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William Allen

(1770-1843), Chemist and philanthropist

Early Victorian Portraits Catalogue Entry

Sitter in 9 portraits
Allen began working for the Plough Court Pharmacy in the 1790s and was offered a partnership in the business. In 1807, his research on carbon enabled him to be elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, bringing him into contact with many pre-eminent scientists of the day. In 1841 he co-founded and became the first president of The Pharmaceutical Society. Allen's interests, however, moved from science to philanthropy and he became engaged in various schemes of social and penal improvement. He had been interested from childhood in the anti-slavery campaign; in 1807 he became an active member of the African Institution, agitating for the abolition of black slavery in Sierra Leone and the West Indies.

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