Rev. Dr. Thomas Arnold

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Thomas Arnold

Death: Died
Immediate Family:

Son of William Arnold and Martha Delafield
Husband of Mary Penrose
Father of Jane Martha Forster; Thomas Henry Arnold; Matthew Arnold and William Delafield Arnold

Managed by: Jonathan Evans
Last Updated:

About Rev. Dr. Thomas Arnold

Thomas Arnold (13 June 1795 – 12 June 1842) was a British educator and historian. Arnold was an early supporter of the Broad Church Anglican movement. He was headmaster of Rugby School from 1828 to 1841, where he introduced a number of reforms.


   * 1 Early life and education
   * 2 Career as an educator
         o 2.1 Rugby School
         o 2.2 Oxford University
   * 3 Writings
   * 4 Family
   * 5 Reputation
   * 6 References
   * 7 External links
Early life and education

Arnold was born on the Isle of Wight, the son of William Arnold, an inland revenue officer, and his wife Martha Delafield. He was educated at Lord Weymouth's Grammar School, Warminster (now Warminster School), Winchester and Corpus Christi College, Oxford. There he excelled at Classics and was made a fellow of Oriel in 1815. He was headmaster of the school in Laleham before moving to Rugby. [edit] Career as an educator [edit] Rugby School

Arnold's appointment to the headship of the renowned Rugby School in 1828, after some years as a tutor, turned the school's fortunes around, and his force of character and religious zeal enabled him to turn it into a model followed by the other public schools, exercising an unprecedented influence on the educational system of the country. He is portrayed as a leading character in the novel, Tom Brown's Schooldays. [edit] Oxford University

He was involved in many controversies, educational and religious. As a churchman he was a decided Erastian, and strongly opposed to the High Church party. In 1841, he was appointed Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford. His 1833 Principles of Church Reform is associated with the beginnings of the Broad Church movement.[1] He was also one of the Eminent Victorians in Lytton Strachey's book of that name. [edit] Writings

His chief literary works are his unfinished History of Rome (three volumes 1838-42), and his Lectures on Modern History. He died suddenly of a heart attack in the midst of his growing influence. His biography, Life of Arnold, by Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, one of Arnold's former pupils, is considered one of the best works of its class in the language.[citation needed]

Arnold bought the small estate of Fox How, near Ambleside in the Lake District in 1832, and spent many of his holidays there. He is buried at Rugby chapel. [edit] Family

He married Mary Penrose, daughter of the Rev. John Penrose of Penryn, Cornwall. They had three daughters and four sons, including the poet Matthew Arnold, the literary scholar Tom, and the author William Delafield Arnold. Their eldest daughter Jane Martha married William Edward Forster, and when William Arnold died in 1859, leaving four orphans, the Forsters adopted them as their own, adding their name to the children's surname. One of these children was Hugh Oakeley Arnold-Forster, a Liberal Unionist member of parliament, who eventually became a member of Balfour's cabinet.

Thomas the Younger's daughter Mary Augusta Arnold, became a famous novelist under her married name of Mrs Humphry Ward, whilst Tom's other daughter, Julia, married Leonard Huxley, the son of Thomas Huxley and their sons were Julian and Aldous Huxley. Julia Arnold also founded in 1902 Prior's Field School a still existing girl's school in Godalming, Surrey. Arnold Family Tree (partial) Thomas Arnold 1795-1842 Mary Penrose 1791-1873 Matthew Arnold 1822-1888 Tom Arnold 1823-1900 Julia Sorell 1826-1888 William Delafield Arnold 1828-1859 Jane Martha Arnold 1821-1899 William Edward Forster 1818-1886 Mary Augusta Ward 1851-1920 Julia Arnold 1862-1908 Leonard Huxley 1860-1933 Hugh Oakeley Arnold-Forster 1855-1909 Lucy Story-Maskelyne 1861-1951

Julian Huxley 1887-1975 Aldous Huxley 1894-1963 William Arnold-Forster 1886-1951 Mark Arnold-Forster 1920-1981 Key descent adoption marriage


A more recent public school headmaster, Michael McCrum of Tonbridge School and Eton College in the 1960s through 1980s, and also a churchman and Oxbridge academic (Master of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and Vice-Chancellor), wrote a biography and reappraisal of Arnold in 1991. McCrum was steeped in the significance of Rugby and of public schools; he too had briefly been a master at Rugby and was married to the daughter of another former headmaster.

More recently, a biography entitled Black Tom has been written by Terence Copley. Both McCrum and Copley have sought to restore some of the lustre to the Arnold legacy which has been heavily under attack since Strachey's sardonic appraisal.

A. C. Benson once observed of Arnold that, "A man who could burst into tears at his own dinner-table on hearing a comparison made between St. Paul and St. John to the detriment of the latter, and beg that the subject might never be mentioned again in his presence, could never have been an easy companion".[2]

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Rev. Dr. Thomas Arnold's Timeline

June 13, 1795
Age 25
December 24, 1822
Age 27
Middlesex, UK
November 30, 1823
Age 28
Shepperton, Middlesex, UK
Age 32
June 12, 1842
Age 46