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William Collins (c. 1767–1842)

William Collins, second lieutenant of marines, and younger brother of David Collins, was baptised on 27 October 1765 at Littleham cum Exmouth, Devon, England. He embarked for New South Wales on the Lady Penrhyn in 1787, transferring to the Supply at Botany Bay on 25 January 1788 with Lieutenant George Johnston, a company of marines and 40 convicts. They proceeded to Port Jackson, where it was later said Collins 'unfurled the first British flag at Sidney Cove'.

Collins was engaged in guard duty at Port Jackson but fell seriously ill at the end of February with dysentery. He was sent back to England on the Friendship in July 1788. He retired on full pay in 1791 and died at Seaton, Devon, on 26 September 1842.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 79

Citation details

'Collins, William (c. 1767–1842)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 16 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


c. 1767
Devon, England


1842 (aged ~ 75)
Seaton, Devon, England

Cause of Death


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