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Joshua Allen commonplace book


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

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Joshua Allen was born approximately 1710. He was one of several children born to David Allen of Pembrokeshire, Wales. He began attending Jesus College, University of Oxford in 1729 where he received his B.A. in March 1734 and later his M.A. Allen became rector and clerk at St. Brides, Pembrokshire. He preached at St. Vedast, Foster Lane and Long Acre Chapel. In 1751 a volume of Joshua Allen's sermons was published. Some of his brothers and sisters lived in Fobstone, Pembrokeshire including John Allen and Frances Allen. He died on July 31, 1764.

This commonplace book spanning the years from 1749 to 1762 is a vellum-covered volume comprising excerpts from the bible, theological writings, and philosophy in addition to copies of some personal correspondence by Joshua Allen. There are excerpts of the book of Genesis, The doctrine of worship, discipline and government of the church of Scotland, Cicero's De divinatione, Augsburg confession, and Plato's dialogues. Some passages are in Greek and some in Latin. Also included is verse published regarding an earthquake on March 8, 1750. Several letters by Joshua Allen have been copied in the volume. The letters are to his sisters, brother, and cousins. One letter dated May 14, 1762 addressed to his sister, who lived in Fobstone, spans six pages and regards a dispute of rumors and family money. In letter to his cousin James Allen dated 1751, Joshua discussed his newly published book of sermons. There is a portion of a will by Joshua's grandfather William Allen copied in the volume. A summary of David Allen's naval career dated 1760 is also in the volume. A copy of a patent for Joshua's Uncle John Allen to erect St. Ann's Lighthouse near Dale on the Bristol Channel is in the volume. Letters copied in another hand, probably Allen's his great nephew William Bird Allen were written by Joshua Allen to his brother and by John Allen (Joshua's brother) to his sister Peggy. William Bird Allen's signature is on the first leaf. There are few epitaphs included in the volume. Two leaves are laid in the volume. The spine is lacking.

Signature on first leaf: W. Bird Allen.

Sold at auction by Forum Auctions (London England), 2017, lot 369.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Donna Brandolisio
Finding Aid Date
May 2018
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Joshua Allen commonplace book, 1749-1762.
Volume 1

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