ARNOLD, John (d.1606), of Llanthony, Mon.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

3rd s. of Sir Nicholas Arnold of Highnam, Glos. and Llanthony by his 2nd w. Margaret, da. ?and coh. of John Isham of Braunston, Northants. educ. M. Temple 1584. m. (1) Anne, da. of Edmund Morgan of Penllwyn Sarth, Mon., 2da.; (2) Anne, da. of William Tanfield of Harpool, Essex, 2s. suc. fa. to Llanthony 1580.1

Offices Held

Escheator, Mon. 1595-6.


Arnold inherited Llanthony, acquired by the family at the dissolution of the monasteries, and his eldest brother the Gloucestershire estates. His possession of Llanthony was disputed in 1597 by William Cooke II, of Highnam, who had married a descendant of Sir Nicholas Arnold. Further, alleging the probability of undue influence on Arnold’s part with the Earl of Worcester, the lord lieutenant, and the Morgans of Penllwyn Sarth, Cooke made strenuous (and apparently successful) efforts with Sir Robert Cecil to prevent Arnold or his kin from becoming sheriff of Monmouthshire, and to ensure the naming of an ‘indifferent’ jury. Arnold’s subsequent suspicion of the Cecils laid him open to the blandishments of the Earl of Essex and his Welsh steward, Gelly Meyrick. Relations were not improved by his longstanding feud with Paul de la Hay, who had married a daughter of William Cecil of Allt yr Ynys, head of the parent branch of the Cecils. William Cecil was in prison in 1599, apparently at the instance of Arnold, whom he accused of using his influence with a distant kinsman, Lord Chief Justice John Popham, for the purpose. Arnold was in Wales at the time of Essex’s rising, but his frequent meetings with Meyrick, and his reported outbursts against the ‘corrupt secretary’, led to close questioning as soon as the revolt had been quelled; and although he escaped punishment his public career was at an end.2

In the Parliament of 1597 Arnold was named to committees dealing with rogues and sturdy beggars (22 Nov.) and with the export of corn (3 Feb. 1598). He was particularly interested in the bill for the relief of soldiers and mariners, speaking on the subject on 26 Jan. 1598, and serving on the committee (22 Nov. 1597, 16 and 20 Jan. 1598). He also intervened in a debate to claim privilege in respect of a writ of privy seal served on him in the court of wards by a fellow-Member. As knight for Monmouthshire, Arnold would also have had the opportunity of serving on committees dealing with the repairing of the bridges of Newport and Caerleon in Monmouthshire (29 Nov.), enclosures (5 Nov.), poor law (5 Nov., 22 Nov.), armour and weapons (8 Nov.), the penal laws (8 Nov.), monopolies (10 Nov.) and the subsidy (15 Nov.).3

On Arnold’s death, 3 Jan. 1606, the wardship of his son Nicholas went to the 3rd Earl of Pembroke.4

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: A.H.D.


  • 1. DNB; DWB, 13-14; P. H. Williams, Council in the Marches of Wales, 342-3; Bradney, Mon. i. 219; C142/288/138; Exchequer ed. T. I. J. Jones (Univ. Wales Bd. of Celtic Studies, Hist. and Law ser. xv), 260.
  • 2. HMC Hatfield, vii. 487; viii. 259, 263, 452, 454; Star Chamber ed. Edwards (Univ. Wales Bd. of Celtic Studies, Hist. and Law ser. i), 116; HMC Hatfield, ix. 206, 367; xi. 125-7; D. Mathew, Celtic Peoples and Renaissance Europe, 349-51.
  • 3. D’Ewes, 552, 553, 555, 557, 560, 561, 565, 581, 584, 588, 592.
  • 4. C142/288/138.