Collins, Samuel (1618-1710) (DNB00)

COLLINS, SAMUEL, M.D. (1618–1710), anatomist, was the only son of John Collins, rector of Rotherfield, Sussex, who was descended from an ancient family settled in the counties of Somerset and Devon. He received his education at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was elected to a scholarship, and afterwards to a fellowship. He graduated B.A. in 1638–9, M.A. in 1642. Then he travelled on the continent, and visited many universities in France, Italy, and the Low Countries, but found none to compare with our own. He was created M.D. at Padua 25 Aug. 1654, and was incorporated in that degree at Oxford in 1652, and at Cambridge in 1673. He was admitted a candidate of the College of Physicians of London in 1656, and a fellow in 1668. About the latter date he was appointed physician in ordinary to Charles II. Between 1671 and 1707 he was frequently elected to the office of censor in the College of Physicians; he was anatomy reader in 1684; and on 10 Sept. 1694 was appointed Lumleian lecturer, an office which he retained to his death. He was constituted an elect in 1689; was several times appointed consiliarius; and in 1695 was elected president of the college. He died 11 April 1710. To his 'memory' is inscribed the view of the interior of the nave of St. Paul's in Dugdale's 'History' of that church. The plate being dated 1658 is calculated to mislead as to the date of Collins's death. He married, first, Anne, eldest daughter of John Bodenham, esq.; and secondly, Dame Catharine, countess-dowager of Carnwath in Scotland, daughter of John Abington, esq., of Dowdeswell, Gloucestershire.

Dr. Munk says that Collins, who is mentioned in Garth's 'Dispensary,' was an accomplished anatomist, and stood foremost among his contemporaries, whether at home or abroad, in his knowledge of comparative anatomy. His great work, which embodies a full report of his original investigations, is entitled 'A Systeme of Anatomy, treating of the Body of Man, Beasts, Birds, Fish, Insects, and Plants. Illustrated with many schemes,' 2 vols. London, 1685, fol. It is often referred to by Boerhaave and Haller, the latter of whom writes thus of the author and his work: 'Anatomen comparatam amavit, ut ipse de se fatetur; hinc magna pars operis in zootome versatur, cujus praecipuus certe auctor est; et avium pisciumque imprimis copiosissimas figuras dedit, ad Peraltianum fere morem. Ex homine icones pauciores sunt. Anatomen practicam interponit, et physiologiam, anatomen, atque pathologiam conjungit.' Collins's portrait, engraved by W. Faithorne, is prefixed to his 'Anatomy.'

[Addit. MS. 5865, f. 65; Annals of Queen Anne, ix. 414; Garth's Dispensary, canto iv.; Granger's Biog. Hist. of England (1824), v. 225; Guillim's Display of Heraldry (1724), 431; Hutchinson's Biog. Medica, i. 213; Lowndes's Bibl. Man. (Bohn), 499; Munk's College of Physicians (1878), i. 355; Notes and Queries, 2nd series, x. 42; Rees's Cyclopædia; Wood's Fasti Oxon. (Bliss), ii. 172, 221.]

T. C.