PAGE TURNER, Sir Gregory, 3rd Bt. (1748-1805), of Battlesden, Beds.
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Family and Education
b. 16 Feb. 1748, 1st surv. s. of Sir Edward Turner, 2nd Bt. educ. Eton 1762; Hertford, Oxf. 1766; L. Inn 1765. m. 2 Jan. 1785, Frances, da. of Joseph Howell, of Elm, Cambs., 3s. 1da. suc. fa. 31 Oct. 1766; gt. uncle Sir Gregory Page, 2nd Bt., of Battlesden 4 Aug. 1775, and took name of Page before Turner 15 Nov. 1775. His sis. m. 1771 Martin Bladen Hawke.
Turner’s estates were said to be worth £24,000 a year,1 and between 1780 and 1790 he invested over £80,000 in Government stock. In 1784 he was returned for Thirsk on the Frankland interest, almost certainly having purchased his seat.2 In Parliament he spoke fairly often, and in almost every speech stressed that ‘whatever his abilities were ... his property rendered him independent, and he always delivered his sincere sentiments according to his conscientious opinion’.3 In fact Turner generally supported Pitt, whom he greatly admired. He voted for the bill to regulate East India Company affairs ‘because he ... had confidence in the right honourable gentleman, and was thence persuaded the bill would be a good one’. And in the debate on Pitt’s Irish proposals, 12 May 1785, he said ‘he did not understand the resolutions, but could vote with a clear conscience from his confidence in the right honourable gentleman’.4 When Turner opposed Pitt on the shop tax, and between 1786 and 1788 supported various attempts by Fox and others to have it repealed, he professed ‘great reluctance ... to oppose any tax that right honourable gentleman [Pitt] has introduced into this House’.5 He also, again reluctantly, opposed Pitt on the post horse bill, 11 May 1787. He voted with Pitt in the first division on the Regency, 16 Dec. 1788, but in the debate over restrictions on the Regent said he must oppose Pitt, ‘to whom on a former occasion he had been proud to pay just compliments’, because he objected to the clause preventing the Regent from creating peers, and ‘contended that such commoners as deserved well of their country had a right to look up to the honours of the peerage, the conferring of which was no expense to the country’.6 Once more he voted with the Opposition, 11 Feb. 1789, but in the consolidated list was marked as ‘Administration’.
He died 4 Jan. 1805.