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Turner, Peter

1. Dates
Born: London, 1586
Died: London, Jan. 1652
Dateinfo: Dates Certain
Lifespan: 66
2. Father
Occupation: Physician
The father, also Peter Turner, was a physician in London. His father, William Turner, is also in this catalogue as one of the fathers of English natural history.
I assume physicians are at least prosperous.
3. Nationality
Birth: English
Career: English
Death: English
4. Education
Schooling: Oxford, M.A.
Oxford University, St. Mary Hall, then Christ Church; B.A., 1605; M.A., 1612.
M.D., conferred during a royal visit, 1636. I do not count this as an advanced degree.
5. Religion
Affiliation: Anglican
Turner was close to Archbishop Laud. He was a dedicated royalist during the Civil War.
6. Scientific Disciplines
Primary: Mathematics
Turner left no writings. He was known more as a Latinist and linguist. He held two chairs in mathematics, and was said by Wood, for whatever his opinion counts on this subject, to be a learned mathematician. I am leaving Turner in, but his claim to being part of the scientific community is as thin as anyone in this catalogue.
7. Means of Support
Primary: Academia
Secondary: Military
Fellow of Merton College, Oxford, 1607-48.
Professor of geometry at Gresham College, 1620-30.
Savilian Professor of Geometry at Oxford, 1630-48. He was ejected, as as royalist, from both the chair and the fellowship, in 1648.
Served under Sir John Byron in the Civil War, 1641.
8. Patronage
Type: Eccesiastic Official
Archbishop Laud was instrumental in his appointment to the Savilian chair. Turner was one of the most active members of the committee that produced the Laudian statutes of Oxford. I assume that it was in this connection that he caught Laud's eye. Wood says that Turner was much loved by Laud, who wanted to make him a Secretary of State or a clerk of the Privy Council. According to Wood, Turner prefered the studious life--and, Wood adds, he had hopes of becoming the Warden of Merton.
9. Technological Involvement
Types: None
10. Scientific Societies
Memberships: None
Informal Connections: Connection with Gresham College.
  1. Dictionary of National Biography (repr., London: Oxford University Press, 1949-50), 19, 1278. John Ward, Lives of the Professors of Gresham College, facsimile ed. (New York, 1967), pp. 129-35.
  2. C.E. Mallet, A History of the University of Oxford, (New York, 1924)., 2, 242, 314-15, 358, 382. Anthony Wood, Athenae oxonienses (Fasti oxonienses is attached, with separate pagination, to the Athenae), 4 vols. (London, 1813-20), 3, 306-7.
Compiled by:
Richard S. Westfall
Department of History and Philosophy of Science
Indiana University

Note: the creators of the Galileo Project and this catalogue cannot answer email on geneological questions.

1995 Al Van Helden
Last updated
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