sub-fonds 657 - Letter from Hudson Gurney to Dawson Turner

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Reference code

Add. MS a/657


Letter from Hudson Gurney to Dawson Turner


  • 23 Jan. 1842 (Creation)

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1 folded sheet tipped in on a sheet of manila card

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Biographical history

Dawson Turner was born and spent much of his life at Great Yarmouth in Norfolk. He was admitted as an undergraduate at Pembroke College, Cambridge, in 1793, but returned to Yarmouth before graduating, in order to take his place in the family banking business.

For some years Turner's chief interest was botany, particularly mosses, and he published several works on the subject and corresponded with many of the notable botanists of his day. In later life he concentrated on antiquarian pursuits, amassing a valuable collection of historical documents and autographs, as well as a substantial library which was eventually dispersed in a series of sales. He was a Fellow of various learned bodies, including the Royal Society, the Linnaean Society, and the Society of Antiquaries.

In 1796 Turner married Mary Palgrave, by whom he had eight surviving children. Mary Turner and her daughters were talented amateur artists; they were tutored in drawing by John Sell Cotman and also mastered the arts of etching and lithography. Between them they produced a significant number of sketches and prints, especially portraits and architectural studies, examples of which were often used by their father to embellish his books.

Archival history

This letter was found, with a description from a commercial seller, among uncatalogued items in the basement in March 2022. The identity of the seller and the date of purchase are unknown.

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Dear Dawson

I find my Wife is Sending over the Carriage for Miss Poole tomorrow Morning & that it will return with Her in the afternoon—

I send this Note my My Servant to the Norfolk Hotel—In case You Shd. be there—& if not He will Leave it at the Bank—that You may arrange at Which time You Can Come over to us—

I Have Some Cold—& therefore Shall not be out—& Mr. Gage {1} keeps the House & does not Like to face the Weather

I am Yrs {2}

H Gurney

Sunday Evg. 23rd
[Added by Turner:] Jany 1842.


{1} Followed by an indistinct name.

{2} This line is indistinct.

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