Turner, Daniel (1667-1741) (DNB00)

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TURNER, DANIEL (1667–1741), physician, born in London in 1667, became a member of the Barber-Surgeons' Company. He practised as a surgeon, and describes consultations with Charles Bernard [q. v.] (Skin Diseases, pp. 24, 32). In 1695 he published ‘Apologia Chyrurgica, a Vindication of the Noble Art of Chyrurgery,’ and in 1709 ‘A Remarkable Case in Surgery.’ On 16 Aug. 1711 he was permitted to retire from the Barber-Surgeons' Company on payment of a fine of 50l. (Young, Annals, p. 349), and on 22 Dec. 1711 he was admitted a licentiate of the College of Physicians. He published in 1714 ‘De Morbis Cutaneis, a Treatise of Diseases incident to the Skin,’ a book containing many interesting cases and examples of popular usages, such as the treatment of shingles by the application of blood from the tail of a black cat. The fourth edition appeared in 1731. In 1717 he published ‘Syphilis’ in two parts, and about 1721 ‘The Art of Surgery’ in two volumes, of which the sixth edition appeared in 1741. He asserted in 1726, in a short treatise, his disbelief in the occurrence of maternal impressions on the unborn child, an opinion which he had already advanced in ‘De Morbis Cutaneis;’ and he maintained the same view in two pamphlets in 1729 and 1730. His ‘Discourse concerning Fevers’ appeared in 1727 (3rd edit. 1739), and ‘A Discourse on Gleets’ in 1729. In 1730 he issued ‘De Morbo Gallico,’ an edition of the former English translation of Ulrich von Hutten's book, published in 1533 by Thomas Paynell [q. v.]; and in 1736 he brought out his ‘Aphrodisiacus,’ a summary of the writings of ancient authors on venereal diseases. In 1733 he published an attack on Thomas Dover [q. v.], ‘The Ancient Physician's Legacy impartially surveyed,’ which contains an account of the illness and death of Barton Booth [q. v.], who had been treated with mercury by Dover, then prescribed for by Sir Hans Sloane [q. v.], and finally examined post mortem by Alexander Small, who found half a pound of mercury in his intestines, a dilated gall-bladder, and several gall-stones, and wrote a description of the case to Turner as an example of the ill effects of Dover's mercurial method. In 1735 Turner published ‘The Drop and Pill of Mr. Ward considered’ [see Ward, Joshua]. A cerate in the ‘London Pharmacopœia’ (ed. 1851, p. 57) made of seven and a half ounces each of calamine and wax, added to a pint of olive oil, is said to have been first composed by him, and was long called Turner's cerate. He died on 13 March 1740–1 in Devonshire Square, near Bishopsgate, London, where he had a house for many years, and was buried in the parish church of Watton-at-Stone, Hertfordshire. His portrait was painted by Richardson and engraved by Vertue in 1723, and he was engraved from life by the younger Faber in 1734. His medical attainments were small, and the records of cases are the only parts of his works of any permanent value.

[Works; Munk's Coll. of Phys. ii. 36; Young's Annals of the Barber-Surgeons of London, 1890; Bromley's Cat. of Engraved Portraits, p. 295.]

N. M.