Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Allam, Andrew

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ALLAM, ANDREW (1655–1685), antiquary, born at Garsingdon, Oxfordshire, April 1655, was educated at a private grammar school at Denton, near Cuddesden; on leaving which he entered St. Edmund's Hall, Oxford, in Easter term 1671, where, after taking his degree, he was made tutor, and subsequently appointed vice-principal. At Whitsuntide 1680 he took holy orders, and in 1683 was elected one of the masters of the schools. He devoted much time to literary pursuits, and assisted Anthony à Wood in the compilation of his ‘Athenæ Oxonienses,’ who speaks of him as highly qualified for such a work by reason of his extensive knowledge in all historical matters, adding: ‘He understood the world of men well, authors better; and nothing but years and experience were wanting to make him a complete walking library.’ The antiquary Hearne, in his ‘Short Life of Anthony Wood,’ says that he had often heard it ‘reported at Oxford that the greatest help Mr. Wood found from any one person was from Mr. Andrew Allam; this ingenious person helping him very much in the notitia of divers modern authors, whilst Mr. Wood was day and night drudging in those more ancient.’ Among his other chief contributions to literature may be mentioned the short biographical notice prefixed to Dr. Cosin's ‘Ecclesiæ Anglicanæ Politeis in tabulas digesta,’ Oxon. 1684, fol., and a preliminary account, with additions and corrections, of a work entitled ‘Some Plain Discourses on the Lord's Supper, &c., written by Dr. George Griffith, Bishop of St. Asaph,’ Oxon. 1684, 8vo. He also wrote the preface to a small pamphlet, ‘The Epistle Congratulatory of Lysimachus Nicanor, &c., to the Covenanters of Scotland,’ Oxon. 1684, and translated the ‘Life of Iphicrates,’ 1684. Some additions made by him to Chamberlain's ‘Angliæ Notitia’ (1684) were printed in the edition of 1687 without due acknowledgment, according to Wood. He projected a ‘Notitia Ecclesiæ Anglicanæ, or History of Cathedrals,’ a design which he was prevented from completing by death, from smallpox, on 18 June 1685. Wood further tells us that he began and made various additions to Helvicus's ‘Historical and Chronological Theatre,’ as occasion required, and left unfinished a supplement to that work from 1660 to 1683. His additions, as far as they went, were printed with that author in 1687. But ‘whereas,’ says Wood, ‘there was a column in the edition of 1687 intended to contain the names of the most famous Jesuits, from the foundation of the order to 1685, this was not done by Allam, nor that passage under 1678, which runs thus: “Titus Oates discovers a pretended popish plot.”’

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (ed. Bliss), iv. 174; Biographia Britannica; Brit. Mus. Cat.; Hearne's Life of Wood in Rawlinson MSS., Bodleian Library.]

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