Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Arnold, Thomas (1679-1737)

ARNOLD, THOMAS (1679–1737), captain in the navy, was descended from a family which had been settled for many generations in Lowestoft, and was, in 1718, first lieutenant of the Superb. He distinguished himself in the battle off Cape Passaro by heading the boarders and carrying the Spanish flagship, the Real Felipe, and in this service he was severely wounded, and lost the use of one arm. His gallantry was rewarded by his promotion, probably by Sir George Byng, to the rank of commander; in 1727 he was advanced to be a captain, appointed to the Fox, and sent to the coast of Carolina, where he was for some time under the orders of Captain Anson. On his return to England he retired from active service and settled at Lowestoft, where he died 31 Aug. 1737. A monument in Lowestoft church still keeps alive his memory, which, throughout the last century, was further distinguished by a local custom now obsolete. 'It is customary,' Wrote Gillingwater in 1790, 'at Lowestoft to hang flags across the streets at weddings. The colours belonging to the Royal Philip taken by Lieutenant Arnold have frequently been made use of upon these occasions.'

[Gillingwater's Historical Account of the ancient Town of Lowestoft (1790), pp. 410-15.]

J. K. L.