Skip Navigation

Welcome to Bedford Borough Council

Home > Community Histories > Colmworth > The Allen Family of Colmworth

The Allen Family of Colmworth

Adelaide Maria Allen in 1894
Adelaide Maria Allen in 1894

Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service has a Gloucestershire newspaper cutting of the obituary and copy photograph of Mrs. Adelaide Allen [CRT130Col7]. The obituary gives some interesting information about the family, albeit in verbose and rather contorted prose:

"The "Echo" regrets to record the death of Mrs. Adelaide Maria Allen, the mother of the famous twin tennis players, C. G. and E. R. Allen, and a cousin of the famous Prime Minister, Mr. W. E. Gladstone".

"Mrs. Allen died yesterday in her 98th year at her home, The Lindens, Prestbury, near Cheltenham" [she was born in West Derby, Liverpool in 1841].

"Her passing will occasion the greatest regret among her many friends and acquaintances in the town and neighbourhood, for she was the embodiment of old-world charm and graciousness and was possessed of a disposition that found its fullest expression in innumerable acts of generosity carried out in the quiet, unassuming manner that was an essential part of her main characteristics".

"For many years Mrs. Allen had been a constant and greatly appreciative member of the audience at the morning orchestral concerts in the Drawing Room of the Town Hall".

"Every day, no matter what the weather, she went there with a companion, and the pleasure she derived from the orchestra's music-making found tangible expression at each Christmastide, when her many philanthropic acts included gifts to members of the Spa Quartet".

"Her daily presence at the concerts will be greatly missed by the many others who were accustomed to associate with her there".

Mrs. Allen's twin sons, Charles Gladstone Allen and Edward Roy Allen, found fame in the world of lawn tennis".

"They were born at Colmworth, Bedfordshire, where their father, the late Rev. Hunter Bird Allen, was the rector. It was their father who taught them the game that brought them both into prominence".

"They both represented Cambridge against Oxford in 1889-91, and in doubles achieved a remarkable number of successes. In 1896 they reached the All Comers' final at Wimbledon, being defeated by the late R. F. Doherty and H. A. Nisbet".

"Both also represented England against Ireland in lawn tennis international tournaments".

"Individually and together they won scores of trophies, and these emblems of her sons' prowess, carefully preserved at The Lindens, were among Mrs. Allen's most treasured possessions".

"Both her sons died some years ago".

"Mrs. Allen was greatly beloved by the residents of Prestbury, particularly those of the older generation who had known her for many years. She was always willing and anxious to asist in anything that had as its objective the welfare and betterment of the parishioners".

"Until recently she was remarkably active for her great age, and had been confined to her bedroom only since last week-end".