Members at our 2007 BBQ

Naturalists' Society

Cymdeithas Naturiaethwyr



Lt. Col. Thomas Picton Turbervill (1827 - 1891) 6th President

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Lt. Col. Thomas Picton Turbervill, the 6th President is in many ways one of the most complex of our former presidents to describe. In a very large part this comes because of his background and the fact he changed his name possibly once, possibly twice, and so did a number of other members of his family. This page does not try and unpick all of that, but give a sense of the man who was our president

He was born with the surname Warlow in 1827, the son of Thomas Warlow and Mary Ord. He married Lucy Eliza daughter of Colonel Henry Connop on the 19th of August 1857 in St. James's Church, Piccadilly, London, England.

In 1867 he inherited Ewenny Priory. (here Comes a name change) Thomas Picton Warlow succeeded his cousin, Elizabeth Margaret Turbervil whose name he assumed.

in 1876 he was High Sheriff of Glamorgan:

In 1878 he was a play an important part in the procurement of the first Dinosaur remains found in Wales as recorded in this extract from the obituary of T. H. Thomas

His first contribution to the Society's proceedings was read at a meeting on the 16th January, 1879. It dealt with a discovery made by him in the previous September at Newton Nottage. Wandering round the Church of that village, he observed a huge slab of stone, and upon it five trifid impressions in a clear series." Ever on the alert, he felt that this was something unknown to the geology of Britain, and he at once communicated with some members of the Society, and also with Professor Sollas, who a few years before had given courses of University Extension Lectures on Geology in Cardiff. The discovery proved an important one, and the new member of the Cardiff Naturalists' Society (his name appears as joining the Society in 1879) was recognised as a valuable acquisition to the small but faithful circle of working naturalists. The discovery was communicated to the Geological Society of London by Professor Sollas, upon whose suggestion the name Brontozoum Thomasii was given to it in honour of its discoverer.

At the instance of Dr. Vachell, Colonel Turbervill of Ewenny, who was President of the Cardiff Naturalists' Society that year, took upon himself the cost of the purchase and removal

Brontozoum collected by T H Thomas

Brontozoum collected by T H Thomas

Brontozoum identified by T H Thomas and purchased by Colonel Picton Turbervill before and after slab cutting

How much insistence was needed we will never know, but an example of his hospitality is given in this report in the The South Wales Star of the 28th August 1891 regarding the visit of the British Association for the Advancement of Science

Ewenny Priory And Southerndown. Leaders Dr. C. T. Vachell And The Rev. H. Winwood, F.G.S.

A party numbering about 50 made an excursion to Ewenny and Southerndown. taking, en route, the Bridgend Waterworks and Ogmore Castle. Going by special train to Bridgend, the party found breaks awaiting them, and with little loss of time they proceeded to Ewenny Priory. Here they were received by Colonel T. Picton Turbervill, Mrs. Turbervill, Colonel Warlow. and others.

Colonel Turbervill, although weak from recent illness, led the company over Priory Church, explaining, as he went, the principal objects of interest. ... Colonel Turbervill has spent a large sum of money in partially restoring the church, taking care that its character shall be preserved. In the excavations made in the chancel, he discovered a number of tiles bearing heraldic devices sufficiently distinct to enable him to get them reproduced.

In the members list of 1893 he is listed as a justice of the peace (J.P.)

Lt-Col. Thomas Picton Turbervill died aged 63 in 1891 at Ewenny Priory, Bridgend, Glamorganshire, Wales. At this point his brother Colonel John Picton-Warlow inherited the estate and did the same name change.

it is noteworthy that his death did not end the Turbervill relationship with the society as this report in the transactions of 1919 shows

The Annual Ladies' Day was held on Wednesday, 9th July, visits being paid to Ewenny Priory and Merthyr Mawr House, by the kind invitation of Colonel J. P. Turbervill and Colonel J. I. D. Nicholl respectively. 75 members and friends left Cardiff in motor chars-a-bancs at 9.30 a.m. for Ewenny Priory. In the. absence from home of Colonel Turbervill, the Vicar, the Rev. T. D. Bevan, M.A., acted as guide. The party then motored to Bridgend for lunch, ... The motors then proceeded to Ogmore Castle, via Ewenny village, St. Brides Major, and Southerndown.

Society trip in a Charabanc

Society trip in a Charabanc

Society trip in a Charabanc around the date described above

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Before this... John Walter Lukis (1816-1894) 3rd and 5th President

Next up... Henry Heywood (1842-1909) 14th President

See our Full list of Presidents

These pages are part of the Cardiff Naturalists' Society 150th Anniversary celebrations and are about our history and are celebrating the people who developed our Society and helped build the city and the cultural heritage of Cardiff. You can read more about that using the links above

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