William Allen Papers – University of Pittsburgh

Title:  Allen Family Papers
Collection Number:  AIS.1977.14
Creator:  Allen family
Collection Dates: 1867
Extent:  0.31 linear feet (1 box)

Abstract: The collection contains materials regarding William P. Allen, member of an Irish nationalist society know as Fenians. Allen was hanged November 23, 1867 at New Barley Prison, Salford, England, for his participation in the Fenian attack at Manchester on a prison van containing Fenian prisoners. The collection contains correspondence, newspaper clippings, and other memorabilia. Digital reproductions are available online.

ULS Archives Service Center
University of Pittsburgh Library System
7500 Thomas Boulevard
Pittsburgh, PA, 15260

Date Published:January 1978.

Biography:  William Philip Allen was executed November 23, 1867, in England for his participation in the Fenian Rebellion of 1867. The goal of this revolutionary rebellion was to establish an Irish republic. He was arrested and executed for his participation in the prison van rescue of fellow Fenians on September 18, 1867. The rescue was thwarted but not before the constable in charge of the van was killed. The would-be Fenian rescuers became known as the “Manchester Martyrs” Bitter public feeling was aroused in Ireland by their conviction on what many regarded as weak evidence.

Collection Scope and Content Notes: This collection consists of original letters from William Philip Allen to his family in Ireland, as well as letters to his family from supporters. The collection also includes a few newsclips and handbill containing the poem, “God Save Ireland”, composed by T.D. Sullivan, written to commemorate the “Manchester Martyrs”. Photocopy and microfilm versions of the collection are also available.

Access Restrictions:  No restrictions.
Acquisition Information: The collection was received from the Irish Centre of Pittsburgh on May 14, 1977.

[Also see this note re how the Irish Centre of Pittsburgh came into possession of this material.]

This collection has been microfilmed and is available on one reel, AIS.1977.14 (Microfilm-cabinet 2, Drawer 2). It’s also been digitized with access to the images in the finding aid.

Preferred Citation: Allen Family Papers, 1867, AIS.1977.14, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh.

Copyright: Permission for publication is given on behalf of the University of Pittsburgh as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Collection Inventory

  1. Series I. Correspondence from William Philip Allen, 1867 – Box 1
  2. Series II. Correspondence to Mrs. Allen, mother of William P. Allen, 1867
  3. Series III. Ephemera, 1867