Anthony Allen (lawyer)

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Anthony Allen (died 11 April 1754) was an English lawyer and antiquary


Allen was born at Great Hadham in Hertfordshire, about the end of the seventeenth century. He went to Eton College and King's College, Cambridge, earning his bachelor's degree in 1707, and his master's in 1711.[1] He then studied law, was called to the bar, and by the influence of Arthur Onslow, speaker of the House of Commons, became a master in chancery. He was esteemed a good classical scholar, and a man of wit and convivial habits. He became afterwards an alderman of the corporation of Guildford, and a useful magistrate in that area. In 1739 he served as a founding governor of the Foundling Hospital in London. He died on 11 April 1754 and was buried in the Temple Church.


Allen collected a biographical account of the members of Eton College, which by his will, dated 1753, he ordered to be placed in the libraries of the two colleges, and a third copy to be given to his patron, Christian Cronauer. He also compiled, in his leisure hours, or rather made collections for, an English dictionary of obsolete words, of words which have changed their meaning, such as villain, knave, and of proverbial or cant words, such as helter skelter, which he derived from hilariter celeriter. It is not known what became of this manuscript. He bequeathed his fortune, and probably his books, to a brother who was a Turkish merchant.


  1. ^ "Allen, Anthony (ALN702A)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  • Chalmers, Alexander. The General Biographical Dictionary: Containing an Historical and Critical Account of the Lives and Writings of the most Eminent Persons in Every Nation; Particularly the British and Irish; from the Earliest Accounts to the Present Time. new ed. rev. and enl. London: Nichols [et al.], 1812-1817. 32 vols.