SHARON TURNER (1768-1847), English historian, was born in Pentonville, London, on the 24th of September 1768. His parents came from Yorkshire. He was educated at a private school kept by Dr Davis in Pentonville, and was articled to a solicitor in the Temple in 1783, and when his master died in 1789 he continued the business. He remained in business at first in the Temple, and later in Red Lion Square till 1829, when failing health compelled him to retire. He settled for a time at Winchmore Hill, but afterwards returned to London, and died in his son's house on the 13th of February 1847. In early boyhood he had been attracted by a translation of the "Death Song of Ragnar Lodbrok," and was led by this boyish interest to make a study of early English history in Anglo-Saxon and Icelandic sources. He devoted all the time he could spare from his business to the study of Anglo-Saxon documents in the British Museum. The material was abundant and had hitherto been neglected. When the first volume of his History of England from the earliest times to the Norman Conquest appeared in 1799, it was at once recognized as a work of equal novelty and value. The fourth volume appeared in 1805. He also published a continuation (History of England during the Middle Ages), a Modern History of England, a Sacred History of the World, and a volume on Richard III. (1845), and he was the author of pamphlets on the copyright laws (1813).
His son, Sydney Turner (1814-1879), educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, took orders, was known as a strong partisan of reformatory schools, and died rector of Hempstead in Gloucestershire.
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