Charles Turner (MP)

Charles Turner (13 June 1803 – 15 October 1875) was a British businessman and Conservative politician.[1]

He was the son of Ralph Turner, a trader from Hull, Yorkshire. He entered business in Liverpool as an East India Company merchant. He subsequently became chairman of the British Shipowners Company and of the Royal Insurance Company, and a director of the Great Northern Railway. From 1851 – 1861 he was chairman of the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board.[1][2] He was appointed as a justice of the peace for the County Palatine of Lancaster and Borough of Liverpool, and was a deputy lieutenant for the county.[1]

Politically, Turner was a Conservative, and in July 1852 was elected one of Liverpool's two members of parliament, along with William Forbes Mackenzie.[2] However, the two defeated Liberal candidates issued an election petition contesting the results. In the ensuing court proceedings the two men's election agents were found to have been guilty of bribery and treating. On 21 June 1853 the election of Turner and Mackenzie was declared void.[3] Turner was again chosen as a Conservative candidate for Liverpool at the next general election in 1857, but was unsuccessful.[2] [4]

Turner was to return to the Commons in 1861. In that year the representation of the existing constituency of South Lancashire was increased from two to three members of parliament. Turner was nominated to contest the seat for the Conservatives. In his nomination speech, he set out his opposition to the separation of church and state and to elections by secret ballot.[5] The by-election was held on 17 August and Turner defeated his Liberal opponent by a majority of 834 votes.[6] He held the seat at the next general election in 1865.[7]

The Reform Act 1867 abolished the South Lancashire constituency. When the next general election was held in 1868, Turner was elected as one of two members for the new seat of South West Lancashire, holding it in 1874.[8] He remained an MP until his death.[2]

In 1843 Turner married Anne Whitaker of Melton, Yorkshire, and they had one son.[1] In 1875 he became unwell, and it was widely expected that he would retire from parliament. Before he could do so he died at his residence in Dingle, Liverpool aged 72.[2]


Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs

  1. ^ a b c d Mair, Robert Henry (1870). Debrett's Illustrated House of Commons and the Judicial Bench. London: Dean & Son. p. 273. Retrieved 12 May 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "The Late Mr Charles Turner M.P.". The Times: p. 5. 16 October 1875. 
  3. ^ "Election Committees. Liverpool". The Times: p. 5. 22 June 1853. 
  4. ^ "Election Intelligence". The Times: p. 5. 17 March 1857. 
  5. ^ "Election Intelligence. South Lancashire". The Times: p. 7. 15 August 1861. 
  6. ^ "Election Intelligence. South Lancashire". The Times: p. 8. 19 August 1861. 
  7. ^ "Lancashire (South)". The Times: p. 6. 24 July 1865. 
  8. ^ "Election Intelligence". The Times: p. 4. 23 November 1868. 

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Edward Cardwell
Sir Thomas Bernard Birch, Bt
Member of Parliament for Liverpool
1852 – 1853
With: William Forbes Mackenzie
Succeeded by
Thomas Horsfall
Henry Thomas Liddell
Preceded by
Algernon Fulke Egerton
William Legh
Member of Parliament for South Lancashire
1861 –1868
With: Algernon Fulke Egerton 1861 – 1868
William Legh 1861 – 1865
William Ewart Gladstone 1865 – 1868
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Lancashire South West
With: R. A. Cross
Succeeded by
John Ireland Blackburne

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