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The Scottish Nation

TURNBULL, the surname of a border clan, whose possessions were in Roxburghshire. The chief of the family of Turnbull – a branch of the very ancient family of rule – had his principal residence at Bedrule castle in that county. The name Turnbull is said to have been first acquired by a brawny and gigantic borderer, on account of his having saved King Robert the Bruce from being gored to death by a wild bull which had overthrown him while he was hunting. The fate of this man was remarkable. Just previous to the battle of Halidon-hill, 19th July 1333, attended by a large mastiff, he approached the English army, and challenged any person in it to come forth and fight him in single combat. His challenge was accepted by Sir Robert Benhale, a young Norfolk knight, who was inferior to Turnbull in stature, but possessed great bodily strength and an eminent degree of soldierly skill and cleverness. Benhale was first met by the mastiff, but he fetched it such a cleaving blow upon hits loins as to separate its hinder legs from its body. He then encountered Turnbull, eluded his assaults and thrusts, and cut off first his left arm and then his head.

TURNBULL, WILLIAM, bishop of Glasgow, the founder of the university of that city, was descended from the Turnbulls of Minto, in Roxburghshire, and was born in the early part of the fifteenth century. After entering into orders, he was, in 1440, appointed prebend of Balenrick, with which dignity the lordship of Prevan was connected; and in 1445 was preferred to be secretary and keeper of the privy seal of Scotland. Soon after he was created doctor of laws, and made archdeacon of St. Andrews. In 1447 he was promoted to the bishopric of Glasgow, and consecrated in 1448. With the view of erecting a university in that city, he procured from the Pope a bull for the purpose, in January 1450, and the university was established in the following year. He died at Rome, September 3, 1454.

TURNBULL, DR. WILLIAM, an eminent physician, was born at Hawick in 1729. After receiving the rudiments of his education at the grammar school of that town, he removed to the university of Edinburgh, where he studied the several branches of philosophy and medicine. In 1777 he repaired to London, and having previously obtained the degree of M.D. from the university of Glasgow, was chosen physician to the eastern dispensary. He furnished the medical and anatomical articles for a ‘Dictionary of Arts and Sciences,’ by the Rev. Erasmus Middleton and others, published in 1779, He died May 29, 1796.

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