The following true account and description of the Original of the Name and Arms of Turnbull was taken from the standard book of Scots Heraldry in the British Herald office at Doctor’s Commons in London, the 9th Day of May 1759 by the proper clerk in that office in my presence;and from the following description the principal Limner in Said office made a drawing of the arms properly coloured, which I caused to be engraved on a copper plate by one of the best engravers in London, an impression of which is here exhibited all at the desire and expense of me James Turnbull , then clerk to Robert Dundas of Arniston Esq. His Majesty’s Advocate for Scotland and Member of Parliament for the shire of Edinburgh and surrounding area.
The Heads of Bulls are frequently in Arms and as all other heads of which before represents the whole creature.
The name of Turnbull carryed Argent a Bulls Head erased a sable of lat. three of them disposed 2 and 1.
The first of the name with us was a strong man by the name of Ruel who turned a wild bull by the head by which violently run against King Robert the Bruce in Sterling Park, for which he got from that King the lands of Badyruel in Teviotdale and the name Turnbull.
Edward Howes in his history of England, page 231 mentions this man in the minority of King David Bruce at the Battle of Hollydown Hill, his words are, “a certain stout champion of great stature who for a fact done by him was called Turnbull, advanced before the scots army and a great mastive dog with him, and challenged any of the English army to fight with him a combat. One sir Robert Venal a Norfolk man by the King of England’s leave took him up and killed him and his dog too.
This Gentleman’s son Sir James turnbull and Sir John Halyburton were killed near Nisbet Muir in the Merse in an engagement with the english Anno. 1355, for which see Abercrombies History Vol 2. page 105.
I have seen the Armorial of Turnbull of Minto appended to a charter of 1455 (Penis comitum de Horne) which only had one Bull’s head, and that of based of late, these of that name multiply the heads of that name to three.
John Turnbull of Stickcathren descended off the family off Badyruel, carries argent three bull’s heads erased motto – auduci Favet Fortuna – new registar
John Turnbull of [can’t read this next word – looks like “Hnow” descended of the family of Minto carries argent on rear of Rye vert. between three Bull’s Heads; erased sable armed of the second crest, a bull’s head abased. sable. vert. Motto – Courage.