His Eminence Cardinal William Allen

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William Allen, Librarian of the Vatican

Also Known As: "Allen/Alleyne/Aleyn"
Birthdate: (62)
Birthplace: Rossall Grange,, Fleetwood, Lancashire, England
Death: October 6, 1594 (62)
Rome, Province of Rome, Lazio, Italy
Place of Burial: Rome, Italy
Immediate Family:

Son of John Allen, of Rossall and Jane Allen
Brother of George Allen; Richard Allen; Mary Allen; Elizabeth Allen and Anne Allen

Managed by: Pamela Joan Allen
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About His Eminence Cardinal William Allen

ALLEN, WILLIAM (1532–1594), cardinal, was the second son of John Allen of Rossall in Lancashire. George, the cardinal's grandfather, who is described as of Brook House, Staffordshire, received from a kinsman, the abbot of Dieulacres, near Leek, a beneficial lease of the Grange at Rossall, where George took up his residence. John Allen, the son of George, married Jane Lister, sister of Thomas Lister, of Westby, in Yorkshire, and had six children. William, the second son and future cardinal, was born at Rossall in 1532, the year in which Henry VIII secretly married Anne Boleyn and nominated Cranmer to the see of Canterbury. His father, who was of gentle birth and related by blood and affinity to the principal families of the province, had him educated at home until his fifteenth year (1547), when he was entered of Oriel College, Oxford.

from Wikipedia entry

William Allen (1532 – 16 October 1594), was an English Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. Allen assisted in the planning of the Spanish Armada's attempted invasion of England, and would likely have been made Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Chancellor had it been successful.

Allen was the head of the Roman Catholic Church in England under the Pope, and in this position, just after the death of Mary, Queen of Scots, he wrote to Philip II (19 March 1587) to encourage him to undertake an invasion of England, stating that the Roman Catholics in England (and in Ireland) were clamouring for the King of Spain to come and punish "this woman, hated by God and [by] man". After much deliberation, he was made a Cardinal by Pope Sixtus V on 7 August 1587, possibly to ensure the success of the Spanish Armada.

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, he, as a Cardinal, had lived in poverty,and died, in debt, at Rome on 16 October 1594. He was buried in the Chapel of the Holy Trinity adjoining the College.


Allen's foundations at Douai survives today in a seminary, one Allen Hall, in the Borough and District of Chelsea, in London, the successor in spirit to Saint Edmund's College, Ware. There existed Saint Cuthbert's College, Ushaw, or Ushaw College, of the University of Durham (where the College's coat-of-arms (granted by the Earl Marshal, who was also the Duke of Norfolk) incorporated the three hares (coneys) from Allen's ancestral arms), near Durham, in County Durham, until its closure in 2011. The English College at Valladolid continues to prepare and educate Englishmen and Welshmen for the Catholic priesthood. There is also a Roman Catholic secondary school named in his honour in Fleetwood, near to his original place of birth. There also existed a secondary school named after him in Enfield, in the Northern part of the modern Greater London that is traditionally known as Middlesex, until its closure circa 1980; as well as a grammar school for boys in West Derby, Liverpool, until 1983, when it was renamed, instead, after Cardinal Heenan.


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His Eminence Cardinal William Allen's Timeline

Fleetwood, Lancashire, England
October 6, 1594
Age 62
Rome, Province of Rome, Lazio, Italy
Age 62
Rome, Italy