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Sir George Wigram Allen KCMG (16 May 1824 – 23 July 1885)[1] was an Australian politician and philanthropist. He was Speaker in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly 1875–1883. Allen was held in high esteem. As speaker he showed dignity, courtesy and ability; it was said of him: 'A man of calm judgment and much practical wisdom'.[1]

Sir George Wigram Allen

George Wigram Allen.jpg
Allen c.1880
5th Speaker of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly
In office
23 March 1875 – 23 November 1882
Preceded byWilliam Arnold
Succeeded byEdmund Barton
Member of the New South Wales Parliament
for Glebe
In office
Preceded byThomas Smart
Succeeded byMichael Chapman
Personal details
Born(1824-05-16)16 May 1824
Surry Hills, Colony of New South Wales
Died23 June 1885(1885-06-23) (aged 60)
Glebe, New South Wales
Spouse(s)Marian (née Boyce)
Lady Allen


Early lifeEdit

Allen was born in Surry Hills, New South Wales, the eldest son of George Allen (attorney and solicitor) and his wife Jane, née Bowden. He was educated under William Cape and at Sydney College, where he showed ability in classics and mathematics. In 1841, Allen was articled to his father and he became a solicitor in 1846.[1]

Legal careerEdit

The following year Allen entered a partnership with his father as a solicitor and today that firm is known as Allens and is the oldest in Australia.[2] He was also a director of many public companies including the Bank of New South Wales.[1]

Public officeEdit

In 1859 Allen became the first chairman and mayor of the Municipality of The Glebe, a position he held until 1877.[1] He was appointed a commissioner of national education in 1853 and held the position until 1867 and was nominated to the New South Wales Legislative Council in 1860 and remained there until May 1861.[1] In 1869 Allen was elected a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly for Glebe, and from December 1873 to February 1875 was minister for justice and public instruction in the first Henry Parkes ministry. In the following March he was elected speaker and remained in that position until January 1883. Allen retired from politics in August 1883 and died suddenly on 23 July 1885.[3][4][5]


Lady Allen as a widow c.1900

Allen married Marian Boyce (1835–1914),[6] eldest daughter of the Rev. William Boyce, in July 1851 and they lived at Strathmore, opposite his father's home Toxteth Park. In 1881 they moved to Toxteth Park having added a third storey, a tower and various embellishments such as a ballroom. The Allens entertained there on a grand scale. Lady Allen was an active charitable worker. She was involved with the boarding out of orphan children from the Benevolent Asylum and was a co-founder of the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children. The marriage produced six sons and fours daughters.[1]


He was knighted in 1877.[7] [8]

In 1884 he was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG).[9]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Cowper, Norman; Teale, Ruth (1969). "Allen, Sir George Wigram (1824–1885)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  2. ^ "OLDEST LEGAL FIRM". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 27 July 1932. p. 10. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  3. ^ "Sir George Wigram Allen (1824-1885)". Former Members of the Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  4. ^ "The Late Sir George Wigram Allen". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 27 July 1885. p. 5. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  5. ^ "George Wigram Allen". Sydney's Aldermen. City of Sydney.
  6. ^ "DEATH OF LADY ALLEN". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 22 January 1914. p. 8. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  7. ^ "No. 24509". The London Gazette. 5 October 1877. p. 551.2
  8. ^ "HONOUR OF KNIGHTHOOD". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 10 September 1877. p. 5. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  9. ^ "No. 25314". The London Gazette. 1 February 1884. p. 486.


Civic offices
New title
Council proclaimed
Chairman of The Glebe Municipal Council
1859 – 1867
Renamed Mayor
New title
Renamed from Chairman
Mayor of The Glebe
1867 – 1878
Succeeded by
John Henry Seamer
New South Wales Legislative Assembly
Preceded by
Thomas Smart
Member for Glebe
1864 – 1883
Succeeded by
Michael Chapman
Preceded by
William Arnold
Speaker of the Legislative Assembly
1875 – 1882
Succeeded by
Edmund Barton
Political offices
New title Minister for Justice and Public Instruction
1873 – 1875
Succeeded by
Joseph Docker