Rev. John Allin, of Norfolk & Dedham

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Rev. John Allin, of Norfolk & Dedham's Geni Profile

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John Allin, M.A.

Also Known As: "John Allyn", "John Allin", "John Allen"
Birthplace: Colby, Norfolk, England
Death: Died in Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts
Immediate Family:

Son of Reginald Allen, Gentleman and Margoria
Husband of Margaret Allin and Katherine Allin
Father of Rev. John Allin, of Rye & Woodbridge; Benjamin Allin; Dr. Daniel Allen, of Boston and Eleazer Allin
Brother of Anna Toll; Grace Porter; Em Allen; Richard Allen; Francis Allen and 7 others

Occupation: Minister
Managed by: Gwyneth McNeil
Last Updated:

About Rev. John Allin, of Norfolk & Dedham

John Allin crossed the Atlantic in 1637 and settled in Dedham, where he was ordained as pastor of the newly organized church in 1639. He had married in 1622 in Wrentham Suffolk Eng. Four men of that name had received both BA and MA degrees at Cambridge from 1618-1621 and John Allin of Dedham [Mass] has long been identified as the one who had attended Gonville and Caius College.....A search of records of these parishes soon revealed that John Allin had been rector of Saxlingham iuxta Mare, in north-central Norfolk, from 1624 through 1637.

In the Bishop of Norwich consignation books was "In the case of John Allin the consignation books stated that he was a Master of Arts and that he had been ordained at Petersbourough on 6 Aug 1620. This then necessitated a trip to the Northamptonshire Record Office at Delapre Abbey, where an inspection of the ordination registers of the Bishop of Peterborough showed that the John Allin ordained on that date had attended Christ's College at Cambridge and not Caius. This identified the Dedham minister as the John Allin who had received his BA at Cambridge on 12 August 1616, whose parentage is not known, and not the Goville and Caius graduate whose father was Reginald Allin of Colby." -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- John Allen, or John Allin (1596–1671) was one of the patriarchs of New England associated with the foundation of Dedham, Massachusetts.

To America

About the year 1637–8 he accompanied a band of English Puritanism to New England, ‘being obliged to go on board the ship which was to convey him thither in disguise, in order to elude pursuit.’ In 1639 he was ‘chosen pastor of the congregational church of Dedham, Massachusetts,’ where he continued ‘much beloved and useful all the rest of his days,’ only now and again accompanying Eliot in his ‘labours’ among the Indians.

Allen was more than a pastor and preacher. Though of rare patience and peacefulness, he could take a stand when called to it. Necessity was laid on him to do so very strongly and peremptorily. In 1646 an attempt which was made to bring the colonists into subjection to the British parliament produced passionate resistance. Allen was chosen to be the ‘voice’ of the colony, and he submitted a statesmanlike paper in ‘a manly and decided tone,’ marking the just limitations of colonial allegiance and imperial rights, and fully sustaining the colonists.

He was twice married. His first wife, Margaret, went over with him to New England. Shortly after her death he married his second wife Katharine, widow of Governor Thomas Dudley. He left three sons, and all over the United States to-day families are found to trace their descent from him. He died on 26 August 1671. His bereaved congregation published his last two sermons: the one from Song of Solomon viii. 5, and the other from St. John xiv. 22. In their preface the editors denominate him ‘a constant, faithful, diligent steward in the house of God, a man of peace and truth, and a burning and shining light.’ These two sermons were some years since reprinted in a memorial volume, entitled The Dedham Pulpit.


  1. Hutchinson, Frank Allen, and Louis Starkey. Genealogical and historical sketches of the Allen family of Dedham and Medfield, Mass., 1637-1890. (Washington [District of Columbia]: Library of Congress Photoduplication Service, 1977), 11. "Child of Reginald Allin of Colby, Norfolk, England, recorded in Colby register: John, bp. 22 May 1597, first pastor of the church in Dedham, Mass." [In an article, "Rev. John Allin of Dedham", by Prof. William F. Allen, Source:NEHGR, p. 42:267, suggests this might be 22 Mar 1596/97, to explain why Mather says he was born in 1596.]


  1. A Brief Sketch of the Rev. John Allin, the first minister of Dedham, Mass.
  2. Reginald Allin of Colby, Suffolk, England in Genealogical and historical sketches of the Allen family of Dedham and Medfield, Mass., 1637-1890 ...Comp. by Frank Allen Hutchinson ...Published 1896 by Priv. print. in Lowell, Mass . Written in English. Page 10-11
  3. Covenant of the First Church in Dedham: with some facts of history and ...By First Church (Dedham, Mass.). Page 28.

Additional Biography

John Allin attended Paston Grammar School in North Walsham (Norfolk) three years, studying under Michael Tylles, its first headmaster. He then matriculated at Cambridge University (apparently Caius College), receiving a BA (1615) and an MA (1619). In 1620 he became curate of St. Mary at the Quay, Ipswich (Suffolk). He was among those who ran afoul of Archbishop William Laud's Visitations 1634-1637. He was probably the John Allen who was "silenced by Bishop (Matthew) Wren in 1637 and afterwards emigrated to America". He is said to have fled England, perhaps in disguise, under threat of arrest. He traveled in the company of John Fiske, later the first minister at Chelmsford. He probably departed from Ipswich, the main center for emigration to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The date is unknown, but he first appears in Dedham on 18 July 1637.

  • Prof. William F. Allen, Rev. John Allen, or Allin, the First Minister of Dedham in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Volume 41(Jan. 1887), 68-9.
  • Charles Harold Evelyn White, Queries in East Anglian, Or, Notes and Queries on Subjects Connected with the Counties of Suffolk, Cambridge, Essex and Norfolk, Volume 1 (1886), 166.
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Rev. John Allin, of Norfolk & Dedham's Timeline

May 22, 1597
Colby, Norfolk, England
May 22, 1597
Colby, Norfolk, England
May 22, 1597
Colby, Norfolk, England
May 22, 1597
Colby, Norfolk, England
October 22, 1622
Age 25
Wrentham, Suffolk, England
October 13, 1623
Age 26
Wrentham, Suffolk, England
November 8, 1638
Age 41
Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States

Shortly after the town of Dedham was first settled, a group of eight men founded the First Church in Dedham on November 8, 1638.  It was established as a completely independent church without any affiliation to a religious organization.  The congregation initially consisted of two separate bodies, the Parish and Church, a common arrangement in those days.  The Parish was composed of the entire town, and tax money was used to support the church.  All eligible (male) voters could vote on Parish matters.  The Church consisted of those who applied and were accepted as members.

John Allin was the first minister. "In 1639 he was ‘chosen pastor of the congregational church of Dedham, Massachusetts,’ where he continued ‘much beloved and useful all the rest of his days,’ only now and again accompanying Eliot in his ‘labours’ among the Indians."


November 8, 1653
Age 56
August 11, 1654
Age 57
Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts
July 31, 1656
Age 59
Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts