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.
Ascham, Roger (1515-1568).—Didactic writer and scholar, s. of John A., house-steward in the family of Lord Scrope, was b. at Kirby Wiske, Yorkshire, and ed. first by Sir Humphrey Wingfield, and then at St. John's Coll., Cambridge, where he devoted himself specially to the study of Greek, then newly revived, and of which, having taken a fellowship, he became a teacher. He was likewise noted for his skill in penmanship, music, and archery, the last of which is the subject of his first work, Toxophilus, pub. In 1545, and which, dedicated to Henry VIII., gained him the favour of the King, who bestowed a pension upon him. The objects of the book are twofold, to commend the practice of shooting with the long bow as a manly sport and an aid to national defence, and to set the example of a higher style of composition than had yet been attempted in English. Soon afterwards he was made university orator, and master of languages to the Lady (afterwards Queen) Elizabeth. He then went abroad in various positions of trust, returning on being appointed Latin Secretary to Edward VI. This office he likewise discharged to Mary and then to Elizabeth—a testimony to his tact and caution in these changeful times. His principal work, The Schoolmaster, a treatise on education, was printed by his widow in 1570. He also pub. a book on the political state of Germany.
Asgill, John (1659-1738).—Eccentric writer, student at the Middle Temple, 1686, and called to the Bar 1692. In 1699 he pub. in an unlucky hour a pamphlet to prove that death was not obligatory upon Christians, which, much to his surprise, aroused the public wrath and led to his expulsion from the Irish and English House of Commons successively. A. thereafter fell on evil days, and passed the rest of his life between the Fleet and the King's Bench, where, strange to say, his zeal as a pamphleteer continued unabated. He d. in 1738.
Ashmole, Elias (1617-1692).—Antiquary, was ed. at Lichfield, and became a solicitor in 1638. On the breaking out of