Turner, Thomas

, brother to the above, was born a Bristol in 1645, and educated at Corpus Christi college, Oxford, of which he was elected. fellow; he afterwards became chaplain to Dr. Henry Compton, bishop of London, who collated him, Nov. 4, 1680, to the rectory of Thorley in Hertfordshire, and Dec. 20 following, to the archdeaconry of Essex; and in 1682, to the prebend of Mapesbury in St. Paul’s. He commenced D. D. at Oxford, July 2, 1683, was collated by his brother to a prebend of Ely, March 26, 1686, and elected president of Corpus, March 13, 1687-8. The same year, May 7, he was instituted to the sinecure rectory of Fulham, on the presentation of his brother, to whom the advowson, for that turn, had been granted (the bishop of London being then under suspension), and at length was made precentor and prebendary of Brownswood in St. Paul’s, Jan. 11, 1689. What his political principles were at the revolution, we are not told, although, by keeping possession of his preferments, it is to be presumed, he did not follow the example of his brother, but took the oaths of allegiance. However, we are informed, that after the act passed in the last year of king William III. requiring the abjuration oath to be taken before Aug. 1, 1702, under penalty of forfeiting all ecclesiastical preferments, Dr. Turner went down from London to Oxford, July 28, seemingly with full resolution not to take the oath, and to quit all his preferments; but, on better, advice, he made no resignation, knowing that if he was legally called upon to prove his compliance with the act, his preferments would be void in course; and so continued to act, as if he had taken the oath, by which means he | retained his preferments to his death, without ever taking it at all. He died April 30, 1714, and was buried in the chapel of Corpus Christi college, where there is a monument, and an inscription written by Edmund Chishull, B. D.

Dr. Turner has left only one sermon in print, preached before the king, May 29, 1685, but he is memorable on another account. He was a single man, and remarkable for his munificence and charity in his life-time. By his will, he left the bulk of his fortune, which was very considerable, in public and charitable uses; for, besides 4000l. in legacies to his relations and friends, he gave or left to his college 6000l. for improving the buildings, and other purposes; to the dean and chapter of Ely 1000l. for augmenting the singing-men’s stipends and 100l. the interest of which was to be expended in putting out children of tha town of Ely apprentices, at the nomination of his successors in the stall he held; and the remainder of his effects, which amounted to 20,000l. his executors were directed to lay out" in estates and lands, and settle them on the governors of the charity for the relief of poor widows and children of clergymen. His executors accordingly purchased the manor of Stow in Northamptonshire, and other estates there, and at West-Wratting in Cambridgeshire, amounting to above 1000l. a year, and settled them in 1716, agreeably to his will. They also erected a sumptuous monument to his memory in Stow church, with an inscription. William Turner, the third son of the dean of Canterbury, was archdeacon of Durham, and rector of Stanhope in that county. He died at Oxford in 1635, and was buried in St. Giles’s church, and near his remains were deposited those of his mother, who died in 1692. 1


Bentham’s Hist. of Ely. —Ath. Ox. vol. II.