bodleiomnema,” Oxf. 1613. Wood also mentions “Epistolae variae ad doctissimos viros;” but we know of no printed letters of his Dr. Ward, however, gives extracts from three ms letters in English to Selden, chiefly relating to some Greek writers on the music of the ancients. 1

1 Ath. Ox. vol. II. Ward’s Graham Professors.