Richard Allestree 1621/2-1681
Richard ALLESTREE 1621/2-1681
Born at Uppington, near the Wrekin, Shropshire. Son of Richard Allestree, a steward to Sir Richard Newport. BA Christ Church, Oxford 1640. In 1642 Allestree joined the royalist troop raised in Oxford by Sir John Byron and was present at the battle of Kineton Field. He was seized by a parliamentarian force on his return to Oxford, but was released when that garrison surrendered to the royalists. He returned to Christ Church by October that year and became censor of Christ Church, but was expelled from the university after refusing to submit to the authority of the parliamentarian visitors in 1648.
Allestree became chaplain to Francis Newport and was sent to France to resolve the affairs of his father, Lord Newport (Sir Richard Newport). Returning to England, he stayed with the Newport family in Shropshire until the royalists were defeated at the battle of Worcester. He then returned to France to take royalist dispatches to Charles Stuart. During the interregnum Allestree, John Dolben and John Fell read the common prayer of the Church of England in private at Beam Hall, Merton Street.
After the Restoration Allestree was elected a canon and, alongside Dolben and Fell, was created DD by royal mandate. He served as treasurer of Christ Church and was made Chaplain-in-ordinary to the king, Regius Professor of Divinity at the University 1663, and provost of Eton College 1665. Allestree is the likely author of the anonymous devotional manual The Whole Duty of Man (1657).
Allestree bequeathed his library of ca.3500 books to the care of Christ Church, Oxford, for the use of the Regius Professor.
- Hiscock, W. A Christ Church miscellany, 1946, 14-15.
- Purcell, M. ‘Useful weapons for the defence of that cause’: Richard Allestree, John Fell and the foundation of the Allestree Library, The Library 6th ser 21 (1999), 124-47.
- Spurr, John. "Allestree, Richard (1621/2–1681), Church of England clergyman." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.