Allen, Anthony

, an English lawyer and antiquary, was born at Great Hadham in Hertfordshire, about the end of the seventeenth century, and was educated at Eton; whence he went to King’s college, Cambridge, and took his bachelor’s degree in 1707, and his master’s in 1711. He afterwards studied law, was called to the bar, and by the influence of Arthur Onslow, speaker of the house of commons, became a master in chancery. His reputation as a lawyer was inconsiderable, but he was esteemed a good classical scholar, and a man of wit and convivial habits. He became afterwards an alderman of the corporation of Guildford, and an useful magistrate in that neighbourhood. He died April 11, 1754, and was buried in the Temple church. He collected a biographical account of the members of Eton college, which by his will, dated 1753, he ordered to be placed in the libraries of the two colleges, and a third copy to be given to his patron, Mr. Onslow. He also compiled, at his leisure hours, or rather made collections for, an English dictionary of obsolete words, of words which have changed their meaning, as villain, knave, and of proverbial or cant words, as helter-skelter, which he derived from hiiariter cderiter. It is not known what became of this manuscript. He bequeathed his fortune, and probably his books, to a brother who was a Turkey merchant. 1


Harwood’s Alumni Etoneqses. Whiston’s ms additions to the first edition of this Dictionary.