Tomkyns Hilgrove Turner

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Sir Tomkyns Hilgrove Turner
Hilgrove Turner.jpg
Portrait by unknown artist of General Sir (Tomkyns) Hilgrove Turner
Born12 January 1764
Uxbridge (Middlesex, England)
Died6 May 1843 (1843-05-07) (aged 79)
Grouville (Jersey, Channel Isles)
AllegianceUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branchFlag of the British Army.svg British Army
Commands heldGarrison of Jersey
AwardsKnight Grand Cross of the Royal Guelphic Order

General Sir (Tomkyns) Hilgrove Turner GCH (12 January 1764 – 6 May 1843) is best known as the officer who escorted the Rosetta Stone from Egypt to England.

Military career[edit]

Turner and the Stone were on board the recently captured French ship HMS Egyptienne when it made its way to England. He claimed that he had personally seized the Stone from General Jacques-François Menou and carried it away on a gun carriage. He also asserted that when the French learned of his intentions, that they removed the packaging for the Stone and that "it was thrown upon its face".[1] There are other versions of how the English forces captured the Stone from the French, so it is unknown how reliable his account is. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in December 1804.[2]

In 1801 he was made Colonel, in 1808 Major-General.[3] From 1812 to 1830 he held the post of Groom of the Bedchamber to George IV (including the period when the latter acted as Prince Regent during his father's mental illness). He would later become Lieutenant Governor of Jersey from 1814 to 1816[4] and Governor of Bermuda from 1826 to 1832,[5] and in 1827 became a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Guelphic Order.

Personal life[edit]

Turner was the son of Richard Turner, a surgeon in Uxbridge, Middlesex and his wife Magdalen Hilgrove, a native of Jersey. In 1839 his daughter Charlotte Esther Turner married Henry Octavius Coxe, Bodleian librarian. Coxe's predecessor Bulkeley Bandinel was Tomkyns Turner's second cousin. Some years after his death Turner's children were involved in a lawsuit over the legacies left them in the wills of some Hilgrove kinsmen.


  1. ^ Parkinson, Richard. The Rosetta Stone: British Museum Objects in Focus. p.29. The British Museum Press. 2005. 978-0-7141-5021-5
  2. ^ "Library and Archive Catalogue". Royal Society. Retrieved 29 October 2010.
  3. ^ Dawson, Warren R. (Warren Royal), 1888-1968. Who was who in Egyptology. Bierbrier, M. L. (Fourth rev. ed.). London. p. 546. ISBN 9780856982071. OCLC 802867967.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ "Visit Jersey". Visit Jersey. Archived from the original on 12 June 2011. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  5. ^ " Person Page – 43314". Retrieved 6 July 2010.

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Sir George Don
Lieutenant Governor of Jersey
Succeeded by
Hugh Gordon
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Hew Dalrymple, 1st Baronet
Colonel of the 19th (The 1st Yorkshire North Riding) Regiment of Foot
Succeeded by
Warren Marmaduke Peacocke