William Allen (1532 – 16 October 1594), was an English Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He studied at Oxford University. Allen became a Cardinal in 1587 after the Spanish Armada. Allen assisted in the planning of the Spanish Armada’s attempted invasion of England, and would likely have been made Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Chancellor had it been successful. The Douai-Rheims Bible was printed under Allen’s orders. His activities were part of the Catholic Counter Reformation, but they made matters worse for Roman Catholics in England and in Ireland.
He set up the English Colleges in Douai (France) and Rome to educate students from England in their theological studies. At the end of his career he was given the title of the Librarian of the Vatican.