Henry George Allen

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Henry George Allen MA JP QC (29 July 1815 – 20 November 1908)[1] was a British lawyer and Liberal politician.

Early life and career[edit]

Allen was the second son of John Hensleigh Allen of Cresselly, Pembrokeshire and his wife, Lady Gertrude Seymour, daughter of Lord Robert Seymour. His father had been MP for Pembroke and his maternal grandfather had been MP for Carmarthenshire.

Allen was educated at Rugby School and at Christ Church, Oxford and was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn in May 1841. He was Recorder of Andover from 1859 to 1872. In 1880 he became Queen's Counsel and in 1881 a Bencher. He was JP and Chairman of the Quarter Sessions for Pembrokeshire.[2]

Parliamentary career[edit]

Allen was elected Member of Parliament for Pembroke in 1880,[3] and he held the seat until it was reorganised under the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885. In the 1885 general election, he was elected MP for Pembroke and Haverfordwest, narrowly defeating Admiral Richard Mayne. He held the seat until he stood down at the 1886 general election.[4]

Irish Home Rule and retirement from Parliament[edit]

During the 1885-86 Parliament it became clear that Allen's views ran contrary to those of the more radical wing of the Liberal Party. He voted against Lewis Dillwyn's bill proposing disestablishment of the Church of England in Wales, and was absent from the division on the land reform bill introduced by Jesse Collings.[5] To compound matters, Allen voted against Gladstone's Irish Home Rule Bill and joined the ranks of the Liberal Unionists. He was also opposed to Welsh disestablishment.[6]

Admiral Mayne had been re-adopted as Conservative candidate for Pembroke Boroughs following his narrow defeat the previous years and a suggestion was made that Allen contest the Pembrokeshire seat against William Davies with the support of the Conservatives.[5] Meanwhile, the Conservatives of Milford Haven suggested that the party stand down in favour of Allen contesting the Boroughs as a Liberal Unionist.[7] Allen does not appear to have seriously considered either option and it soon became known that he had decided to retire from the Commons.

Shortly after the election was announced, Mayne arrived in the constituency to launch his campaign. At a meeting in Pembroke's Masonic Hall, he emphasised that he had consulted with Allen before travelling to the constituency producing a letter in his possession from Allen confirming his decision to retire.[8]

Later life and death[edit]

He was elected unopposed as a member of Pembrokeshire County Council in 1889, representing the Carew ward. At the first meeting of the council, Allen gained the most votes in the election of aldermen.[9] Soon after he became the first permanent chairman of the county council.

Allen died unmarried at the age of 93.[10]


  1. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "P" (part 1)
  2. ^ Debretts Guide to the House of Commons 1886
  3. ^ Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1977]. British parliamentary election results 1832–1885 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 511. ISBN 0-900178-26-4.
  4. ^ Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1974]. British parliamentary election results 1885–1918 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 461. ISBN 0-900178-27-2.
  5. ^ a b "Local Election Movements. The Situation in Pembrokeshire". Western Mail. 18 June 1886. p. 3. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  6. ^ "Death of Mr H.G. Allen QC. Former Member for Pembroke Boroughs". Pembrokeshire Herald. 27 November 1908. p. 2. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
  7. ^ "The Conservatives and Mr H.G. Allen". Pembrokeshire Herald. 18 June 1886. p. 2. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
  8. ^ "The Representation of the Pembroke and Haverfordwest Boroughs". Pembrokeshire Herald. 2 July 1886. p. 2. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  9. ^ "Pembrokeshire County Council. Election of Aldermen". Pembrokeshire Herald. 25 January 1889. p. 2. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
  10. ^ 'ALLEN, Henry George', Who Was Who, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 1920–2014; online edn, Oxford University Press, 2014 ; online edn, April 2014 accessed 26 April 2014

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Edward Reed
Member of Parliament for Pembroke
Constituency abolished
(see Pembroke & Haverfordwest)
New constituency Member of Parliament for Pembroke and Haverfordwest
Succeeded by
Richard Mayne