A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Arnold, Thomas

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Arnold, Thomas (1795-1842). -- Historian, s. of an inland revenue officer in the Isle of Wight, was ed. at Winchester and Oxford, and after some years as a tutor, was, in 1828, appointed Head Master of Rugby. His learning, earnestness, and force of character enabled him not only to raise his own school to the front rank of public schools, but to exercise an unprecedented reforming influence on the whole educational system of the country. A liberal in politics, and a zealous church reformer, 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 Professor of Modern History at Oxford. His chief literary works are his unfinished History of Rome (three vols. 1838-42), and his Lectures on Modern History. He d. suddenly of angina pectoris in the midst of his usefulness and growing influence. His life, by Dean Stanley (q.v.), is one of the best works of its class in the language.