SIR GEORGE WILLIAM ALLEN KCIE
Born in 1831 - Died in 1900
He was born in 1831 and died in 1900. On 4th February 1858 he married Charlotte Rosalina, daughter of John Ludnam, in Meerut, Bengal, India. She was born in 1841 in Meerut and died in Surrey in 1866. They had children:
1 George William, born in 1860 in Amballa, Bengal, died there 29th August of that year.
2 George Berney, born in 1863 in Croydon, Surrey, died 19th June 1917
3 Henry Deacon, born 13th September 1864 in Simla, Bengal died 25th January 1919 in Cawnpore, India.
4 Charlotte Mary, born 4th July 1866 in Croydon, Surrey.
5 Charles Turner.
George was also co-founder of Cooper Allen & Co, Cawnpore, India, and together with his son Charles Turner of the Pioneer, India's leading English Language newspaper - among other business and journalistic ventures. In an active life he had lived through the mutiny in Delhi and survived the wreck of the Tasmania off Corsica in 1887. Though an implacable opponent of Hume, the founder of the Congress Party, and indeed of Indian nationalism, he maintained contacts with Congress leaders, such as the first president Bonnerjee, as well as with government.
Allen's most lasting contribution, however, must be in recognising the precocious literary talents of the young Kipling, which he fostered at The Pioneer, in spite of the teenage poet's evident distaste for the routine chores of junior journalists. Clive Rattigan has written that 'much of Kipling's best work was produced while he was on The Pioneer and in the back files of the paper can, I have reason to believe, be found buried even now verses, sketches and stories by Kipling that have not been unearthed and republished (Yalland 1994, Boxwallahhs).
In 1889 he leased a house at No 179 Queen's Gate, London, which had been built for him at a cost of £14,886.00. He was by this a member of a firm of East India agents in the City of London. Perhaps this explains the choice of architect, (Sir) William Emerson (1843-1924), who had long practised in India, and had designed Allahabad Cathedral. He did not stay long at Queen's Gate, and died in Princess Gardens in 1900.
The Builder in 1891 noted the 'very elaborately finished' interior of No. 179 with its panelling in various woods, and this was indeed remarkable. The cedar-lined billiard-room was 'worked by Mr. Nicholl, from the architect's designs'; presumably, that is, by Thomas Nicholls of Lambeth, sculptor. The house was of red brick with red stone dressings. Although clearly inspired by the 'Queen Anne' character of the other houses in this part of Queen's Gate, in common with Macartney's contemporary design for No. 167 their appearance indicated a broadening of the repertoire of the revival. The detailing of No. 178 was of a late Gothic nature, drawn from Franco-Flemish forms, while No. 179 was clothed in Jacobean dress. The houses were demolished for the expansion of Imperial College in 1971.
He was raised from CIE to KCIE in Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee Honours announced 22nd June 1897.
Donald Lehmann, paper written 12th March 2002.
Information supplied by Chrissy and John Welborne.
British History Online: 1975, Survey of London, Volume 38, edit. F H W Sheppard, p325-348.