Turner, Hugh Thackeray (1853-1937), architect and amateur china painter, father of Ruth Mallory

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Turner, Hugh Thackeray (1853-1937), architect and amateur china painter, father of Ruth Mallory

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8 March 1853 - 11 December 1937


Hugh Thackeray Turner was born in Foxearth, Essex, the son of Rev. John Richard Turner (a Church of England vicar) and his wife Harriet.

After leaving Newbery Grammar School he was apprenticed to the architect Sir George Gilbert Scott. In 1877 Turner began work on his own account. He was also employed by Scott's sons, John Oldrid and George Gilbert junior, becoming the latter's chief assistant.

Turner left Scott's office to become Secretary for The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (founded by William Morris in 1877). His job was to investigate, inspect and report on buildings at risk from insensitive restoration. He held the post until 1911.

On 19 July 1888 he married Mary Elizabeth (May) Powell (1854–1907). May became a leading member of the arts and crafts movement in her own right, exhibiting needlework and founding the Women's Guild of Arts with May Morris. The couple had three daughters, the second of whom, Ruth, married George Mallory in July 1914.

In 1898 Turner designed his own home Westbrook in Godalming, which with the assistance of Gertrude Jekyll's assistance was surrounded by a much admired garden.

After a long retirement he died of pyelonephritis on 11 December 1937 in London.


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Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

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