Turnbull Clan Association

Great Scots: Robert Louis Stevenson

stevenson1Scottish author Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on the 13th day of November in the year 1850. He was the only child of Margaret Isabella Balfour and Thomas Stevenson. His father was a well-known lighthouse engineer, which was the family business for several generations. His mother descended from gentry and could trace her lineage back to a man named Alexander Balfour, who in the fifteenth century held the lands of Inchrye in Fife.
As a boy, young Robert spent most of his holidays in his maternal grandfather’s house in nearby Colinton. His grandfather, Lewis Balfour, was a minister in the Church of Scotland. Stevenson once wrote “Now I often wonder what I inherited from this old minister. I must suppose, indeed, that he was fond of preaching sermons, and so am I, though I never heard it maintained that either of us love to hear them.”

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Bishop William Turnbull

Copy of Address Given by Sir William Fraser, Principal University of Glasgow at Evening Service

At Bedrule around 1400 William Turnbull was born, and shortly thereafter baptised, in its medieval kirk. His kinsmen of Bedrule and Minto were often notorious for breaching the peace, though some were notable churchmen, abbots of nearby Jedburgh and Melrose. William would later describe himself as ‘of noble race by both parents’ and King James II would refer to their blood-relationship, that is through his mother, seemingly a Stewart of Minto. As a boy, William would hear of the disastrous fire that swept away much of Glasgow cathedral from the central tower eastwards to the upper chapterhouse, inflicting damage it took half a century to repair. William's father received the fortified house at Bedrule as a thank-offering from the Douglases for help afforded against England in the Border Wars. Other warlike Turnbulls died on French battlefields in the 100 Years' War. In a lawless countryside William grew up a devotee of law.

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Andrew Patron Saint of Scotland

andrew 2Saint Andrew was Simon Peter’s brother and, like Peter, he was a fisherman. He was also a follower of John the Baptist, that is, until John pointed to Jesus saying “Behold! The Lamb of God". Andrew immediately left John and followed Jesus, knowing Him to be greater than John. After only a short time Andrew was certain that he followed the Messiah. Andrew became Jesus' first disciple. Andrew then led his brother Peter to Jesus and he too became a disciple. Andrew was one of the Twelve Apostles and a member of the inner circle of Jesus' followers.

For a brief time after taking up with Jesus, the brothers continued their fishing trade. A short time later Jesus came to them and promised to make them fishers of men if they would follow Him full time. They did, He did, and the rest is history. Two countries name Andrew as their patron saint; Russia, and, of course, Scotland. He is the patron saint of fishermen.

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William Roule the First Turnbull


William Roule, a man of the Roule River, was well known for his strength and abilities in many activities.The man lived by the River Roule and appears on several records throughout the 13th century. In 1300, his name appears upon a record as a witness for a grant of land to the Monks of Kelso from the Throne of England Edward the First.

The Fullest account of the whole situation was written by Hector Boece, an early Scottish Historian, in his Book "History of Scotland" which was published in Paris in 1526. The tale has been retold many times, but the most famous was by poet John Leydon in his "Scene's of Infancy".

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Bishop William Turnbull A Worthy Forbear

A life of the great bishop and statesman who founded Glasgow University has never been written. This was probably less a lack of piety on the part of our ancestors than an awareness that even when the scattered facts about Bishop Turnbull were brought together much still remained uncertain and obscure. Death came very quickly to him after he had completed his crowning work, and in the disturbed Scotland of his day his memory rapidly faded . . . We have no portrait of him . . . Perhaps, however, by setting him quite deliberately against the background of his times we may begin to glimpse something of the vision that animated this great teacher, patriot, administrator and churchman . . . in him too we can see, in the very decline of the Middle Ages, something of the pattern of medieval man, a perfect blend of the sacred and secular virtues, equally at home in Church and State.*

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Robert the Bruce the king we saved

robert_the_bruceThe story is well known to the members of our clan of of Bedrule’s rescue of the king of Scotland from a raging bull and how we became the Turnbull Clan, but just who was this king that gratefully bestowed on our ancestor the name of Turnbull? Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland, the man who led his army to defeat the English and win freedom for his country is a national hero to Scots, but who was he before that? Who was Robert the Bruce?

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