Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Allen William

Allen, William, a distinguished chemist and a Christian philanthropist, born in 1770, being the son of a Spitalfields weaver. He received little or no education, but abandoning his father's trade, took a place in the well-known druggist's house in Plough Court, and by sheer industry he became a partner. He held the office of lecturer in chemistry at Guy's Hospital for many years, made some important discoveries, such as the true constitution of the diamond, and was elected Fellow of the Royal Society. Allen had been reared from his youth in the principles of the Society of Friends, and like so many of that sect, he devoted his wealth and energies to humanitarian objects. The reform of the English criminal law, the extinction of slavery, the establishment of savings banks, the extension of vaccination, were among many interests that claimed his attention. He worked personally amongst the poor, and even did mission work in foreign countries, persuading the Czar to have the Scripture taught in Russian schools. For years he was treasurer of the British and Foreign School Society. He died in 1843.