Joseph Allen (bishop)

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Bishop Allen, by Thomas Phillips

Joseph Allen, DD (1770[1]–20 March 1845) was a British clergyman. He was the son of William Allen and his wife Nelly Livesey. William Allen (d.1792) was a partner in Manchester's first Bank, Byrom, Allen, Sedgwick and Place (founded 1771) but was made bankrupt in 1788 on the failure of the Bank. This was despite inheriting £20,000 from his father, John Allen, of Davyhulme Hall, Eccles.[2][3][4][5]

Allen was educated at the Free Grammar School, Manchester and at Trinity College, Cambridge where he subsequently appointed to a fellowship. He was ordained deacon in 1799 and priest in 1800. He was private secretary to the 2nd Earl Spencer and tutor to his son, the 3rd Earl Spencer, when Viscount Althorp. He was appointed a prebendary of Westminster Abbey on 4 October 1806[6] which appointment he held until 1836, vicar of Battersea in 1808 (Battersea was in the gift of Lord Spencer) and vicar of St Bride's, Fleet Street in 1829. The fact that Allen held more than one living at the same time was not uncommon in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.[5][7][8]

He was Bishop of Bristol from 1834 to 1836, when he was translated to become Bishop of Ely. He died in that office in 1845. There is a memorial to him in the South Choir Aisle of Ely Cathedral.

It was during Allen's episcopate (in 1837) that the Counties of Huntingdon and Bedford, and the Archdeaconry of Sudbury were added to the Diocese.

By his wife Margaret Ashley (whom he married on 19 May 1807 at Frodsham, Cheshire),[9] Dr Allen had two sons, George John (born 1810)(an Orator of Trinity College Cambridge and Master of Dulwich College) and William Joseph (1812–1888)(Bengal Civil Service (1829–1865)),[10] and one daughter, Ellen.[2]

Memorial to Bishop Joseph Allen in Ely Cathedral


  1. ^ Baptised 6 December 1770, St Ann's Manchester
  2. ^ a b The Gentleman's Magazine, Vol 21, p.668
  3. ^ "Early History of Davyhulme Hall". Archived from the original on December 1, 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-28. 
  4. ^ Richard Lawson (1898) A history of Flixton, Urmston, and Davyhulme
  5. ^ a b William EA Axon (Ed) The annals of Manchester: a chronological record from the earliest times to the end of 1885
  6. ^ The London Gazette, Issue 15962, page 1307
  7. ^ William Carpenter (1837) Peerage for the people
  8. ^ Edward Alan Bloom and Lillian D. Bloom (Eds)(1999) The Piozzi Letters: Correspondence of Hester Lynch Piozzi, 1784-1821, vol. 5, 1811-1816, ISBN 0-87413-394-7
  9. ^ The Athenæum, July to December 1807 Vol II
  10. ^ Wikisource:List of Carthusians, 1800–1879/A
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Robert Gray
Bishop of Bristol
Succeeded by
James Monk
as Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol
Preceded by
Bowyer Edward Sparke
Bishop of Ely
Succeeded by
Thomas Turton