Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Turner, William (1653-1701)
TURNER, WILLIAM (1653–1701), divine, son of William Turner of Marbury, Cheshire, was born there in 1653. After being taught by a private schoolmaster, he went to Broad Oak, Flint, as pupil to Philip Henry [q. v.] He matriculated from St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, on 26 March 1669, graduating B.A. 1672, M.A. 1675, and taking holy orders. In April 1680 he was appointed vicar of Walberton, Sussex, and in 1697 rector of Binstead in the same county. Turner died at Walberton, and was buried there on 6 Feb. 1700–1. By his wife Magdalen he had a son William, born on 6 June 1693.
Turner compiled an ingenious ‘History of all Religions,’ London, 1695, 8vo, and wrote ‘An Essay on the Works of Creation,’ published at the same place and date; the latter contains the ‘scheme’ of his principal work, the rare and curious ‘Compleat History of the most Remarkable Providences, Both of Judgment and Mercy, which have Hapned in this Present Age. … To which is added whatever is curious in the Works of Nature and Art,’ London, 1697, fol. This was set on foot, Turner says, thirty years earlier by Matthew Poole [q. v.], but completed by himself. It is dedicated to John Hall, bishop of Chichester. A fine copy is in the Grenville Library at the British Museum. It is in three parts and has seven separate paginations. John Dunton [q. v.], the bookseller, who was Turner's publisher, says he was ‘very generous, and would not receive a farthing for his copy till the success was assured.’[Turner's Works; Williams's Life of Philip Henry, 1825, pp. 123, 246, 231, 441, 442, 443; Dunton's Life and Errors, 1705, p. 225; Lowndes's Bibl. Man.; Williams's Mem. of Mrs. Sarah Sawyer; Tong's Life of Matt. Henry, 1716, p. 12; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714; information kindly supplied by the Rev. W. H. Irvine, vicar of Walberton.]