Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Allen, John (d.1855)

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For works with similar titles, see John Allen.

ALLEN, JOHN (d. 1855), a colonel in the French army, and an associate of Robert Emmet in the émeute of 1803, was a native of Dublin, where he was also for some time a partner in a drapery business. Along with Arthur O'Connor he was tried for high treason at Maidstone in February 1798, but acquitted. After the abortive result of the project of Emmet, whose special confidence he enjoyed, Allen escaped from Dublin in the uniform of the Trinity College Yeomanry corps, and obtained a passage in a vessel to France. Entering the French service, he was promoted colonel for leading the storming party at the capture of Ciudad Rodrigo, in Spain, in 1810. During the second occupation of Paris his surrender was, it is said, demanded by the English government; but while being conducted to the frontier, he made his escape, with the connivance of the gendarmes who had him in charge, at the last station on French territory. Subsequently he took up his residence at Caen, in Normandy. Allen was a protestant. He is stated in Miles Byrne's ‘Memoirs’ (iii. 190) to have died at Caen 10 Feb. 1855.

[Madden's United Irishmen, 1846, 3rd series, vol. iii. pp. 135–139.]

T. F. H.