THOMAS ARNOLD (13 June 1795 – 12 June 1842) was an English educator
and historian. Arnold was an early supporter of the Broad Church
Anglican movement. He was the 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
* 2.2 Oxford University
* 3 Writings
* 4 Family
* 5 Reputation
* 6 Depictions on screen
* 7 Works
* 8 Notes
* 9 Further reading
* 10 External links
EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION
Arnold was born on the
Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight , the son of William Arnold, a
Customs officer, and his wife Martha Delafield. William Arnold was
related to the Arnold family of gentry from Lowestoft. Thomas was
educated at Lord Weymouth\'s Grammar School ,
Warminster , Winchester
Corpus Christi College, Oxford
Corpus Christi College, Oxford . There he excelled at Classics
and was made a fellow of Oriel in 1815. He was headmaster of a school
Laleham before moving to Rugby.
CAREER AS AN EDUCATOR
Arnold's appointment to the headship of
Rugby School in 1828, after
some years as a private 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 England. Though
he introduced history, mathematics and modern languages, he based his
teaching on the classical languages . "I assume it as the foundation
of all my view of the case, that boys at a public school never will
learn to speak or pronounce French well, under any circumstances," so
it would be enough if they could "learn it grammatically as a dead
language." Physical science was not taught because, in Arnold's view,
"it must either take the chief place in the school curriculum, or it
must be left out altogether." Arnold was also opposed to the
materialistic tendency of physical science, a view deriving from his
Christian idealism. He wrote that "rather than have the principal
thing in my son's mind, I would gladly have him think that the sun
went round the earth, and that the stars were so many spangles set in
the bright blue firmament. Surely the one thing needful for a
Christian and an Englishman to study is Christian and moral and
Arnold developed the
Praepostor (prefect ) system in which the
sixth-form students were given powers over every part of the school
(carefully managed by himself) and kept order in the establishment.
The 1857 novel by
Thomas Hughes , Tom Brown\'s School Days portrays a
generation of boys "who feared the Doctor with all our hearts, and
very little besides in heaven or earth; who thought more of our sets
in the School than of the Church of Christ, and put the traditions of
Rugby and the public opinion of boys in our daily life above the laws
Arnold was not a great enthusiast for sport, which was permitted as
an alternative to poaching or fighting with local boys and which did
not become part of Rugby's curriculum until 1850. He described his
educational aims as being the cure of souls first, moral development
the second, and intellectual development the third. However, this did
not prevent Baron de Coubertin from considering him the father of the
organized sport he admired when he visited English public schools,
including Rugby in 1886. When looking at Arnold's tomb in the school
chapel he recalled he felt, suddenly, as if he were looking upon "the
very cornerstone of the British empire". Coubertin is thought to have
exaggerated the importance of sport to Thomas Arnold, whom he viewed
as "one of the founders of athletic chivalry". The character-reforming
influence of sport with which Coubertin was so impressed is more
likely to have originated in the novel Tom Brown\'s School Days rather
than exclusively in the ideas of Arnold himself. "Thomas Arnold, the
leader and classic model of English educators," wrote Coubertin, "gave
the precise formula for the role of athletics in education. The cause
was quickly won. Playing fields sprang up all over England."
Arnold was involved in many controversies, educational and religious.
As a churchman he was a decided
Erastian , and strongly opposed to the
High Church party. His 1833 Principles of Church Reform is associated
with the beginnings of the
Broad Church movement. In 1841, he was
Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford .
Arnold's chief literary works are his unfinished History of Rome
(three volumes 1838-42), and his Lectures on Modern History. Far more
often read were his five books of sermons, which were admired by a
wide circle of pious readers including
Queen Victoria .
Arnold married Mary Penrose , daughter of the Rev. John Penrose of
Cornwall . They had five daughters and five sons, including
Matthew Arnold , the literary scholar Tom , the author
William Delafield Arnold and Edward Penrose Arnold, the inspector of
schools. One daughter died in infancy. The eldest daughter Jane
William Edward Forster
William Edward Forster , and when William Delafield
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
Hugh Oakeley Arnold-Forster , a Liberal Unionist
MP, who eventually became a member of Balfour 's cabinet. Another of
the children was Florence Vere O\'Brien , a diarist, philanthropist,
and craftswoman who lived in
Ireland . Frances Bunsen Trevenen
Whateley Arnold, the youngest daughter, never married and died at Fox
How in 1923.
Arnold had bought the small estate of Fox How, near
Ambleside in the
Lake District in 1832, and spent many of his holidays there. On the 12
June 1842 he died there suddenly of a heart attack "at the height of
his powers". He is buried at Rugby chapel.
