Editors note: Wikipedia describes "Tyneside is a conurbation in North East England, defined by the Office for National Statistics, which is home to over 80% of the population of Tyne and Wear. It includes the city of Newcastle upon Tyne and the Metropolitan Boroughs of Gateshead, North Tyneside and South Tyneside — all settlements on the banks of the River Tyne. The population of the conurbation was 879,996 according to the census of 2001, the 6th largest conurbation in the UK. The only large settlement in Tyne and Wear that is not part of the Tyneside conurbation is Sunderland which is on Wearside."
The walls of Newcastle were built in 1265, in order to keep out the marauding Scots. The town was divided into 24 wards, with each ward having its own Tower. As the walls were 7ft thick and up to 25 feet high in parts, a great deal of maintenance was required. Every householder had their own specified parts to defend and fortify.
One of the wards was, and still is known as the Close. It was the nearest ward to the river Tyne. The first recorded Turnbull on Tyneside was a Robert, who was named as a witness to the ownership of property in the Close on 12 Dec. 1412.
Then came the case of Turnbull and White, his associate, who were jointly accused of stealing a grey mare, the property of Si Lancelot Ogle. Justice was swift in those days, for when each of the men accused the other of the theft, the judge ordered them to fight in the courtyard. Fortunately for any of his descendants, Turnbull won the fight and was released. Poor White was later hanged for his trouble.
On 14th Feb. 1525 a Henry Turnbull, "took a messuage and lands, arable and meadow," for the sum of £1: 5s: 5d, formerly apertaining to the late Robert Milnes, a parcel of the Barony of Benwell. ( A Messuage was old English for a dwelling house containing outbuildings and land. A nook or niche identified an area belonging to someone.)
The area is just outside the walls of Newcastle, less than 1 mile from the Close. It is reasonable to assume the Henry was related to Robert, possibly even his grandson.
This is verified on 9th Dec 1585, when Henry Anderson, settled property on his son Bertram including; "All that field at Elwick, outside the Westgate to a tenement of William Turnbull on the east.
William's son Henry married Jane Anderson, daughter of the tithe holder in 1567 and after his death in 1616, Turnbull's nook was sold by his widow Jane. Although Henry was the last Turnbull owner of the property, some 200 years later the area was still identified on maps as Turnbull's Nook.
The next Turnbull reference comes with a census or headcount, in 1665, of all families living within the Newcastle walls which included St Nicholas Church,
There were 7 Turnbull householders living within the walls and their areas of responsibilty were as follows;
John Turnbull; ( 1628 - 1697) Stank Tower Ward; East Gallowgate, Denton Chare, Iron Market to St. Nicholas church. John was a direct descendant of Henry of Turnbull's Nook.
Thomas Turnbull; Gunner Tower Ward. Dean St. to Quayside to Dog Leap Stairs (still there).
John Turnbull; Westgate Ward. West of Westgate Rd. including St. John's churchyard to Denton Square (this area included Turnbulls Nook.
Cuthbert Turnbull; ( born 1646) Morden Tower. St Nicholas Square and Town Hall. ( Cuthbert is the direct ancestor of Turnbull Clan treasurer Brian Turnbull)
Mark Turnbull; ( c. 1616 ) Northumberland St. and Pilgrim St. to High Friar Lane ( Father to Cuthbert above)
George Turnbull: Nuns Gate . Newgate St. Lowe Friar St. to Percy St. Charles Turnbull; St. Nicholas Square to Cloth Market To High Bridge.
The population within the walls in 1665 was 12, 000, with up to 50 of them Turnbulls. Many of the marauding Scots were of the Turnbull Clan from Roxburghshire. For this branch of the Turnbull's to be entrusted with the upkeep of the walls suggests that they had lived in the area for some considerable time. Probable descendants of Robert 1412 and/or Henry c. 1500.