born in 1753, was the son of Ann Mitchell and Thomas Arundel, brother of the 6th Baron Arundel of Wardour, but changed his name to Arndell. Before he sailed on the Friendship as an assistant surgeon in 1787, his wife, Ann Focari, died, leaving and son and daughter to be looked after in England.
Arndell was one of ten surgeons on the First Fleet. On 18 July 1787, Elizabeth Barber, a convict accused Arndell of trying to seduce her. But as she was drunk, and Lieutenant Ralph Clark reported that she abused everyone in authority at the same time, her accusation was given little sympathy. Clark praised Arndell's devotion to duty - though he noted that Arndell was tipsy at Rio, but felt it a thoroughly deserved indulgence.
The record of Arndell's 32 years in the colony began on 23 January 1788, when he ran a knife through his hand while out scouting to the south of the planned settlement at Sydney Cove. Clark bound it up, and it did not stop Arndell from making other excusions around the harbour. In June 1789 he accompanied Captain Tench on an expedition from Rose Hill to the Nepean. By this time he was in charge of the hospital and Parramatta, and his medical reports were used as evidence in court.
In 1791, Arndell began farming on a block next to the hospital, and in July 1792 sought permission to retire on a pension and become a settler. Phillip granted him 60 acres on the south side of the creek leading to Parramatta, even though officers were not entitled to such concessions. Arndell settled there with Elizabeth Burleigh, a convict; their son, William, less than 2 years of age, had died in March 1792.
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