Turner, Dawson (1775–1858)

Banker, botanist and antiquary. He was born and spent most of his adult life in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. Educated in Norfolk and at Pembroke College, Cambridge, Turner married Mary Palgrave (1774–1850) in 1796, the same year he joined the family bank, Gurney and Turner. He used his wealth and leisure time to pursue interests in botany, antiquities, painting and collecting art, books and manuscripts, accumulating over 8,000 volumes. He published on a number of subjects, including botany, travel, architecture and antiquities. His wife and daughters, whose artistic skills had been honed by the tutelage of John Crome (1768–1821; DNB) and John Sell Cotman (1782–1842; DNB), often supplied illustrations for his works. After the death of his wife in 1850, Turner made a second marriage to Rosamund Matilda Duff (1810–1863) that caused a rift with his family and friends. Turner and his new wife moved to London. He sold part of his collection of books and paintings, and died in the capital in 1858. Turner wrote to Southey in 1816, enclosing an etching of the Laureate produced by his wife, Mary, and condoling with him on the death of Herbert Southey. (The Turners had themselves lost three of their eleven children in infancy.) Thereafter, the two maintained an intermittent correspondence.