Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Turner, Thomas Hudson

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TURNER, THOMAS HUDSON (1815–1852), antiquary, born in London in 1815, was the eldest son of Thomas Turner, a printer in the employ of William Bulmer [q. v.] The elder Turner was a man of culture, possessed considerable knowledge of English literature, and assisted William Gifford (1756–1826) [q. v.] in his edition of ‘Ben Jonson’ with many valuable suggestions.

The younger Turner lost his father at an early age. He was left in poverty and received assistance from Bulmer and from Bulmer's nephew William Nicol. He was educated at a school in Chelsea, where he was distinguished by his thirst for literary and antiquarian knowledge. In his sixteenth year he entered Nicol's office, and devoted his leisure to the pursuit of his favourite studies, but he soon obtained a post at the record office in the Tower, where he read and translated records. Taking advantage of his new opportunities for research, he commenced a history of England during the reigns of John and Henry III, which he did not complete. His labours were finally interrupted by his entering into an undertaking to collect materials for a history of London for Edward Tyrrell, the city remembrancer. In 1841 he edited for the Roxburghe Club ‘Manners and Household Expenses of England in the Thirteenth and Fifteenth Centuries’ (London, 4to), to which he wrote an admirable introduction. Subsequently for a short time he was resident secretary of the Archæological Institute. His principal work was entitled ‘Some Account of Domestic Architecture in England from the Conquest to the end of the Thirteenth Century’ (Oxford, 1851–1859, 3 vols. 8vo. The concluding portion, continuing the history from Edward I to Henry VIII, was by John Henry Parker [q. v.]). The book deals with a wide range of subjects, including furniture and household implements. Turner died in Stanhope Terrace, Camden Town, on 17 Jan. 1852. He contributed many papers to the ‘Archæological Journal,’ and made several communications to the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle, printed in the third volume of ‘Archæologia Æliana;’ he also wrote an introduction to Lewis's ‘Life of Fisher’ (1855).

[Gent. Mag. 1852, i. 206; English Cyclopædia.]

E. I. C.