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Biography: Dr. Jill Turnbull

Dr. Jill Turnbull

Dr. Jill Turnbull earned her doctorate from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1999. The Rakow Grant supported the publication of her dissertation, “The Scottish Glass Industry, 1610­–1750,” in the Monograph Series of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. Most of the material in Dr. Turnbull’s dissertation was new to scholarship. The primary sources were scattered among some unconnected archives, sev­eral of which were only minimally catalogued.

There is a dearth of information about the early Scottish glass industry in secondary sources, and these imply that very little glass was made in Scot­land before the middle of the 18th century. How­ever, Dr. Turnbull’s research revealed that glassmaking persisted in Scotland, almost without a break, from 1610 to 1750. The industry was established by Sir George Hay in 1610, when he received a patent to make iron and glass. In the 1620s, an Italian work force was operating in Scotland, and in 1635, no fewer than 11 Italian glass­makers were employed at Morison’s Haven.

Dr. Turnbull’s monograph, which deals with all types of glass made in Scotland (from window glass and bottles to drinking vessels and beads), is of considerable interest to students of glassmaking in 17th- and 18th-century Europe.