Turnbull, Alexander Horsburgh

Person Key: 
TUR001
Family Name: 
Turnbull
First Name(s): 
Alexander Horsburgh
Birth Year: 
1868
Death Year: 
1918
Century: 
19-20
Biography: 

Alexander Turnbull was born in Wellington, New Zealand, to Scottish merchant Walter Turnbull, and his wife Alexandrina Horsburg. He was educated locally, but after moving with his parents to London, England in 1881, he attended Dulwich College 1882-1884. He returned permanently to New Zealand in 1892. A book collector from an early age, his particular interests were New Zealand, Pacific exploration, Scottish history, English literature, John Ruskin, and in particular, John Milton. On his death his collection contained approximately 55,000 books, as well as manuscripts, photographs, paintings and sketches, were kept in his house on Bowen Street opposite Parliament Buildings, but are now in the National Library. He also collected Maori artefacts and coins which in 1913 he donated to the Dominion Museum. Renowned as a dandy, Turnbull never married.