TURNER, Sir Edward, 2nd Bt. (1719-66), of Ambrosden, Oxon.
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Family and Education
b. 18 Apr. 1719, o. surv. s. of Sir Edward Turner, 1st Bt., of Ambrosden, merchant and director of the E.I. Co., by Mary, da. and h. in her issue of Sir Gregory Page, 1st Bt.. educ. Eton 1725-32; Balliol, Oxf. 1735, L. Inn 1745. m. 8 Sept. 1739, Cassandra, da. of William Leigh of Adlestrop, Glos. 6s. 3da. suc. fa. 19 June 1735 and to £100,000 on d. of his uncle John Turner 1760.
Freeman, Oxford 1742-51.
The son and heir of a wealthy merchant, Turner succeeded as a boy to a large fortune. Returned as a Tory on coming of age on the Bruce interest at Great Bedwyn, he ‘acted with a good deal of violence in opposition’.1 He spoke against the Hanoverians in January 1744 and April 1746, soon afterwards writing to a friend:
Hang the Parliament Why should I have stayed boiling in London any longer? When a vote of credit for so large a sum as £50,000 can be swallowed so easily by those who were formerly noted for great delicacy in their political food, what can raise our admiration? In short, my patience is worn out in seeing politists swallow down ministerial pudding piping hot without so much as blistering their tongues.2
Turner stood again for Great Bedwyn in 1747 but on a double return was unseated by the Commons after a hard struggle.4 In 1749 he tried unsuccessfully to get himself adopted as a prospective candidate for Oxford city, should one of the sitting Members, Lord Wenman, stand for the county at the next general election. About this time the 2nd Lord in his electoral survey wrote of him under Oxford:
A pert, warm little man, busy, with a turn to find fault. While he was in Parliament no two people agreed so well together or acted more in concert than he and my Lord Strange. He will have a very great estate—for I understand Gregory Page’s fortune will be added to his own.
In 1751 he was one of three rival Tory candidates for Oxford University, of which he had been created an honorary doctor in 1714, resigning his freedom of the city to qualify himself for election, but coming bottom of the poll.5 In 1752 Lord Harcourt assured Newcastle that he had ‘always heard from those who knew him he was neither Tory or Jacobite’.6 At the general election of 1754 he stood on the ‘new’ or Whig interest against Lord Wenman for the county, for which he was seated on petition by the Commons after a double return.
He died 31 Oct. 1766.
Ref Volumes: 1715-1754
Author: R. S. Lea
- 1. R. J. Robson, The Oxfordshire Election of 1754, p. 13.
- 2. Yorke’s parl. jnl. Parl. Hist. xiii. 463; An 18th Cent. Corresp. (ed. Dickens Stanton), 121-2.
- 3. Hartington to Devonshire, 13 Dec. 1746, Devonshire mss.
- 4. Ilchester, Lord Holland, i. 144.
- 5. W. R. Ward, Georgian Oxford, 189-91.
- 6. Robson, op. cit.