HORSEMONDEN TURNER, William (1678-1753), of Maidstone and Stede Hill, in Harrietsham, Kent.
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Family and Education
b. 23 Apr. 1678, o.s. of Anthony Horsemonden of Maidstone, sometime clerk to the Skinners Co., by his 2nd w. Jane, da. of Sir William Turner of Richmond, Surr. m. (1) 25 May 1725,1 Elizabeth (d. 27 Oct. 1730), da. of John Kenward of Yalding, Kent, wid. of Thomas Bliss, M.P., of Maidstone, and bef. that of Ambrose Ward of Yalding, s.p.; (2) 19 Dec. 1745, Elizabeth, da. of Richard Read of Lenham and Gravesend, Kent, s.p. suc. fa. aft. 1689 and mat. uncle John Turner 1721, when he took add. name of Turner.
A Maidstone attorney, Turner, after succeeding his uncle and marrying the 76 year-old widow of a rich brewer, formerly Member for the borough, acquired the estate of Stede Hill from the Stedes in 1726.2 He became the leader of the Whigs in Maidstone, where he was returned as a government supporter in 1734. Defeated in 1741, he took advantage of the dissolution of the Maidstone corporation3 to secure from the lord chancellor a new charter favourable to the popular party; returned with it to Maidstone immediately before the general election of 1747; and was elected, bringing in with him Robert Fairfax. Next day he wrote to Hardwicke:4
The concern which your Lordship was so good as to express for the issue of an election, obliges me ... to acknowledge the share you have had in it by despatching and facilitating of everything that might conduce so lucky an event, as I am in hopes will fully answer the expectations of all our friends, having been so fortunate to bring in with me Mr. Fairfax ... whose sentiments are perfectly the same with our own, and as we have also a corporation (through your Lordship’s assistance) entirely founded upon the same principles.
According to a note by Frederick, Prince of Wales, in the 2nd Lord Egmont’s electoral survey c.1749-50, Turner was governed by John Scrope, of the Treasury. Although then dead, he may have been the Mr. Turner who in 1754 was included in a list of secret service pensions at £200 a year.5 He died 14 Apr. 1753.