Allen, William (1532 -1594)

William Allen was the second son of John Allen, of Rossall in Lancashire, and Jane Lister of Westby, Yorkshire. In 1547 he entered Oriel College, Oxford, where he took his BA in 1550, followed by his MA in 1554. At Oxford he was tutored by Morgan Philipps, a devout Catholic and orator. Allen left Oxford for Louvain in 1561, and became the leader of English Catholic exiles on the Continent. He returned to England briefly in 1562, but left again in 1565, never to return. In 1567 he was ordained priest at Mechelin, and in 1568 founded a seminary at Douai to train English Catholic exiles as missionaries to reconvert England to the old faith. In 1578 the college was expelled from Douai because of the English students support for Philip II of Spain, and was reestablished in Reims. In 1587, now in Rome, Allen was made a cardinal. From 1589 he was much involved with the revision of the Vulgate Bible. Earlier he had worked on the revision of Gregory Martin’s English translation of the Bible, known as the Douai Bible; the New Testament appeared at Reims in 1582 (the Old Testament was published in 1609 at Douai, after Allen’s death). An outspoken critic of Elizabeth’s religious policies, he called for her forcible removal from the throne of England, to be replaced by Philip II. Because of his political views, he was condemned as a heretic by English Protestants, but to Catholics he was described as being “graced by every species of virtue”.
Stamp(s) Stamp Information
Allen, William (1532 - 1594) (Stamp 1) Arms: Three rabbits sejant in pale
Heraldic Charges: rabbits (3)