Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Who Was Thomas Arunell?

The Honeyman Ramelli was once owned by Thomas Arundell, 1st Baron Arundell of Wardour. He was born in 1560 and lived until 1639.

  • Eldest son of Sir Matthew Arundel, knight, of Wardour Castle, Wilts by Margaret, daughter of Sir Henry Willoughby of Wollaton, Notts, and grandson of Sir Thomas Arundel, who was created a knight of the Bath at the coronation of Anne Boleyn and beheaded by Edward VI in 1552, on a charge of conspiring against the life of John Dudley, duke of Northumberland.
  • He strongly disapproved of the new doctrines professed by the Reformers and refused to go to Protestant church.
  • He was committed to prison by Queen Elizabeth in the summer of 1580.
  • Upon his release, he obtained permission to travel abroad and entered service with the Archduke Matthias, brother of the Emperor Rudolph II. Elizabeth provided him with a letter of introduction in which she spoke of her “dearest cousin” and described the Arundells as derived from royal blood.
  • Sometime in the early 1590s, he joined his father in entertaining a variety of guests, one of who was Sir John Harrington. One of the topics of conversation during this meeting was toilets. Harrington recorded the interaction as a defense against obscenity in his call for a reformed privy: the New Dicourse of a Stale Sugject, called the Metamorphosis of Ajax.
  • Served as a volunteer in the imperial army in Hungary while his father was still living.
  • Famous for an engagement with the Turks at Gran, September 7 1595, where he was the first into the breech and personally took down their standard
  • Created a count of Holy Roman empire by Rudolph II, December 14th 1595 “for that he had behaved himself manfully in the field, as also, in assaulting divers cities and castles, showed great proof of his valor, and that, in forcing the Water Tower at Gran in Hungary, he took from the Turks, with his own hands, their banners; so that every of his children, and their descendents for ever, of both sexes, should enjoy that title, have place and vote in all imperial diets, purchase lands in the dominions of the empire, list any voluntary soldiers, and not be put to any trial but in the Imperial Chamber.”
  • Upon his return to England in 1596, Arundell’s foreign title was not recognized by his peers who pushed the matter to Queen Elizabeth. She opined that “Betweene Princes and Subjects there is a most straight tye of affections. As chaste women ought not t cast their eye upon any other than their husbands, so neither ought subjects to cast their eyes upon any other Prince, than him whom God have given them. I would not have my sheepe branded with another mans marke; I would not they should follow the whistles of a strange Shephard.” (Kirby, 168) He was imprisoned, again, by Elizabeth prompting Rudolph II to write Elizabeth asking for Arundell’s return to favour.
  • Arundell retired to his ancestral estate but his deeds became well known, earning him the nickname of “the valiant.”
  • In 1605, the Early of Southampton and Thomas Arundell sent Captain George Weymouth to the New World, where he visited Kennebec and brought back good reports.
  • On May 4th 1605, James I created him a baron of England.
  • His first marriage was to Lady Mary Wriothseley, daughter of Henry, Earl of Southampton. He then married Anne, daughter of Miles Philipson, Esquire.
  • Charles I commenced his reign in 1625 by stripping Arundell of all arms due to Arundell’s religious practices.
  • In 1628, Anne Arundel, daughter of Lord Thomas, marries Cecilius Calvert, 2nd Baron of Baltimore and founder of the Maryland colony. Their son, Charles Calvert, 3rd Baron Baltimore, inherited the colony on the death of his father and tried to maintain it as a Catholic colony of Great Britain despite the Protestant majority and ongoing conflict with William Penn over the border between Maryland and Pennsylvania. Charles Calvert was summoned to England in 1684 and was there during the Glorious Revolution. His royal charter to the colony was withdrawn. The conflict with the Penn family was drawn out over several generations and finally resolved in 1732 by Charles Calvert, 5th Baron Baltimore.
  • He died at Wardour Castle on the 7th of November, 1639, at the age of seventy nine.
  • He greatly enlarged Wardour Castle, which was destroyed during the Civil War. His son and successor, Thomas Second Baron was a Royalist and raised a regiment of horse at his own expense for the service of King Charles I. While away, the castle was attacked by the parliamentary forces of Sir Edward Hungerford and Edmund Ludlow. The wife of the second baron held the castle for nine days with only a few men. Upon his return, the baron had his own castle mined and destroyed. The second baron eventually died of the wounds he suffered at the Battle of Lansdowne, 19th May, 1643.


Long, G. (1842-44) The biographical dictionary of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. 4v. London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans.

Rose, Hugh James, Henry John Rose, and Thomas Wright. (1853). A new general biographical dictionary. 12v. London : B. Fellowes.

Eadie, John and John Francis Waller. (1857-1863). The imperial dictionary of universal biography. 16v. London: W. Mackenzie.

Gillow, Joseph. (1885-1902). A literary and biographical history; or, Bibliographical dictionary of the English Catholics, from the breach with Rome, in 1534, to the present time. 5v. New York : B. Franklin.

Kirby, Farell and Kathleen Swain. (2003). The mysteries of Elizabeth I. Amherst : University of Massachusetts Press.

Manning, Roger Burrow. (2004). Swordsmen: The Martial Ethos in the Three Kingdoms. Oxford : Oxford University Press.

Scott-Warren, Jason. (2001). Sir John Harington and the Book as Gift. Oxford : Oxford University Press.