Biography of John Turquand, M.D.

The subject of this notice, one of the best known physicians and surgeons in this part of Ontario, is of Huguenot extraction, his ancestor fleeing from France at the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and settling in the city of London. His father, Bernard Turquand, was connected, in early life, with the British navy, and subsequently with the commissariat department, being stationed on the Island of Malta, during the plague, our subject being there born, February 25, 1815. His father did valuable service during the reign of the plague, and received the thanks of Sir T. Maitland, Lieut.-Governor of the island. His mother was Elizabeth Bennett, of Gloucestershire, England, born near the Forest of Dean. In 1820, the family came to Canada, and located at York (now Toronto), where Bernard Turquand was chief clerk in the Receiver-General’s office, and after the union of Upper and Lower Canada in 1841, he was Receiver-General for a short time, dying in Montreal in 1856. He was a man of great amiability and generosity, and he and his noble wife were noted for their good offices to immigrants, who were pouring into Canada, fifty and sixty years ago.

Dr. Turquand commenced his education at Toronto, in a district school, taught by Rev. Dr., afterwards Bishop, Strachan; among his schoolmates being Rev. Canon Givens, Rev. Henry Scadding, LL.D., and Bishop Fuller of the Niagara District. In 1830, when Upper Canada College, Toronto, was opened, he entered it and spent three years there. He studied medicine with Dr. John King, of the same city; attended lectures at McGill College, Montreal; commenced practice at Woodstock, in September, 1837, and has been in constant and general practice here from that date. At an early day, before graveled and stone roads, or any other good roads were built, he had not only extensive, but very hard rides through the wild woods, covering an area of twenty miles in nearly every direction, and in some cases extending much further. No man in the county is better known than “old Dr. Turquand,” as he is generally and respectfully called. The families, to the medical wants of which he has administered, are numbered by the thousands, and he is venerated for his kindly counsels and gentle words in the sick room, as well as for his skill. For several years he has had a large consultation practice extending over several counties.

Dr. Turquand has been county coroner and jail surgeon ever since Oxford was set off from the London district, and he became one of the medical officers of the Great Western Railway, soon after it started. He was a member of the medical council of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario for three years, and president in 1867. In 1878 he was at the head of the Oxford county medical association. His standing in the fraternity is high.

He is a Royal Arch mason, and has held some high offices in the order, including that of junior warden of the grand lodge of the Province. He was reared in the Church of England, and maintains, so far as we can learn, a consistent christian character.

In June 1840, Miss Elizabeth Bott, of Zorra, Oxford County, was joined in marriage with Dr. Turquand, and they have had seven children, losing one of them.

He is of the firm of Turquand and Mackay, his partner being Hugh Munro Mackay, a native of Oxford county; born in 1837; educated in Canada; received the degree of M.D. from the medical department of Victoria College, Toronto, in 1868, and is a member of the Royal College of Surgeons, England, and of the College of Physicians, Edinburgh. Like his senior partner, he is thoroughly wedded to his profession, and has the highest confidence of the community in his skill.



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