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Biography of Rev. Thomas W. Allen

Thomas William Allen, Rector of Cavan for the last twenty-six years, is a native of Sligo, Ireland, and was born December 16, 1821, his parents being William and Anne (Cartwright) Allen. His father was Recorder of Sligo. This branch of the Allen family a soldier went into Ireland with William, Prince of Orange, and fought at the battle of the Boyne. Our subject received a classical education at Sligo, under Mr. Quill, of Trinity College, Dublin; in his 16th year emigrated to New York City, studied three years at St. Paul’s College, Long Island, under that saintly man, Dr. Muhlembugh; was tutor four years in the private family of Albert H. Jones, of Oyster Bay, Long Island, studying theology at the same time, and in November, 1846, came to Canada. In May of the following year Mr. Allen entered the Theological Institute at Cobourg, under the late Bishop Bethune, and on the 30th of July, 1848, was ordained at Hamilton by Bishop Strachan. He was appointed traveling missionary for the old Midland District, in the neighborhood of Kingston, laboring in that field with great assiduity, between three and four years. Subsequently he became Incumbent of St. John’s, in the suburbs of Kingston; and a year and a half later (1853), was promoted to the Rectory of Cavan, which position he still holds. There are now five good churches, four of them erected since he came upon the ground. He has recently built a Sunday School house adjoining the church at Millbrook, his residence having been in this village for twenty-one years. He was made Rural Dean of Durham and Victoria nearly twenty years ago; has had assistant curates for fourteen or fifteen years, yet his labors are extensive, and he is untiring, usually preaching three times on Sunday, and traveling from twenty to twenty-five miles. As will be inferred, he is a man of great industry, and God has greatly favored him in his work, which has not been limited to the Church. He held for a long period the office of Superintendent of public instruction in this township, and was self sacrificing in his efforts to do good in that sphere, As a preacher, he is plain and pointed, and aims to instruct the people and to lead them in the right way. He could have had more prominent parishes long ago, and better pay, but he is contented to labor where he seems useful, and where the people love him.

Mr. Allen married Jessie, daughter of George McClellan, of Borgue, Kirkcudbright, Scotland, January, 1850, and they have eight sons. George Gordon, the eldest, is in Manitoba; William Cartwright is a clergyman and an instructor in Trinity College School, Port Hope Thomas Herbert is practicing medicine in New York City; Alexander is a student in Trinity College, Toronto; and John, Harry, Norman and Walter, are at home. Alexander, who is about completing his studies, holds the position of Senior Man in the Arts course, which position his brother William C. held before him.

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