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Ralph Allen 1693 – 29 June 1764

Ralph Allen

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Ralph Allen, entrepreneur and philanthropist


Ralph Allen (1693 – 29 June 1764) was an entrepreneur and philanthropist, and along with John Palmer was also noted for his reforms to the British postal system. He moved in 1710 to Bath, where he became a post office clerk, and at the age of 19, in 1712, became the Postmaster of Bath. In 1742 was elected Mayor of Bath and became a member of Parliament for Bath between 1757 and 1764.
Allen used the wealth gained from his postal reforms to acquire the stone quarries at Combe Down and Bathampton Down Mines he became friends with John Wood.
Ralph Allen is buried in a pyramid-topped tomb in Claverton churchyard, on the outskirts of Bath. His name is commemorated in Bath in Ralph Allen Drive and Ralph Allen School, one of the city's secondary schools. Prior Park College, another local secondary school which is housed in Allen's former home, has a boys' boarding house named Allen House.