The brothers and sisters of John Collins

The last post looked at the lives of the uncle and aunts of John Collins of Epping, the first husband of my 5 x great grandmother Elizabeth Gibson. In this post I’m continuing my exploration of John Collins’ family by reviewing what we know about his brothers and sisters.

Born in 1733, John Collins was the second of the seven children of Richard Collins (1693 – 1748) and Jane Stoker (died 1741). According to his father’s will of 1742, John had an older brother Richard and younger siblings William, Sarah, Jane, Elizabeth and David. I’ve been unable to find any further information about David and it’s possible he didn’t survive into adulthood. William and Elizabeth are mentioned in the 1759 will of their aunt Elizabeth Collins, but no details are given of William’s spouse and children, while Elizabeth still bore her maiden name. I’ve failed to find our anything more about William. There are a number of possible marriages for an Elizabeth Collins in the records, but to date I haven’t been able to confirm that any of them is the correct one.

It seems likely that ‘my niece the late Mrs Jane Reynolds’ mentioned in the will of Elizabeth Collins refers to John’s sister Jane, who was almost certainly the wife of Epping innkeeper Matthew Reynolds. They had a daughter Jane, born in 1752. Matthew died in 1755 and his wife Jane must have died shortly afterwards, since she was deceased by the time of her aunt’s will of 1759. I’m not sure what became of the younger Jane.

Church of All Hallows Barking, London

Church of All Hallows Barking, London

According to the same will, John Collins’ sister Sarah married a ‘Mr Dillworth’. On 19th July 1758 George Thomas Dilworth, a bachelor from Ealing, declared his intention to marry Sarah Collins, a spinster resident in the parish of All Hallows Barking in the City of London. We learn from the allegation that Sarah had been resident in this parish for four weeks past, and that the marriage was due to take place there, so it’s possible this was an address of convenience rather than an indication of her permanent home. A George Thomas Dilworth had been born in the parish of St Mary, Stratford le Bow, in 1732: he was the son of Thomas and Sarah Dilworth. There’s no proof that this is the right Mr Dilworth, nor have I been able to find any children from this marriage.

St Peter upon Cornhill (via

St Peter upon Cornhill (via

The Collins sibling about whom we know most is John’s elder brother Richard. On 15th September 1747 Richard Collins, a bachelor from Epping, married Anna Champain, a spinster of the same parish, at the church of St Peter upon Cornhill in the City of London. I’ll write about Richard, Anna and the links between the Collins and the Champain families in another post.

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