Turner, Dawson (1775 -1858)
Dawson Turner, botanist and antiquary, was the eldest surviving son of James Turner, head of the Yarmouth Bank, and Elizabeth Cotman. He was educated partly at North Walsham Grammar School, partly privately, and matriculated at Pembroke College, Cambridge in 1793, but left the College before his father's death in 1794, and joined the family bank in 1796. He married Mary, second daughter of William Palgrave of Coltishall in Norfolk. His earliest enthusiasm was for botany, particularly the cryptogamic plants, and he used his considerable wealth to finance the publication of lavishly illustrated works in the field. His wife, four of his daughters, and even he himself became colourists under the direction of the artist, John Sell Cotman. In 1820, he collaborated with Hudson Gurney in purchasing the Macro MSS, which included Sir Henry Spelman's collection. Turner selected the autograph portion, part of which he sold to the British Museum in 1853 for £1,000. After 1820, his principal interests were antiquarian, concentrating particularly on the Duchy of Normandy, of which he published an account. His large library of books, manuscripts and autograph letters was sold, the library on 7 March 1853 by S.L. Sotheby and J. Wilkinson, and on 26 April 1853 and 16 May 1859 by Puttick & Simpson; the manuscript volumes 6 June 1859, and the autographs 3 April 1860 and 3 April 1869 by Puttick & Simpson.