Open main menu


ARUNDELL, HUMPHRY (1513–1550), rebel, was the son of Roger Arundell of Lanherne by Johanna, daughter and heir of Humphry Calwodeley, both of whom belonged to the principal Cornish families of the time. He was born in 1513, and on the death of his parents in 1536 came into possession of extensive estates in his native county. On the dissolution of the priory of St. Michael's Mount in Cornwall in 1539 he received a grant of its revenues, and its government was placed in his hands. In June 1549 a serious insurrection broke out in Cornwall and Devon, partly through the indignation of the poor at the numerous enclosures of common-lands, but more especially through their sympathy with the Roman catholic religion. Humphry Arundell was the chief Cornishman who sided with the insurgents, and he became their leader. Unfortunately for the ultimate success of his cause, which was at first triumphant, he stopped to besiege Exeter, in the belief that it would soon capitulate. Contrary to his expectation the city held out bravely, and Lord Russell had time to collect the royal forces. For two days (4 and 5 Aug.) a fierce battle raged round St. Mary Clyst, when the insurgents were beaten. The contest was resumed with the same result at Sampford Courtenay, when Arundell fled to Launceston. In compliance with the directions of the council, he was seized and sent to London, and, after having being tried at Westminster, was executed at Tyburn on 27 Jan. 1550. Spirited narratives of the rebellion of 1549 are printed in Froude's 'History' (v. 169-200), and in Cotton and Woollcombe's 'Gleanings from Records of Exeter.' Arundell's estates were forfeited and granted to others; his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Fulford of Devon, subsequently married Thomas Cary of the same county.

[Maclean's Trigg Minor, ii. 9, 39; Hals's Hist, of Cornwall in Davies Gilbert's Hist. ii. 191-8; Bibliotheca Cornub. iii. 1037, 1468, col. 1.]

W. P. C.