Reference NumberP/COL
TitlePapers of the Collins family
DescriptionPapers concerning John Collins, Stepney councillor, and family. These files also contain some information on a number of John's descendants, particularly his grandson Bernard Collins who fought in World War Two, as well as other members of the family such as Bernards cousin, Lord Stonham.

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Extent1 box
AdminHistoryJohn Collins, born 11 Feb 1843, worked in the family business, basket manufacturing. One in a line of descendants from the Huguenots, well known for their basket weaving, the business traded at Spitalfields Market.

John lived, first in Chapel Street with his parents, then moved to Crispin Street with his family. Here he enlarged the family business. John was known for his kindness in helping the poor, he was associated with several philanthropic societies, and called himself a 'staunch radical and free thinker'. As such he was very outspoken and became a founding member of the Stepney Borough Council in 1900. John was unhappy with the care taken of Spitalfields Market by its private owner and as such he became a champion for the market. He believed that under public ownership it would be better looked after and would provide better working conditions. He fought for this cause from 1901, when he spoke at the House of Commons on the matter; but it was over a decade later that the market became the property of the the local authorities. "Honest" John Collins died in 1917, leaving the family business to his son, Victor.
RelatedMaterialSee also records of Metropolitan Borough of Stepney (collection reference L/SMB).
Access StatusOpen
RequestNO - This does not represent a physical document. Please click on the reference number and view list of records to find material available to order at file or item level.


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