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Alen, John

ALEN, JOHN

Archbishop of Dublin, chancellor of Ireland; b. Cottenshall, Norfolk, 1476; d. Hollywood's of Artane, Ireland, July 28, 1534. Alen (Alan, Allen) was the son of Edward Alen and Catherine St. Leger. He took his master of arts degree at Cambridge and was ordained on Aug. 25, 1499. His doctorate of civil and canon law was acquired at Rome, where for 11 years he acted as proctor of the archbishop of Canterbury. He held a variety of benefices, among them the treasurership of St. Paul's and the living of Galby in Leicestershire into which he was inducted by Wolsey. He played his part as minister of the royal supremacy in reducing the clergy to subjection and in the dissolution of the monasteries. After he was consecrated archbishop of Dublin on March 13, 1529, his indefatigable interest in the rights of his see resulted in the Reportorium Viride, a full description of the diocese in 153233, and his register (Liber Niger Alani ). His end came violently, as a result of a false rumor that Gerald Fitzgerald, ninth Earl of Kildare, had been put to death. He sought refuge at Hollywood's of Artane but two retainers of the Fitzgeralds murdered him there.

Bibliography: f. e. ball, The Judges in Ireland 12211921, 2 v. (London 1926) 1:125127, 155156, 198199, passim. c. macneill, ed., Calendar of Archbishop Alen's Register (Dublin 1950). Analecta Hibernica, 10 (1941) 173222. j. gairdner, The Dictionary of National Biography From the Earliest Times to 1900, 63 v. (London 18851900) 1:305307.

[j. j. meagher]

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