Ralph Allen

(1693—1764) postal entrepreneur and philanthropist

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a man of humble origins who rose to considerable eminence and prosperity in Bath (where he was known as the ‘Man of Bath’), and was generally beloved for his unobtrusive generosity, both public and private. Most notably (in the field of literature) he assisted the struggling Fielding, who later portrayed him as Squire Allworthy in Tom Jones and dedicated Amelia to him. After the novelist's death, Allen provided for the education and support of his children. Pope praised him as one who did good ‘by stealth’; S. Richardson, W. Warburton, and Mrs Delany were among his friends.

Subjects: Literature.

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