Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Allies, Jabez

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ALLIES, JABEZ (1787–1856), antiquary, and one of the earliest writers on folk-lore, the second son of Mr. William Allies, was born at Lulsley, Worcestershire, 22 Oct. 1787, where his family had resided for generations. In early youth he was deeply impressed by the lingering relics of Roman and Saxon days and by the pastoral life that characterised his native place. He served a clerkship in London, and practiced there for some years as a solicitor. Numerous papers of his were read to the Society of Antiquaries, of which he was elected a fellow about 1840, and at the meetings of the Archæological Institute. He showed there much aptness for antiquarian discovery, and threw light upon vestiges of Roman occupation in his native county which Nash and other historians had regarded as unidentified. Marrying Catherine, daughter of William Hartshorne, Esq., of Clipstone, Northamptonshire, by whom he had an only child, William Hartshorne (who succeeded him), he quitted London, and resided some years at Worcester, at Catherine Villa, in the Lower Wick, taking part in all reunions and movements connected with Worcestershire and its history. Allies wrote the following works:

  1. ‘Observations on Certain Curious Indentations in the Old Red Sandstone of Worcestershire and Herefordshire considered as the Tracks of Antediluvian Animals,’ 1835.
  2. ‘On the Causes of Planetary Motion,’ with a diagram, 1838, in which he put forward a simple theory, that the sun's rotation on its own axis causes an excitement of the caloric or latent heat, and creating a comparative rarefaction of the atmosphere of the earth and other planets, on one side of the same makes the opposite atmosphere press forward to keep up the equilibrium; the revolution of the planets necessarily ensuing, and their orbital course being kept by the laws of attraction and repulsion in the plane of the sun's equator. As the sun acted on the planets, so they affected their satellites, and the moon, having no atmosphere, was caused to revolve once a month only.
  3. ‘On the Ancient British, Roman, and Saxon Antiquities of Worcestershire,’ 1840, 86 pages.
  4. ‘The Jovial Hunter of Bromsgrove. Horne the Hunter, and Robin Hood,’ 1845.
  5. ‘The Ignis Fatuus, or Will o' the Wisp and the Fairies,’ 1846. The last two little works are full of pleasant gossiping tales and notes illustrative of Shakespeare's fairy mythology and folk-lore in general. There was also published a supplement on the ‘Seven whistlers,’ which is not always found in the copies in public libraries. 6. ‘The Ancient British, Roman, and Saxon Antiquities and Folk-lore of Worcestershire,’ 2nd ed. 1852. This was an extension of the original works (4 and 5 supra), making an octavo of 500 pages. It is the most interesting work on local field-names that has yet been published. Besides papers in the ‘Archæological Journal,’ he wrote many interesting letters on his favourite subjects in the ‘Literary Gazette,’ 1845, et seq., and other magazines.

He was remarkable for his kindness to authors of congenial pursuits. He died 29 Jan. 1856, at Tivoli House, Cheltenham, which he had purchased a few years before, and was buried in Leckhampton churchyard by the side of his wife, who had previously died on 28 May 1855 at the age of 74 years.

[Gent. Mag. 2nd S., xlv. 316; Archæological Journal, xiii. 596; and the writer's notes correspondence.]

J. W.-G.