Eric Stokes, 5 March 1981
Tom Arnold owes the preservation of his name to his connections. Although he ended life as an obscure don in the struggling Catholic university at Dublin, his lineage and acquaintances kept him close to those who set their mark on the public life of 19th-century Britain: second and favourite son of Dr Arnold of Rugby, brother of Matthew and William Delafield Arnold, brother-in-law of W.E. Forster, father of Mrs Humphry Ward, grandfather of Julian and Aldous Huxley and of Mrs G.M. Trevelyan. His knockabout career helped enlarge his connections. At Oxford he stood on even closer terms of friendship with Clough than did his brother Matthew, despite all the effusive lamentation of the latter’s Thyrsis’. Emigrating in 1847 to New Zealand and then in 1849 to Tasmania, Tom Arnold made friends with Alfred Domett, Browning’s ‘Waring’, and with F.A. Weld and Andrew Clarke, both subsequently important as Singapore proconsuls at the time of British expansion into the Malayan peninsula. His conversion to Catholicism in 1855, and his enforced resignation as Tasmania’s inspector of schools, brought him back to Britain and to Newman’s door.