In the previous post I declared my intention to revisit the life of my 5 x great grandmother Elizabeth Gibson (1733 – 1759), and particularly her connection with the Collins family of Epping in Essex. Elizabeth’s first husband, whom she married in 1753 in what may have been a clandestine ceremony, was John Collins of Epping. John died some ten years later and I’m intrigued to discover how Elizabeth then came to marry her second husband, Joseph Holdsworth of South Weald. I have an inkling that understanding more about the Collins family might help me in this quest, and in this post I want to summarise what we know about them.

The ancient parish church of All Saints, Epping Upland

The ancient parish church of All Saints, Epping Upland

John Collins was baptised in Epping on 14th January 1733. He was the son of local landowner Richard Collins and his wife Jane. Born in Epping in 1693, Richard was the son of another Richard Collins, also of Epping, and he in turn was the son of another John Collins. This is the first of three generations of the Collins family that we know about.

First generation 

Richard Collins (1), the son of John Collins (1) was baptised on 7th June 1656 in Epping. Richard married Sarah Cowdlie on 31st December 1683 at the church of St Botolph, Aldgate, in London. Interestingly, this was the parish church of the Gibson family, and of Elizabeth Gibson’s Byne and Forrest forebears. In fact, for some reason, and despite their deep roots in Epping, the Collins family seem to have made a habit of marrying in London churches.

Richard and Sarah Collins had four children that we know of: John (2) (1686), Sarah (1688), Richard (2)(1693) and Elizabeth (1697).

Second generation

Sarah Collins married Henry Small in 1708. They had six children: Mary (died 1710), Richard (born 1711), Sarah (1713), Henry (1718), John (born and died 1721) and Joshua (1722).

John Collins (2) married Mary Archer in 1722. They had a son named Richard. John Collins died in 1742.

Richard Collins (2) married Jane Stoker in 1727. They had seven children: Richard (3) (1730), John (3) (1733), Sarah (1735), Elizabeth (1737), William (1739), David (1740) and Jane (date of birth unknown). Richard Collins died in 1748 and his wife Jane in 1740.

Elizabeth Collins did not marry. She died in 1761.

Third generation: the children of Richard Collins (2) 

Richard Collins (3) married Ann Champain in 1747. They had two children: a son named Champain (date unknown) and a daughter named Ann (1757). Richard Collins died in 1770 and his wife Ann in 1775.

John Collins (2) married Elizabeth Gibson in 1753. They had a daughter named Frances (1759). John Collins died before 1763, when his widow Elizabeth married Joseph Holdsworth.

Sarah Collins married a man with the surname Dilworth: he may be the George Thomas Dilworth who married a Sarah Collins in 1758.

Nothing more is known about the lives of the four younger children of Richard and Jane Collins.