Correspondence of Thomas Allsop

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Administrative / Biographical History

Thomas Allsop 1795-1880, entered the silk mercery trade in London in 1812 and later joined the Stock Exchange. In 1818 he made an acquaintance of Samuel Coleridge, and on the poet's death published his 'Letters, Conversations, and Recollections'. Allsop was also a friend of the essayists Charles Lamb (1775-1834), William Hazlitt (1778-1830), and the poet Barry Cornwall (1787-1874). Allsop provided the Irish Radical Feargus O'Connor (1796-1855) with his property qualification as representative of Chartism on his election as MP for Nottingham.

He was in sympathy with Felice Orsini, the conspirator against Napoleon III. Allsop was charged by the government of having knowingly purchased shells to be used by Orsini in an assassination attempt upon the emperor Napoleon III. Allsop was not brought to trial, however. A reward was offered for his apprehension as accessory in the 'attempt of Felice Orsini', but the overtness of his actions disarmed suspicion.