1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Arundell of Wardour, Thomas Arundell, 1st Baron
ARUNDELL OF WARDOUR, THOMAS ARUNDELL, 1st Baron (c. 1562-1639), son of Sir Mathew Arundell of Wardour Castle in Wiltshire, a member of the ancient family of Arundells of Lanherne in Cornwall, and of Margaret, daughter of Sir Henry Willoughby, was born about 1562. In 1579 he was personally recommended by Queen Elizabeth to the emperor Rudolph II. He greatly distinguished himself while serving with the imperial troops against the Turks in Hungary, and at the siege of Gran or Esztergom on the 13th of August 1595, he captured the enemy’s banner with his own hand. He was created by Rudolph II. a count of the Holy Roman Empire in December 1595, and returned to England after suffering shipwreck and barely preserving his life in January 1596. His assumption of the foreign title created great jealousy among the English peers, who were wont to give a precedence by courtesy to foreign nobles, and he incurred the resentment of his father, who objected to his superior rank and promptly disinherited him. The queen, moreover, was seriously displeased, declared that “as chaste wives should have no glances but for their own spouses, so should faithful subjects keep their eyes at home and not gaze upon foreign crowns,” and committed him to the Fleet immediately on his arrival, while she addressed a long letter of remonstrance on the subject to the emperor. Arundell remained under arrest till April, when he was liberated after an examination. In April 1597, however, he was again confined, but declared innocent of any charge save that of “practising to contrive the justification of his vain title with Ministers beyond the seas.” In December he was liberated and placed under the care of his father, but next year he was again arrested and accused of a conspiracy against the government. His petitions for a licence to undertake an expedition by sea, wherein he declared “his end was honour which some base minds call ambition,” were refused, but in 1599 he was apparently again restored to favour. On the 4th of May 1605 he was created by James I. Baron Arundell of Wardour, but fell again under temporary suspicion at the time of the Gunpowder Plot. In 1623 he once more got into trouble by championing the cause of the recusants, of whom he was himself one, on the occasion of the visit of the Spanish envoys, and he was committed to custody, and in 1625 all the arms were removed by the government from Wardour Castle. After the accession of Charles I. he was pardoned, and attended the sittings of the House of Lords. He was indicted in the king’s bench about the year 1627 for not paying some contribution, and in 1632 he was accused of harbouring a priest. In 1637 he was declared exempt from the recusancy laws by the king’s order, but in 1639 he again petitioned for relief. The same year he paid £500 in lieu of attending the king at York. He died on the 7th of November 1639. Arundell was an earnest Roman Catholic, but the suspicions of the government as to his loyalty were probably unfounded and stifled a career destined by nature for successful adventure. He married (1) Mary, daughter of Henry Wriothesley, 2nd earl of Southampton, by whom besides other children he had Thomas, who succeeded him as 2nd baron; and (2) Anne, daughter of Miles Philipson, by whom he had several daughters.
Henry Arundell, 3rd Baron Arundell of Wardour (c. 1607-1694), son of Thomas, 2nd baron, and of Blanche, daughter of Edward, earl of Worcester, was born on the 21st of July 1607, and succeeded on his father’s death in 1643 to the family title and estates. A strong royalist and Roman Catholic, he supported the king’s cause, and distinguished himself in 1644 by the recapture of his castle at Wardour from the parliamentarians, who had taken it in the previous year in spite of his mother’s brave defence of the place. In 1648 he was one of the delinquents exempted from pardon in the proposals sent to Charles in the Isle of Wight. His estates had been confiscated, but he was permitted about 1653 to compound for them in the sum of £35,000. In 1652, in consequence of his being second at a duel in which one of the combatants was killed, he was arrested, and tried in 1653; he pleaded his peerage, but the privilege was disallowed as the House of Lords had been abolished. At the Restoration he regained possession of the family estates, and in 1663 was made master of the horse to Henrietta Maria. He was one of the few admitted to the king’s confidence concerning the projects for the restoration of the Roman Catholic religion and the alliance with France. In 1669 he took part in the secret council assembled by Charles II., and in October was sent to France, ostensibly for the funeral of Henrietta Maria, but in reality to negotiate with Louis XIV. the agreement which took shape in 1670 in the treaties of Dover (see Charles II.). In 1676 he was privy to James’s negotiations with Rome through Coleman. He was accused in 1678 by Titus Oates of participation in the popish plot, and was one of the five Roman Catholic peers arrested and imprisoned in the Tower in October, found guilty by the Middlesex grand jury of high treason, and impeached subsequently by the parliament. Lord Stafford was found guilty and executed in December 1680, but after the perpetration of this injustice the proceedings were interrupted, and the three surviving peers were released on bail on the 12th of February 1684. On the 22nd of May 1685, after James II.’s accession, the charge was annulled, and on the 1st of June 1685 they obtained their full liberty. In February 1686, with other Roman Catholics, Arundell urged upon the king the removal of his mistress, Lady Dorchester, on account of her strong Protestantism. In spite of his religion he was made a privy councillor in August 1686, and keeper of the privy seal in 1687, being excused from taking the oaths by the king’s dispensation. He presented the thanks of the Roman Catholics to James in June 1687 for the declaration of indulgence. His public career ended with the abdication of the king, and he retired to Breamore, the family residence since the destruction of Wardour Castle. He died on the 28th of December 1694. He was the author of five religious poems said to be composed during his confinement in the Tower in 1679, published the same year and reprinted in A Collection of Eighty-six Loyal Poems in 1685. His piety and benevolence to his unfortunate co-religionists were conspicuous. Evelyn calls him “very good company” and he was a noted sportsman, the Quorn pack being descended from his pack of hounds at Breamore. He married Cecily, daughter of Sir Henry Compton, by whom besides other children he had Thomas, who succeeded him as 4th baron.
The barony is still held in the Arundell family, which has never ceased to be Roman Catholic. The 14th baron (b. 1859) was a direct descendent of the 6th.