Papers of Dr Thomas Arnold (1795-1842)

Scope and Content

Personal notebooks, notes for sermons, notes on Roman history, and several single items.

Administrative / Biographical History

Born in 1795, from the first Thomas Arnold showed exceptional ability, winning scholarships to Winchester and Oxford, and election to a fellowship to Oriel College at the age of 19; although religious scruples denied him an academic career, scholarship remained a great love - one of the reasons that he was so reluctant to leave his own school at Laleham was the freedom it gave him to write on scholarly and topical matters. It was during this time that he began work on Roman history which was to culminate in his massive "History of Rome" published during the Rugby years.

Arnold was curiously modern in his appreciation of the value of classical study not purely as a end in itself, but as a means of better understanding the present by understanding the past, and he reflected this in his own teaching and in his curriculum as a whole. However, his great contribution to education lay not so much in specific innovations as in his overall emphasis on religious and moral training, on the school as a Christian community; to this end he persuaded the Trustees to appoint him School Chaplain as well as Headmaster and he relished the opportunity afforded by his weekly sermons of addressing the boys directly on Christian issues.

A devoted family man, Thomas also sought to inculcate these values in his own children, and the same interests- education, Christian teaching and independent religious thought, and scholarship - distinguish the lives of subsequent generations of Arnolds.

The Dr Thomas Arnold Papers are a subcollection of Balliol College's Arnold Family papers; the Balliol connection is through Matthew Arnold (1822-1888, Balliol 1841).

Arrangement

The Dr Thomas Arnold Papers are a subcollection of Balliol College's Arnold Family papers; the Balliol connection is through Matthew Arnold (1822-1888, Balliol 1841).

Conditions Governing Access

This material is open to researchers.

Appraisal Information

This material will be retained permanently.

Accruals

None expected.

Related Material

Letters by Dr Thomas Arnold are part of the Jenkyns Papers at Balliol College; see catalogue at http://archives.balliol.ox.ac.uk/Modern%20Papers/Jenkyns/jenkynscat3f12.asp



Balliol College's papers of several other members of the Arnold family, including Matthew Arnold (1822-1888, Balliol 1841), Thomas (Tom) Arnold (1823-1900), and Mary Augusta Arnold, Mrs Humphry Ward (1851-1920), are listed at http://archives.balliol.ox.ac.uk/Modern%20Papers/Arnold/arnoldintro.asp