William Collins (surgeon)
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William Collins Surgeon


Sir William Job Collins, (9 May 1859 - 11 December 1946) was an English surgeon and later a Liberal politician and legislator.


He was born at 46 Gloucester Road, Regent's Park, London[1] the eldest son of William Job Collins (also a doctor) and Mary Anne Francisca (née Treacher). He attended University College School, London, and began his medical training at St Bartholomew's Hospital, where he became ophthalmic house surgeon, extern midwifery assistant and assistant demonstrator of anatomy at the medical school. His Times obituary reported that ' his further progress toward the staff of the school was barred by the heterodox views he held, and freely expressed, on the subject of vaccination' .

He subsequently became a Fellow, Scholar and gold medallist in Sanitary Science and Obstetrics at the University of London, graduating as BSc in 1880 and MD in 1881.

Along with Charles Creighton and Edgar Crookshank, he became one of a small number of medical critics of smallpox vaccination in the late 19th century. He was also a member of the Royal Commission on Vaccination, 1889-1896.

He later specialised in anatomy and ophthalmology, in 1918 receiving the University of Oxford Doyne Ophthalmic Medal. He served two terms as Vice-Chancellor of the University of London in 1907-1909 and 1911-12.

Political career

In later life he turned to politics, elected as member of London County Council for St Pancras in 1892, reaching the office of chairman in 1897. In 1904, Collins was the first chairman of the education committee, which laid the foundation of the education service in London.

He was elected Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) for St Pancras West, 1906-1910, and for Derby in 1917-18. In parliament he was particularly instrumental in promoting the Metropolitan Ambulance Act, that resulted in the establishment of the London ambulance service.

He served on various government committees, including the Vivisection Committee 1906-1912, as British plenipotentiary at the international opium conferences at The Hague, 1911-1914, the Sussex Agricultural Wages Committee, and the Select Committee on the Hop Industry.

He was knighted in the 1902 Coronation Honours,[2] receiving the accolade from King Edward VII at Buckingham Palace on 24 October that year.[3] He was later appointed a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) in 1914, and served as Vice-Lieutenant of the County of London from 1925 to 1945.

Personal life

On 2 August 1898 Collins married Jane Stevenson Wilson (c,1855-1936), daughter of John Wilson, MP for Govan. Jane was a Sister at the National Temperance Hospital in Hampstead Road, north London. He died aged 87 at 1 Albert Terrace, Regent's Park where he had lived since the age of two.[1]


  • 1883 Sir Lyon Playfair's Logic LONDON: E.W. ALLEN
  • 1883 A Review of the Norwich Vaccination Inquiry LONDON: E.W. ALLEN
  • 1884 Specificity and Evolution in Disease

See also


  1. ^ a b William Job Collins at the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography - subscription required, accessed 30 July 2012
  2. ^ "The Coronation Honours". The Times (36804). London. 26 June 1902. p. 5.
  3. ^ "No. 27494". The London Gazette. 11 November 1902. p. 7165.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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