Edward Turner

1796 - 12th Feb 1837


Edward Turner (1796-1837), son of Dutton Smith Turner and his wife Mary Gale Turner née Redwar (q.v.). An eminent chemist, Turner was involved in the compensation process as he held power of attorney for his brother William Dutton Turner (q.v.), who had married his third wife Mary Power Trench (1815-1862), daughter of William Power Trench (1771-1848) and Janet Stewart (1780-1864) in 1835.

  1. Born 20/06/1796 and baptised 24/07/1796 in Clarendon, Jamaica, the son of Dutton Smith Turner and Mary Gale Turner née Redwar. 

  2. 'He was born in Jamaica, of pure English blood, eldest son of a prosperous island proprietor there, in the thriving slavery days of our West Indian colonies.' Edward Turner was sent 'home' to Bath, where he attended grammar school and was apprenticed to a country doctor from 1811-1814. He then spent two years as a house-pupil at the London Hospital. His father died in 1816 and Turner attended Edinburgh University from the same year, graduating M.D. in 1819. He settled in Edinburgh in 1823 after studying in Paris, and 'collected around him the remaining unsettled members of his family - a clever boy and four young, handsome and accomplished sisters'. This younger brother was Wilton Turner (q.v.) and his sisters were Eliza Jane McGlashan née Turner, Sarah White Hayle née Turner, Mary Ann von Dadelszen née Turner and Caroline Cydippa Smith née Turner (all q.v.). Turner was appointed the first professor of chemistry at UCL in 1827. His health broke down in 1834 and he died in 1837 in his 41st year. 

  3. Author of 'one of the best of all nineteenth-century textbooks of chemistry', Elements of Chemistry (1827).


T71/1606 letter from Edward Turner University of London, power of attorney for Wm Dutton Turner and Mary his wife. T71/1593 p. 287 10/10/1836 letter from Court of Chancery to Edward Turner at University of London, asking for proof of marriage of Mary Trench and William Dutton Turner (William had married his third wife Mary Power Trench (1815-1862) 27/04/1835).

  1. . www.familysearch.org, Jamaica Church of England Parish Registry Transcripts, 1664-1880 [copy of parish record online]. 

  2. Sir Robert Christison, The life of Sir Robert Christison bart. (Edinburgh: W. Blackwood and Sons, 1885), Vol. 1 pp. 130-133; Robert Lancashire, 'Edward Turner, chemist', Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery Magazine, Issue 72, January 2014, pp. 14-20.

  3. W. H. Brock, ‘Turner, Edward (1796–1837)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2004) online edn, Jan 2009 available at http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/27848 [accessed 23/07/2012].

We are grateful to Robert Lancashire and Signe Hoffas for their assistance with compiling this entry.

Further Information

died unmarried
Grammar school in Bath
Edinburgh [1816-1819 ]
Oxford DNB Entry

Associated Claims (1)

£100 13s 8d

Legacies Summary

Cultural (1)

Inaugural Professor of Chemistry
University of London (University College, London)...... 

Relationships (15)

Nephew → Aunt
Nephew → Aunt
Nephew → Uncle
Notes →
John married Edward's aunt Harriet Gibbons nee...
Nephew → Aunt
Notes →
Harriet married Edward's uncle William Gale...
Son → Father
Brother → Sister
Brother → Sister
Brother → Sister
Brother → Sister
Brother-in-law → Sister-in-law

Addresses (5)

Edinburgh, Midlothian (Edinburgh), Central Scotland, Scotland
Notes →

In Edinburgh 1816-1819 while studying at the University; returned to teach there in 1823 and left in 1827 to teach at UCL in London.

Bath, Somerset, South-west England, England
Box, Wiltshire, Wessex, England
London, London, England
38 Upper Gower Street, London, Middlesex, London, England