James Turberville

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James Turberville (or Turbervyle) (died c. 1570) was an English Roman Catholic churchman, bishop of Exeter from 1555.


Born at Bere in Dorset, he was son of John Turbervyle, by his wife Isabella, daughter of John Cheverell. John was the grandson of Sir Robert Turbervyle of Bere and Anderston (d. 6 Aug. 1424). James was educated at Winchester College, and in 1512 was elected fellow of New College, Oxford, where he graduated B.A. on 17 June 1516 and M.A. on 26 June 1520. He graduated D.D. abroad, but was incorporated on 1 June 1532. From 1521 to 1524 he filled the office of 'tabellio' or Registrar of the University of Oxford.

In 1529 he resigned his fellowship, being then promoted to an ecclesiastical benefice, and in 1541 he became rector of Hartfield in Sussex. On 8 September 1555 he was consecrated bishop of Exeter as successor to John Voysey. According to John Hooker, Turberville was concerned in the execution for heresy of Agnes Pirest, burned at Southampton.

In Elizabeth I's initial parliament he opposed the bill for restoring tenths and first-fruits to the crown, as well as other anti-papal measures. In 1559 he declined the oath of supremacy, and in consequence was deprived, a fresh congé d'élire being issued on 27 April 1560. On 4 December 1559 he joined the other deprived bishops in a letter of remonstrance, and on 18 June 1560 he was committed for a short time to the Tower of London. He was afterwards placed in the custody of Edmund Grindal, bishop of London, and liberated by order of the privy council on 30 January 1565 on sureties for good behaviour. The rest of his life was passed in retirement, and he died at liberty, it is said, in 1570.


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Church of England titles
Preceded by
John Vesey
Bishop of Exeter
Succeeded by
William Alleyn