Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Arnall, William

ARNALL, WILLIAM (1715?–1741?), political writer, was bred as an attorney, but took to political writing before he was twenty. He was one of the authors in Walpole's pay who replied to the 'Craftsman' and the various attacks of Bolingbroke and Pulteney. He wrote the 'Free Briton' under the signature of Francis Walsingham, and succeeded Concanen in the 'British Journal.' One of his tracts, in which he disputes certain claims of the clergy in regard to tithes, is reprinted in 'The Pillars of Priestcraft and Orthodoxy shaken.' 'A letter to Dr. Codex [Dr. Gibson] on his modest instructions to the Crown,' and 'Opposition no proof of Patriotism,' upon Rundle's appointment to the see of Londonderry, are attributed to him. The report of the committee of inquiry into Walpole's conduct states that in the years 1731-41 a sum of 50,077l. 18s. was paid to the authors of newspapers from the secret service money, and from a schedule appended it seems that Arnall received in four years 10,997'l. 6s. 8d. of this sum. It does not appear whether he received any part of this on behalf of others or for printing expenses. Arnall is also said to have received a pension of 400l. a year. He is said to have died at the age of twenty-six in 1741, though 'other accounts' say 1736. Pope attacked him in the 'Dunciad' (Bk. ii. 315), where his name was substituted for Welsted's in 1735, and in the epilogue to the 'Satires' (Dialogue ii. 129): 'Spirit of Arnall, aid me whilst I lie!'

[Chalmers's Biog. Dict.; Pope's Dunciad; Maty's Miscellaneous Works of Chesterfield, p. 5.]