William Turner MA (1508 – 13 July 1568) was an English divine and reformer, a physician and a natural historian. He studied medicine in Italy, and was a friend of the great Swiss naturalist, Conrad Gessner. He was an early herbalist and ornithologist, and it is in these fields that the most interest lies today.
Turner was born in Morpeth, Northumberland in or around 1508. His father was probably a tanner of the same name. He studied at Pembroke Hall, Cambridge University from 1526 to 1533, where he received his B.A. in 1530 and his M.A. in 1533. He was a Fellow and Senior Treasurer of Pembroke Hall, Cambridge. While at Cambridge he published several works, including Libellus de re herbaria, in 1538. He spent much of his leisure in the careful study of plants which he sought for in their native habitat, and described with an accuracy hitherto unknown in England.
In 1540, he began traveling about preaching until he was arrested. After his release, he went on to study medicine in Italy, at Ferrara and Bologna, from 1540 to 1542 and was incorporated M.D. at one of these universities...
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