Sir Edward Turner, 2nd Baronet

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Edward Turner
2nd Baronet
MP for Great Bedwyn
In office
Monarch George II
Prime Minister Robert Walpole
The Earl of Wilmington,
Henry Pelham
MP for Oxfordshire
In office
Monarch George II
Prime Minister The Duke of Newcastle,
The Duke of Devonshire
MP for Penryn
In office
Monarch George III
Prime Minister The Duke of Devonshire,
The Earl of Bute,
George Grenville,
The Marquess of Rockingham
Preceded by John Plumptre
Succeeded by Francis Basset
Personal details
Born 1719
Died 1766
Nationality British
Political party Whig
Spouse(s) Cassandra Leigh
Alma mater Balliol College, Oxford

Sir Edward Turner, 2nd Baronet (1719–1766) was one of the Turner baronets of Ambrosden and a Member of Parliament.


Turner was the son of Sir Edward Turner, 1st Baronet and his wife Mary.[1] He received his early education at Bicester Grammar School.[2] He went on to Balliol College, Oxford where he was noted for his "distinguished scholarship and the regularity of his behaviour".[1] He married Cassandra Leigh, niece of the Master of Balliol.[1] He became 2nd Baronet on the death of his father in 1735. Turner died in 1766 and was succeeded in the baronetcy by his son Sir Gregory Page-Turner, 3rd Baronet.[1]


In about 1740 Turner replaced Ambrosden manor house with a large square country house of eleven bays.[3] His architect was Sanderson Miller, who also designed ornamental buildings in the grounds.[3] A landscaped park 5 miles (8.0 km) in circumference was laid out around the house.[1] The park was ornamented with lakes and statues, and the drive to the house was along a semicircular avenue of trees.[1]

Turner's new house became a meeting-place for politicians and cultivated society.[1] Cassandra's uncle Dr. Leigh and other wits and learned men from the University of Oxford were frequent visitors.[1]

In 1741 Turner built a new road between Ambrosden and Merton, Oxfordshire.[1] He intended to continue it to Oxford but the remainder of the project was never executed.[1] The road was reputed to cost a guinea a yard.[1] The road includes a completely straight stretch of about 1.5 miles (2.4 km).[1] It runs across level ground but its course undulates at regular intervals, apparently intended to help draught animals pull vehicles.

In 1740 Sir James Harington, 6th Baronet, who had accrued large debts by gambling, mortgaged his estate at Merton to Turner.[1] Harington was a Jacobite and in 1747 fled into exile to join Charles Edward Stuart.[1] In 1749 Turner foreclosed the mortgage and thereby obtained the manor of Merton.[1] As Turner had just had a great house built for himself at Ambrosden, Turner had no need of the 16th century manor house at Merton, so he had one wing demolished and the other turned into a farmhouse.[4]

Political career

Turner was elected MP for Great Bedwyn in Wiltshire in the 1741 General Election but was not re-elected in the 1747 General Election.

In the 1754 General Election Turner stood as one of the two Whig candidates for Oxfordshire. Both they and their Tory opponents for the Oxfordshire Election 1754 spent great sums of money on their campaigns, including providing lavish hospitality for electors to try to win their votes. Both parties' candidates were supported by local aristocrats. Turner and his running-mate, Viscount Parker were supported by the Duke of Marlborough, Earl Harcourt and Parker's father the Earl of Macclesfield.

The two Tory candidates won more votes but the returning officer made a "double return": declaring both pairs of candidates to be elected, leaving the House of Commons to make the decision. Both sides petitioned against the election of their opponents and the Commons examined the legitimacy of many of the individual votes. However, most MPs voted on partisan lines rather than on the merits of the case. The Whigs held a majority in the House of Commons, and therefore the two Whig candidates were declared elected.

Turner did not defend the Oxfordshire seat in the 1761 General Election. Instead he successfully stood for Penryn in Cornwall. Sir Edward died in 1766[1] while still an MP.


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 Lobel, 1957, pages 15-30
  2. Lobel, 1959, pages 14-56
  3. 3.0 3.1 Sherwood & Pevsner, 1974, page 422
  4. Lobel, 1957, page 221-234


  • Lobel, Mary D, ed. (1957). Victoria County History: A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 5: Bullingdon hundred. pp. 15–30, 221–234.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Lobel, Mary D, ed. (1959). Victoria County History: A History of the County of Oxford, Volume 6. pp. 14–56.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Sherwood, Jennifer; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1974). The Buildings of England: Oxfordshire. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. p. 422. ISBN 0-14-071045-0.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
William Sloper
Edward Popham
Member of Parliament for Great Bedwyn
With: Lascelles Metcalfe
Succeeded by
Lascelles Metcalfe
William Sloper
Preceded by
Sir James Dashwood
Norreys Bertie
Member of Parliament for Oxfordshire
With: Viscount Parker
Succeeded by
Sir James Dashwood
Lord Charles Spencer
Preceded by
George Boscawen
John Plumptre
Member of Parliament for Penryn
With: George Brydges Rodney
Succeeded by
George Brydges Rodney
Francis Basset
Baronetage of England
Preceded by
Edward Turner
(of Ambrosden)
Succeeded by
Gregory Page-Turner