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.