Arnall, William

, a political writer of considerable note during the administration of sir Robert Walpole, was originally bred an attorney, but began at the early age of twenty, to write political papers, and succeeded Concanen in the British Journal. His principal paper was the “Free Briton,” under the assumed name of Francis Walsingham, esq. in defence of the measures of sir Robert Walpole, into whose confidence he appears to have crept by every servile profession, and according to the report of the secret committtee, he received no less than 10,997l. 6s. Sd. from the treasury; but this seems improbable, unless, perhaps, he acted as paymaster-general to the writers on the same side. He is said to have enjoyed for himself a pension of 400l. per annum, which, we may suppose, ceased with | the reign of his patron. Dr. Wa’rton thinks Arnall had great talents, but was vain and careless, and after having acquired sufficient for competence, if not for perfect ease, he destroyed himself, having squandered as fast as he received. He is said to have died about 1741, aged twentysix, but other accounts say July 1736. Of his talents, we can form no very high opinion from his writings, and, as Mr. Coxe has justly observed of sir Robert Walpole’s writers in general, they were by no means equal to the task of combating Pulteney, Bolingbroke, and Chesterfield, those Goliaths of opposition. Mr. Arnall wrote the “Letter to Dr. Codex (Dr. Gibson), on his modest instructions to the crown,” in the case of Dr. Rundle, appointed bishop of Londonderry: “Opposition no proof of Patriotism;” “Clodius and Cicero,” and many other tracts on political and temporary subjects. 1


Notes on the Dunciad. Coxe’s Memoirs of Sir R. Walpole. Maty’s Miseellanpous Works of Chesterfield. One of Arnall’s Tracts, entitled “The Complaint of the Children of Israel,” is in vol. IV. of the collection called “The Pillars of Priestcraft and Orthodoxy shaken,