Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Turner, Samuel (d.1647)
TURNER, SAMUEL (d. 1647?), royalist, was the elder son of Peter Turner (1542–1614) [q. v.] Peter Turner (1585–1651) [q. v.] was his younger brother. Samuel was admitted B.A. from St. Mary Hall, Oxford, on 11 Feb. 1601–2, and was licensed M.A. from St. Alban Hall on 22 Oct. 1604. He graduated M.D. at the university of Padua in 1611 (Sloane MS. 1729). On 16 Feb. 1625–6 he was returned to parliament for the borough of Shaftesbury in Dorset, and on 11 March he distinguished himself by an attack on Buckingham, telling the House of Commons that ‘that great man the Duke of Buckingham’ was the cause of all their grievances. In a series of questions he boldly accused him of having neglected to guard the seas against pirates, of having caused the failure of the Cadiz expedition by the appointment of unworthy officers, of having engrossed a large part of the crown lands, and of having sold places of judicature and titles of honour. He referred further to the recusancy of Buckingham's father and mother, and declared that it was unfit that he should enjoy so many great offices (Addit. MS. 22474, f. 11; cf. Gardiner, Hist. of England, vi. 76–7). On 14 March Charles sent a message to the house demanding justice on Turner. Turner was ordered by the commons to explain his words, which he did by letter, and was prevented from taking further share in parliamentary proceedings by a timely illness. He was not returned to the next parliament, nor to the Short parliament of 1640; but he resumed his seat in the Long parliament. On 3 May 1641 he was included among the fifty-nine members whose names were posted up by the mob as ‘Straffordians, betrayers of their country,’ because they had voted against Strafford's attainder (Verney, Notes of Proceedings in the Long Parl., Camden Soc., p. 55). On the outbreak of the civil war he took up arms for the king, and obtained a captain's commission. About the end of 1643 he defeated the parliamentarians in a skirmish at Henley. An account of the action which he sent his brother, then a prisoner in London, was published under the title ‘A true Relation of a late Skirmish at Henley upon Thames.’ On 24 Jan. 1643–4 he was disabled from sitting in the Long parliament for ‘being in the king's quarters and adhering to that party’ (Journals of the House of Commons, iii. 374). He sat for Shaftesbury in Charles's parliament at Oxford until its dispersal, and on 21 Nov. 1646 petitioned to compound, and was allowed to purge his delinquency by a fine. He died about 1647, leaving a natural son, Samuel Turner.
[Wood's Fasti Oxon. ed. Bliss, i. 303; Notes and Queries, 7th ser. xii. 428; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714; Official Return of Members of Parliament, i. 469, 488.]