Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Turnbull, William (d.1454)

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TURNBULL, WILLIAM (d. 1454), bishop of Glasgow and founder of Glasgow University, was descended from the Turnbulls of Minto, Roxburghshire. After entering holy orders he was for some time an official at the court of Eugenius IV. In 1440 he was made prebend of Balenrick, and in 1445 keeper of the privy seal of Scotland. In 1447 he was promoted to the bishopric of Glasgow, the consecration taking place in 1448. The papal bull authorising the university of Glasgow on the Bologna pattern on 7 Jan. 1450–1, states that it was founded at the instance of James II (who granted a charter 20 April 1453) by the interest and care of William Turnbull, then the bishop of Glasgow. About 1460 the ‘pædagogium’ was moved from ‘the Rottenrow’ to the site in the High Street, which the university occupied until 1870. Turnbull died at Rome on 3 Sept. 1454.

[Munimenta Alme Universitatis Glasguensis, 1854; Registrum Episcopatus Glasguensis (Spalding Club); Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, vol. v.; Keith's Scottish Bishops; Glasgow University, Old and New, 1891; Rashdall's Universities of Europe, ii. 304.]

T. F. H.