Percy Allen, fl. 1720-1723

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Short-term Pauper

Percy (sometimes spelled Peircy) Allen only appears in the records for a short time between 1720 and 1723, when his name is recorded in the Churchwarden's Account Books (AC) for the parish of St Botolph Aldgate. For four consecutive years, he received a "disbursement for the random poor", and in three of the four years he also received medical and other assistance.

Parish Relief

In 1720, Percy spent time in both the London Workhouse and in one of London's hospitals. He also received nursing assistance, but it is not clear in which order. The churchwarden recorded that he spent five shillings "attending the justice and other expenses getting Peircy Allen into the workhouse", and several pages later under "disbursements for passes" he records spending a shilling for his discharge out of the workhouse. In the same year, Allen also spent some time in hospital; under general disbursements the churchwarden paid 7 shillings for "necessaries for Peircy Allen in the hospital" and three shillings and sixpence for "more necessaries". The churchwarden also paid 2s 6d for a week's nursing assistance and a total of 3s 2d on shoes and stockings for him.

In 1721 Allen received further nursing care, this time lasting two months and three weeks, at a cost of 18 shillings. The parish also paid his rent for the whole year, at a cost of £1 10 s. At some point he must have run into some trouble (he was either in debt or accused of disorderly behaviour or a crime), since the churchwarden also records spending four shillings getting Allen "into The Compter".

In 1722 he was back in the hospital, and the parish paid 1s 6d for "washing him in the hospital". Thereafter, except for a "disbursement to the random poor" in 1723, he disappears from the records.

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It is not possible to explain this series of recorded events with any certainty, but it appears that Allen was an adult who fell on hard times due to illness, and then perhaps fell into debt. During these troubles the parish provided considerable assistance in the form of medical care, rent, and clothing, but after this short period of relatively intensive relief he died, moved out of the parish, or was once again able to look after himself.

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About this Biography

Created by

Robert Shoemaker

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