Ralph Allen
(1693-1764)

Died aged c. 71

Ralph Allen (1693 – 29 June 1764) was an entrepreneur and philanthropist, and was notable for his reforms to the British postal system. Allen was born in Cornwall but moved to Bath to work in the post office becoming the postmaster at the age of 19. He made the system more efficient and took over contracts for the mail system to cover England to the borders of Scotland and into South Wales. He also bought the initial local stone mines from his postal profits and had Prior Park built as his house to show off the versatility of the local Bath stone, using the old post office as his town house. With the architect John Wood, the Elder the stone he mined was used in the building work for the development of the Georgian city. However, the mines did not consistently make a profit and Allen subsidised them from his postal profits. After his death, he was buried in a pyramid-topped tomb in Claverton churchyard. He is commemorated in the names of streets and schools in the city of Bath and was the model for Squire Allworthy in the novel Tom Jones by Henry Fielding.

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Commemorated on 2 plaques

gnomonic on Flickr
Nick Harrison on Flickr

Ralph Allens' Cottages Built by Ralph Allen to house his stone masons who worked nearby Erected circa 1740 Restored 1983

Ralph Allen's Cottages, Prior Park Road, Bath, United Kingdom where they built (1740)

Summer residence 1750-1763, of Ralph Allen, one of the founders of 18th century Bath, whose patronage first established Weymouth as a resort.

2 Trinity Street, Weymouth, United Kingdom where they stayed (1750-1763)