Arnolde, Richard

, one of our ancient English chroniclers, is a writer concerning whom very little information can now be recovered. Stowe says, “Arnolde was a citizen of London, who, being inflamed with the fervente love of good learninge, travailed very studiously therein, and principally in observing matters worthy to be remembred of the posteritye: he noted the charters, liberties, lawes, eonstitucioris and customes of the citie of London. He lived in the year 1519.” Holinshed, in his enumeration of writers, at the end of the reign of Henry VIII. mentions him. as “Arnolde of London,” who “wrote certayne collections touchyng historical! matters.” From his own work, it appears that he was a merchant of | London, trading to Flanders. He is sometimes called a haberdasher, probably from being a member of that ancient company. He resided in the parish of St. Magnus, Lon. don -bridge,, but at one time, from pecuniary embarrassments, was compelled to take shtlter in the sanctuary at Westminster. In the year 1488, he appears to have been confined in the castle of Sluys, in Flanders, on suspicion of being a spy, but was soon liberated; and among the forms and precedents in his work, there is a charter of pardon granted him for treasonable practices at home, but of what description, cannot now be ascertained. It is conjectured that he died about the year 1521, at least seventy years old.

His work, which has been sometimes called “The Custftmesof London,” and sometimes “Arnolde’s Chronicle,” contains a medley of information respecting the magistrates, charters, municipal regulations, assizes of bread, &c. mostly taken from a work of the same kind which is still remaining among the Cottonian Mss. (Julius B. I.) The first edition was printed at Antwerp by John Doesborowe, without date, place, or printer’s name, but probably in 1502. The second was printed by Peter Treveris, about 1520, or 1521, and a third, longo intervallo, at London, 1811, as part of a series of the English chronicles undertaken by some of the principal booksellers of London, and printed with great care and accuracy. It is to the learned preface to this last edition that we are indebted for the preceding particulars respecting Arnolde, and to it likewise we may refer the reader for a discussion on the origin of the celebrated poem, “The Nut-brown Maid,” printed in the same edition. 1


Preface to the edit. 1811. Bale. Pitts. Tanner. Herbert’s Ames, vol. III. Warton’s Hist, of Poetry, vol. III. p. 135.