James TURLE Elizabeth TURLE Harriet Maria TURLE James TURLE Elizabeth Georgina TURLE William Greer TURLE Robert TURLE Hesse Jane GREER Frederick TURLE Mary Ann TURLE Louisa Frances TURLE <Sophia ?> TURLE Elizabeth FORREST Mini tree diagram

Robert TURLE

18th Mar 18041 - 26th Mar 18775,6

organist of Armagh Cathedral

Life History

18th Mar 1804

Born in Taunton, Somerset.1

2nd May 1805

Baptised in St Mary Magdalen Taunton.2

between Aug 1814 and 1821

Educated Westminster Abbey.3

choir boy (Groves),  ; studied under Thomas Greatorex

from 1821 to 1822

Occupation organist at St Lawrence Jewry in London, Middlesex


Resident in 21 Great Waterloo St, Lambeth

from 1823 to 1872

Occupation organist of Armagh Cathedral in Ireland




Birth of daughter Elizabeth Georgina TURLE in Armagh, Ireland

before 1838

Married Hesse Jane GREER

25th Mar 1839

Birth of son William Greer TURLE in Armagh, Ireland


Birth of son Robert TURLE in Armagh, Ireland.7

20th Mar 1845

Death of Hesse Jane GREER in Armagh, Ireland

between 1847 and 1864

Resident in Armagh, Ireland (Castle Street, Armagh).4

Offices and garden, lessor The Vicars Choral of Armagh, valued at 1 10s 0d for the land and 10s  for the buildings.

between 1847 and 1864

Resident in Armagh, Ireland (Cathedral Close, Armagh, Ireland).4

House, offices and yard, lessor The Vicars Choral of Armagh, valued at 48 for the buildings.


Resident in top of Market Square, Armagh


Resident in Armagh, Ireland (Cathedral Close, Armagh, Ireland).4

30th Jun 1867

Death of son Robert TURLE in Armagh, Ireland.7

9th Oct 1869

Death of daughter Elizabeth Georgina TURLE

Mar 1877

Buried in East Harnham, Wiltshire.5

Ref 168118

26th Mar 1877

Died in 1 Deveaux Place, The Close, Salisbury, Wiltshire.5,6


  • There is a memorial in the Cathedral Church of Saint Patrick,Armagh,
  • Notes taken from the website of St Patricks Cathedral -www.stpatricks-cathedral.org/turle.htm

    Robert Turle 1822 - 1872
    Born Taunton 19 March 1804, died Salisbury 26 March 1877. RobertTurle was the younger brother of James Turle who later became organist of Westminster Abbey (1831-82). He was son of Mr JamesTurle and may have been a chorister in Wells Cathedral like his brother. Before his appointment to Armagh he was organist of St Lawrence Jewry, London, 1821-2; writing to the Vestry on 24 December 1822, he said that he had,"through the interest and good opinion of a much respected and highly valued friend, my late master Mr Greatorex, [ThomasGreatorex organist of Westminster Abbey 1819-31] been honoured by the appointment of organist and master of the boys to the Cathedral Church of Armagh", At Armagh, Turle immediately increased the number of boys in the choir from 4 to around 10. He saw the cathedral transformed from a dangerous and unsightly building into a fine example of Victorian craftsmanship, and supervised the erection of the large Walker organ 1838-40.

    V The musical conditions at Armagh during his fifty year tenure appear to have been ideal, indeed,the choir was thought of as one of the best in England and Ireland. Turle had a large house built for him at the top of Market Square in 1854 and retired in 1872 with a pension. Various cathedral officials were entitled to compensation at Disestablishment of the Church of Ireland, and of these, RobertTurle, received a commutation sum of 3,158 2s. 8d.

    VI Sir Frederick Bridge writes of this:"When the Irish Church was disestablished I believe he commuted his emoluments [from Armagh Cathedral] and retired with a considerable sum as compensation for the loss of his office. It was said that the old gentleman drank the health of Mr.Gladstone -to whom he owed this bit of good fortune- every night in a glass of port."Robert Turle was responsible for the training and musical education of several very distinguished composers, singers and instrumentalists. Mr Charles Kelly, in his lecture in 1919, said the following: It was of very great interest to learn that under Mr Turle's Dublin; Dr: I. C. Marks, organist of Cork Cathedral; Mr David Lee, organist, Town Hall, Melbourne; Dr : Osborne Marks, organist, Armagh Cathedral; Mr Barton M'Guckin, distinguished oratorio and operatic tenor singer; and Mr W G. Wood, professor; Royal Academy of Music, London. The names of other musicians of distinction who were connected with the Cathedral during that period were Mr George Benson, of Westminster Abbey; Mr W Cooper;Temple Church, London; Mr Henry Barnby, Westminster Abbey (brother of Sir Joseph Barnby), and Mr G. B. Allen, Mus. Bac.,Oxford.A fine memorial in the north nave aisle pays tribute to his 50 years work in the cathedral.
  • Between his retirement in 1872 and his death in 1877 Robert returned to England.
  • Slater Directory of County Armagh 1846

    Turle, Robert, Mr., organist, Archdiocess of Armagh - Prebendiaries, Armagh, city of, Places of Worship
    Turle, Robert, organist, Vicar's hill, Armagh, city of, Miscellaneous


  • 1. Parish Records - SRO
    • D/P/tau.m 2/1/4
  • 2. Parish Records - Taunton St Mary
    • D/P/tau.m 2/1/4
  • 3. St Patricks Cathedral Armagh.
    • www.stpatricks-cathedral.org/turle
  • 4. Griffith's Valuation Index (1847-1864)
    • Irish Origins
  • 5. Family History Online
    • Wiltshire Memorial Inscription Index
  • 6. Ross Turle Family Tree
    • MyFamily
  • 7. Gentleman's Magazine

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