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Peter Collinson

Death: Died
Immediate Family:

Son of Peter Collinson and Elizabeth Collinson
Husband of Mary Collinson
Father of Michael Collinson and Mary Cator

Managed by: Private User
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Immediate Family

About Peter Collinson

Peter Collinson F.R.S.

Variations of the name –

Origin of the name –

Birth date – 14 Jan 1695 Bapt. 28 January 1694

Birth Place – Hugal Hall, Windewere, Westmorland, England

Date of Death – 11 August 1768

Place of Death – Home of Lord Petre , Essexaccording to the Dictionary of national Biography.

Buried at the Quaker burial ground in Long Lane, Bermondsey, London. [2]


Father – Peter Collinson

Mother – Elizabeth Hall

Marriage – Mary Bushell daughter of Michael Russell

Date – 1724

Place -

Children: One son Michael Collinson born c 1728 married Jane Banaster; died 1795 Sproughton, Suffolk

One daughter Mary Collinson born c married John Cator

Occupation: Botanist

Fellow of the Royal Society, an avid gardener, and the middleman for an international exchange of scientific ideas in mid-18th century London.

He is best known for his horticultural friendship with John Bartram and his correspondence with Benjamin Franklin about electricity.


“Overseas trade links enabled him to obtain samples of seeds, bulbs and cuttings of plants from around the world. His personal plant collections, first at Peckham and later at Mill Hill became well known to horticulturalists. His home in Mill Hill is now part of Mill Hill School.

Collinson’s trade links with North America and his connections with the Pennsylvania Quaker settlements led to correspondence with notable scientists in what was to become the USA. He was a supporter of the American Philosophical Society, founded in Philadelphia in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin and botanist and fellow-Quaker John Bartram His correspondence with Franklin led to the introduction of Franklin’s experiments in electricity to the Royal Society; while Bartram regularly sent him seeds and cuttings of many American plants previously unknown in Europe. With Collinson’s help, Bartram went on to supply many distinguished collectors in Britain and Europe, including Carl Linnaeus, the Swedish taxonomist whose classifications of plants are still in use. In 1747, Collinson was elected a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. In 1739, Collinson became one of the governors of the newly-established London Foundling Hospital, having long supported the campaigns of Thomas Coram to provide a refuge for abandoned children.” [1]


Thirteen Papers in the ‘Gent. Mag’ 1843 L W Dillwyn privately printed’Hortus Collinsonianus: plants cultivated by Peter Collinson’ Dr. Fothergill wrote a life of Collinson, privately printed 1771

Other Notes

Born into a Quaker family belonging to the Gracechurch Street Meeting in the City of London. He was the son of a London woolen draper, Collinson entered his father's business, remaining a cloth merchant by trade, but also developed an interest in horticulture and botany.

Notes, References, Sources/Links, Family Trees etc.



27 Sep [1691] Thomas Wilson and Elizabeth Collinson, both p. Windermere. Bondsman: Peter Collinson, of same p. Witness: Jane Bell.

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Peter Collinson's Timeline

January 1694
Age 34
August 11, 1768
Age 74