1) The occupational term had a number of possible meanings but usually referred to workmen who turned vessels on a lathe, working with wood, metal or bone.
The by-name is on record in Yorkshire from the early thirteenth century: 1227 Ralph le tornur, Rudston
1284 ‘Robert the Turnur, for a cartload of brushwood’, Stanley. In 1329, William le Turnour was brought before the manor court in Wakefield for using the lord’s timber to make small wooden vessels without warrant and in Selby in 1416-7 ‘wooden dishes, plates, and saucers [were] purchased from Thomas Turnour’. In York, the turners were too small a group to have their own guild but were linked with ‘bollers’ [makers of bowls] in 1415 and with ropers in 1554. Their specialised craft was recognised that year when a dispute broke out among the carpenters and associated craftsmen: if any the sayd carpentars, carvars or joynars doo throwe or turn bolles, dishes, wheles, chayers or such lyke stuffe as perteynith onely to the turnars craft than every suche to paye pageant sylver to the sayd ropars and turnars accordyngly, York. In Beverley in 1596, the Disheturners were in the guild of joiners and carpenters. The adjective ‘turned’ was used for certain articles of furniture: 1566 j chair of wainscotte and j chair of turned worke, Richmond
1629 thre furmes a turne chayre two little stooles, South Cave
1657 one little turned chaire, Selby.