Thomas the Younger's daughter
Mary Augusta Arnold , became a well
known 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 founded in 1902 Prior\'s Field School for girls, in Godalming,
Arnold family tree (partial)
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William Delafield Arnold
Jane Martha Arnold
William Edward Forster
William Edward Forster
Mary Augusta Ward
H. O. Arnold-Forster
The biography, Life of Arnold, published two years after his early
death by one of Arnold's former pupils
Arthur Penrhyn Stanley
Arthur Penrhyn Stanley , is
considered one of the best works of its class in the language and
added to his growing reputation. A popular life of him by the novelist
Emma Jane Guyton also appeared. In 1896 his bust was unveiled in
Westminster Abbey alongside that of his son, Matthew and The Times
asserted that "As much as any who could be named, Arnold helped to
form the standard of manly worth by which Englishmen judge and submit
to be judged." However, his reputation suffered as one of the Eminent
Lytton Strachey 's book of that name published in 1918.
A more recent public-school headmaster,
Michael McCrum of Tonbridge
Eton College in the 1960s to 1980s, and also a churchman
and Oxbridge academic (Master of
Corpus Christi College, Cambridge
Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and
Vice-Chancellor), wrote a biography and reappraisal of Arnold in 1991.
He had briefly been a master at Rugby and was married to the daughter
of another former headmaster.
More recently, a biography entitled Black Tom was 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. In 2015, Ian Cameron, published
\'Learning from the Master\', a compilation of forty thoughts drawn
from Arnold's writings, as an aid to teachers and other educators in
their work (particularly those who share Arnold's belief that
education should be Christ-centred). Cameron's volume continues in the
same vein as McCrum and Copley, seeking to recover some of Arnold's
A. C. Benson once observed of Arnold, "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." Posthumously,
Thomas Arnold was an
influence on Baron Coubertin who started the modern Olympic movement .
DEPICTIONS ON SCREEN
Arnold has been played several times in adaptations of Tom Brown\'s
School Days , including by Sir
Cedric Hardwicke in the 1940 film
Robert Newton in the 1951 film version,
Iain Cuthbertson in
the 1971 television version and
Stephen Fry in the 2005 television
* The Christian Duty of Granting the Claims of the Roman Catholics
(pamphlet) Rugby, 1828.
* Sermons Preached in the Chapel of Rugby School, London: Fellowes,
1850 (first edition, 1832).
* Principles of Church Reform, Oxford: Fellowes,1833.
* History of Rome, London: Fellowes, 1838.
* Introductory Lectures on Modern History, London: Longmans, Green
-webkit-column-width: 30em; column-width: 30em; list-style-type:
* ^ Muskett, J. J.: "The Arnold Family of Lowestoft". In: Suffolk
Manorial Families, being the County Visitations and other Pedigrees
from The Manorial Families of Suffolk (Exeter, 1900–1914).
* ^ A B Strachey, Lytton (1918), Eminent Victorians, p. 173
* ^ J. J. Findlay (ed.), Arnold of Rugby: His School Life and
Contributions to Education (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
1897), p. xvii.
Thomas Hughes (1857), "7", Tom Brown\'s Schooldays
* ^ Beale, Catherine (2011). Born out of Wenlock, William Penny
Brookes and the British origins of the Olympics. DB Publishing. pp.
118–119. ISBN 978-1-85983-967-6 . Coubertin would be better known
for promoting the first International Olympic Games of 1896.
* ^ Muddied Oafs, The Soul of Rugby, Richard Beard, Yellow Jersey
Press, 2004, ISBN 0224063944
* ^ Physical exercises in the modern world. Lecture given at the
Sorbonne, November 1892.
* ^ Timothy Hands, Thomas Hardy: Distracted Preacher? London:
Macmillan Press, 1989, p. 3.
* ^ A B Hopkinson, David (1981) Edward Penrose Arnold, A Victorian
* ^ Ancestry site
Prior's Field School – A Century Remembered 1902–2002 by
Margaret Elliott, published by
Prior's Field School Trust Ltd, ISBN
* ^ Worboise , Emma Jane: The Life of
Thomas Arnold D. D. (London,
* ^ Sir Joshua Fitch (1897), Thomas and
Matthew Arnold and their
influence on English education, London, Heinemann, pp. 1, 56
* ^ J. A. Gere and John Sparrow (ed.), Geoffrey Madan's Notebooks,
Oxford University Press, 1981
* This article incorporates text from a publication now in the
public domain : Cousin, John William (1910). A Short Biographical
Dictionary of English Literature . London: J. M. Dent & Sons.
Arthur Penrhyn Stanley
Arthur Penrhyn Stanley , The Life and Correspondence of Thomas
Arnold, London: Fellowes, 1845 (original 1844).
* Tom Hughes, Tom Brown's School Days, London: Penguin, 1994
* Jann, Rosemary The Art and Science of Victorian History (1985) pp
1–32 online free
Lytton Strachey , Eminent Victorians, London, 1918, available
online at http://www.bartleby.com/189/301.html
* Michael McCrum, Thomas Arnold, Headmaster, Oxford: Oxford
University Press, 1989.
* Terrence Copley, Black Tom: Arnold of Rugby: The Myth and the Man,
New York: Continuum, 2002.
Peter Bayne , Men Worthy to Lead; Being Lives of John Howard ,
William Wilberforce ,
Thomas Chalmers , Thomas Arnold, Samuel Budgett
, John Foster , London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co. Ltd,
Bibliolife , ISBN 1-152-41551-4 .
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