Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Turberville, James

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TURBERVILLE or TURBERVYLE, JAMES (d. 1570?), bishop of Exeter, born at Bere in Dorset, was the son of John Turbervyle, by his wife Isabella, daughter of John Cheverell. John was the grandson of Sir Robert Turbervyle of Bere and Anderston (d. 6 Aug. 1424). James was educated at Winchester College, and in 1512 was elected fellow of New College, Oxford, whence he graduated B.A. on 17 June 1516 and M.A. on 26 June 1520. He graduated D.D. abroad, but was incorporated on 1 June 1532. From 1521 to 1524 he filled the office of 'tabellio' or registrar to the university. In 1529 he resigned his fellowship, being then promoted to an ecclesiastical benefice, and in 1541 he became rector of Hartfield in Sussex. At an unknown date he was made a prebendary of Winchester, and on 8 Sept. 1555 he was consecrated bishop of Exeter as successor to John Voysey [q. v.] According to a contemporary, John Hooker, alias Vowell [q. v.], his episcopate was disfigured by an execution 'for religion and heresie,' that of Agnes Pirest, burned at Southampton.

In Elizabeth's first parliament he opposed the bill for restoring tenths and first-fruits to the crown, as well as other anti-papal measures. Finally, in 1559, he declined the oath of supremacy, and in consequence was deprived, a fresh congé d'élire being issued on 27 April 1560. On 4 Dec. 1559 he joined the other deprived prelates in a letter of remonstrance, and on 18 June 1560 he was committed for a short time to the Tower (cf. Corresp. of Matthew Parker, Parker Soc., 1853, p. 122). He was afterwards placed in the custody of Edmund Grindal [q. v.], bishop of London, and liberated by order of the privy council on 30 Jan. 1564-5 on his finding sureties for his good behaviour (Acts of the Privy Council, ed. Dasent, vii. 190). The rest of his life was passed in retirement, and he died at liberty, it is said, in 1570. Richard Izacke [q. v.] erroneously asserts that he died on 1 Nov. 1559 (Antiquities of the City of Exeter, 1677).

[Vowell's Catalogue of the Bishops of Exeter, 1584 ; Wood's Athenae Oxon. ed. Bliss, ii. 795; Strype's Annals of the Reformation, 1824, i. i. 82-87, 93, 129, 206, 214, 217, 220; Strype's Life of Parker, 1821, i. 177, 178; Fuller's Worthies of England, 1662, Dorsetshire, p. 279; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1500-1714; Lansdowne MS. 980, f. 288; Gee's Elizabethan Clergy, 1898.]

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