Will of John Turner, surgeon, 1773

National Archives PROB 11/988/202

In the Name of God Amen I John Turner of Winslow in the County of Bucks Surgeon being Sick and weak in Body but of Sound Mind Memory and Understanding (praised be God for the same) considering the Certainty of death and the Uncertain time thereof do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following that is to say  First I Give devise and bequeath unto my loving Wife Elizabeth Turner All that my Freehold Arable Land Meadow Swerd and Pasture Ground lying and being in the open and common Fields of Northmarston in the said County of Bucks and now in the Occupation of John Dancer And also all that my Copyhold inclosed Close of Arable or swerd Ground lying and being at Shipton in the Parish of Winslow aforesaid and now in my own Occupation with all Hedges ditches Trees Mounds Fences Commons Profits and Appurtenances thereunto belonging And also the Reversion Expectant on the death of my Mother Catharine Turner of Winslow aforesaid Widow of and in all and every the Messuages Tenements Lands Closes Hereditam(ents) and Premises with the Appurtenances whether Freehold Copyhold or Leasehold whatsoever and wheresoever of which she is now or at any time hereafter shall be Seized or Possessed To Hold the same unto and to the Use of her my said Wife Elizabeth Turner for and during the Term of her natural Life and from and immediately after her decease then I further give devise and bequeath the same and every part and Parcell thereof unto my two Children Joseph Turner and Bridget Turner and to their Heirs and Assigns for ever To hold as Tenants in Common and not as joint Tenants And as to for and concerning all my Ready Money and Securities for Money Goods Stock Chattels Rights Credits Personal Estate and Effects whatsoever and wheresoever and of what Nature kind or Quality soever the same may be whereof or wherein I shall be any ways possessed of interested in or intitled unto at the Time of my decease after Payment of my Funeral Expences just debts Probate and Charges in executing this Will I give and bequeath the same and every part thereof unto my said Wife Elizabeth Turner for and during the Term of her natural Life and from and after [p.2] her Decease then I further give and bequeath all my said Personal Estate and all Improvements of the same or of such part thereof as shall be remaining at the Time of her Decease unto and between my said two Children Joseph Turner and Bridget Turner to be equally divided between them Share and Share alike But in Case either of my said Children shall happen to depart this Life before their said Share or Legacy shall become due by virtue of this my Will that then and in such Case the Share of Legacy of him or her so dying shall go to the Issue of his or her Body lawfully begotten to be equally divided among them if more than one Share and Share alike but if either of them die without such Issue then my Will is that the Legacy or Share of him or her so dying shall go to the use of the Surviving Brother or Sister  Also I devise the Guardianship of both my said Children untill they attain the Age of one and twenty Years or be married which shall first happen unto my said Wife Elizabeth Turner and my Brother in Law Mr William Moore and the Survivor of them and the Executors and Administrators of such Survivor And Lastly I do hereby nominate Constitute and appoint my said Wife Elizabeth Turner full and Sole Executrix of this my last Will and Testament hereby revoking all former Wills by me heretofore made  In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my Hand and Seal this twelfth day of April in the Year of our Lord One thousand Seven hundred and Seventy three

The Mark of John Turner

Signed Sealed Published and declared by the said Testator John Turner as and for his last Will and Testament in the Presence of us who have hereunto Subscribed our Names as Witnesses in the Presence of the said Testator and also in the Presence of each other (these Words) and to their Heirs and Assigns for ever being first interlined.
Will(ia)m Gibbs, John Gibbs, Joseph Hunt

This Will was Proved at London the twenty fourth day of May in the year of our Lord One thousand Seven hundred and Seventy three before the Right Worshipf(ull) George Hay Doctor of Laws Master Keeper or Commissary of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury lawfully constituted by the Oath of Elizabeth Turner Widow the Relict of the deceased and Sole Executrix named in the said Will to whom Administration \was granted/ of all and Singular the Goods Chattels and Credits of the said deceased having been first Sworn \by Commission/ duly to Administer.  Exd.


John was the eldest son of John Turner, surgeon and apothecary (d.1767), and Catherine his second wife (d.1773), and grandson and great-grandson of other Winslow surgeons. He was bap. 19 Dec 1735. Clear (p.67) records his gravestone, which was originally on the south side of the Church but removed in 1885 to the east side of the porch:

Here lieth interred
the body of John Turner, late of
this Parish, Surgeon,
whose abilities and care,
tenderness and assiduity,
procured him universal respect.
Resigned to his Maker's will,
he received his summons to another world
with a mind supported by trust in Christ.
In hope of a glorious resurrection.
He died April 13th, 1773,
in the 37th year of his age.

Northampton Mercury, 17 May 1773
Winslow, Bucks, May 10, 1773.
JOHN TOOKEY, SURGEON, APOTHECARY, and MAN-MIDWIFE, having entered into Partnership with Mrs. ELIZ. TURNER, Widow of the late Mr. John Turner, Surgeon, Takes this Opportunity of acquainting their Friends and the Public, that they intend carrying on the Business in all the different Branches, and hope for the Continuance of their Favours.

Joseph Turner the son was apprenticed in 1779 to John Tookey. His training took him further afield, and he returned to Winslow in 1790, replacing William Ashwell who was in partnership with Tookey until 1784:

Northampton Mercury, 6 Feb 1790
MR. TURNER presents his most respectful Compliments to his Friends, and the Public in general, and informs tham that his SHOP is Open for the Practice of PHYSIC, SURGERY, and MAN-MIDWIFERY, (late Mr. Ashwell’s) – After having served as an Assistant two Years to two eminent Gentlemen of the Faculty – Messrs Bolding and Humberstone, Ampthill, Beds – and regularly attended the Hospitals, & c. in London, flatters himself, that by the Care and Assiduity in his Profession, he shall merit the Support of his Friends.
January 25th, 1790.

He moved to Brackley and sold the property in 1818. He married (between 1784 and 1790) Ann, daughter of George Foster of Winslow, grocer. Elizabeth his mother seems to have died in 1810. He died in April 1825 aged 59, and Ann in December 1833 aged 77, and they were buried in an altar tomb on the south side of Winslow churchyard (Clear, p.67). His departure from Winslow might be connected to the following:

Diary of Betsey Wynne Fremantle of Swanbourne, 15 April 1815 (Wynne Diaries III 375):
I am much interested about a poor young Irish woman, who was confined a few days ago and I fear will die in consequence of Turner's being drunk when he attended her.

Copyright 7 December, 2022