Collins, Charles (c.1777–1806?)

School friend. The son of William Collins and his wife Sarah Astell of Maize Hill, Greenwich, Kent. Educated at Westminster and Christ Church, Oxford (matric. Jan 1793). Married Jane Forman, by whom he had one son. Died c. 1806. Collins’s biography is difficult to reconstruct as Records of Old Westminsters and Alumni Oxoniensis both confuse him with his son, also named Charles Collins, and give a later date of death. A note, now in the Huntington Library, written by an eponymous descendant confirms that he died young. In 1815, Southey referred to Collins’s widow and in 1828 described him as long dead. Southey met Collins at Westminster and later described him as ‘one of my most intimate school and college friends’. However, by early 1794 their friendship had cooled and they seem to have had no contact with one another after Southey’s departure from Oxford later that year.

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