• Full Name:
    Frederick Nelson Collins
  • Role:
  • Occupation/s:
  • State:
    New South Wales
  • Date first identified using homoeopathy in Australia:

(Material researched & presented by Barbara Armstrong)


[1832 - 1884]


According to the parish records of St Dunstan in the West, London, Frederick was born on 12 November 1832 and was baptised on 24 February, 1833. His father was John Nelson Collins, a butcher, and his mother was Emma (nee Roots). His parents had married on 11 September, 1831, and Frederick was their first child. At that time the family lived in Fetter Lane, which was just around the corner from the church where Frederick was baptised.


The list of UK Apprentices Indentured in the Merchant Navy shows that on 21 May, 1849, when Frederick was age 16, an indenture was made between Frederick and William Henry Eldred regarding apprenticeship as a mariner with a mariner's register ticket. His vessel was the 'Caspar'. He was bound for 5 years, with an expiry date of 21 May 1854.


By 1856 Frederick had migrated to Australia. We know this because in June 1856 he married Rebecca Fletcher at St Andrew's Church, Sydney. Frederick and Rebecca had several children, three known names being Louisa Matilda born 1857, Frederick Minchin John Nelson born 1862, and Alice Maud Mary born 1866. According to the Sands Directory of 1867 Fred Nelson Collins was listed as a chemist located at 3 Wharf Street. It is unknown how and when he learned his skills as a chemist.


Rebeccca died in October 1870. The funeral was held on 27 October. At that time their residence was corner Pitt and Raglan Street, Waterloo.


It is probable that Frederick purchased the old established homœopathic pharmacy of John Bell during the latter half of 1870, as in January 1871 Frederick commenced advertising that he was now the successor to that business under the name of F.N. Collins Homœopathic Pharmacy.


In 1875 the family residence was at 204 Dowling Street.


Frederick Nelson Collins died on 13 January 1884 at his residence called 'Astonleigh', Bourke Street, Surry Hills. He was buried at Pioneers Memorial Park.


Frederick died without a will. Newspapers of the time reveal the complications of his home life, as the next of kin who were descendent from his marriage to Rebecca challenged the rights of Frederick's second wife, Jane, to the estate. Their challenge was on the basis that she was not 'fit and proper' to administer the estate. They stated that a few days after the death of Rebecca, Jane McLean (or McLane) moved into the home, bringing a child with her. They cohabited for about ten years and had six children before marrying on 17 May 1881. Rebecca's children claimed that Jane had treated them very poorly, giving preferential treatment to her own children. In the end Rebecca's descendants won the case.


©   Barbara Armstrong     


  • Created:
    Monday, 25 May 2009
  • Last modified:
    Thursday, 14 November 2019