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Allen, William

Allen, William (1532–94). Founding principal of Douai College (1568–85) and cardinal (1587). A Lancashireman, educated at Oriel College, Oxford, he became principal of St Mary's Hall (1556–60), then joined catholic exiles at Louvain (1561). Briefly in England (1562–5), he was ordained at Mechlin, visited Rome, and founded the college at Douai (1568) to give English catholics university education and train missionary priests for reconverting England. He also instigated the Douai translation of the Bible (1582). Visiting Rome again (1575, 1579), he advised the pope about founding the English college there and inspired the Jesuit mission to England (1580). He retired to Rome (1585) in poor health, became cardinal-priest, and died there. Despite his political ineptitude in corresponding with Mary, queen of Scots, supporting the Armada, and misjudging the strength of English catholic patriotism, he was a fine teacher, ardent for the reconversion of England. His college kept the core of English catholicism alive against government attempts to extinguish it.

Revd Dr William M. Marshall

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Allen, William

William Allen, 1704–80, American jurist, b. Philadelphia. He and his father-in-law, Andrew Hamilton, decided the choice of Philadelphia instead of Chester as provincial capital, and he helped finance the building of Independence Hall. Allen was (1750–74) chief justice of Pennsylvania, secured (1763) postponement of the sugar duties, and helped (1765) Benjamin Franklin in his efforts to have the Stamp Act repealed. He wrote The American Crisis (1774), containing a plan for colonial reconciliation with England. When it was not accepted, he made his home in England. Allentown, Pa., was named for him.

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