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 John Collins, I

John Collins, I

Maidstone, Maidstone Borough, Kent, England
Death 1644 (aged 74–75)
Maidstone, Maidstone Borough, Kent, England
Burial Unknown
Memorial ID 93402885 · View Source
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John Collins was granted life rights as Keeper of the Gael of Maidstone by England's King Charles I. Gael has been deduced to mean "Jail" or "Prison". [NOTE: The father of King Charles I was King James I (a.k.a. James VI of Scotland), the namesake of the King James Bible.]

Collins name was in the Domesday Book of 1085 - 86. Name could be Collen, Colin, Cullin Collings or many different ways. This family supported King Charles and John (I)'s son William came to America in 1635 aboard the Plain Joane. Also on that ship is another William Collins who is thought to be John[I]'s grandson. The rest of the family came to America after Charles I was beheaded on 01/30/1649. Abraham Weeks signed a John Collins estate 7. July 1686 who was from Essex County, Virginia.

Children of JOHN COLLINS and UNKNOWN are:

i. KATHERINE COLLINS, b. February 22, 1584/85, Maidston, Kent County England; d. Bet. 1661 - 1693, Surry County, Virginia.

ii. JOHN COLLINS II, b. 1590, Maidston, Kent County England; d. July 15, 1686, Essex County, Virginia.

iii. WILLIAM COLLINS, born Abt. 1601 in Maidstone, Kent Co., England; died Aft. 1650 in Surry Co., VA (Source: LDS.).


Information from other sources:

John1 Collins was born Abt. 1569 in England, and died Abt. 1644 in Maidstone, Kent Co., England (Source: Anst File#: SKJ1-85 & 20SB-GJM.). He married Unknown Abt. 1587 in Kent Co., England (Source: LDS.). She was born Abt. 1571 in England.

Notes for John Collins:

Events in history and additional information:
1600: Charles Stuart was born on November 19, 1600.
1625: He became King Charles I in March.
1631: King Charles granted John Collins the title Keeper of the Gaol of Maidstone. This was a titled position and could be passed to heirs.
1635: The "Plain Joane" departed London on May 15, 1635 bound for Virginia. Richard Buckam was the ship's master. John (I)'s son William, age 34, was aboard.
1637: A civil war began in Scotland and lasted until 1640.
1642: The English civil war began. Supporters of King Charles were known as Cavaliers. Supporters of Parliament were called Roundheads.
1644: John Collins died and his son John (II) inherited his title.
1646: Charles placed himself in the hands of the Scottish Army in May.
1647: The Scottish Army turned him over to Parliament in February.
1647: Charles escaped to Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight in November.
1648: The Battle of Maidstone was fought.
1649: King Charles I was executed on January 30, 1649.

Notes about John:
John Collins was born in England in 1569. He had at least three children. King Charles I, by his letters patent dated February 27, 1631, granted John Collins the title Keeper of the Gaol (Prison) of Maidstone. In addition, this patent gave John the gaol house in Maidstone and custody of all its prisoners. This was a titled position of power and influence similar to that of high sheriff in older times, and it could be passed on to heirs. John Collins died in 1644. By his will, he left his son John his title and the house and all the irons, implements, fees, appurtenances, and prisoners. Maidstone is about 35 miles South East of London in the direction of Dover. Collins' descendants are still living in Maidstone in the year 2001.

Sources for the above: 1) History of Kent County England Vol. 2, p. 110; 2) History of the Collins Family of Caroline County Virginia by Herbert Ridgeway Collins, 1954; 3) The Collins and Travis Families and Their Allies by Mary Collins Landon, 1982; 4) World Family Tree Vol. 11, tree 0778; and 5) various references from the LDS.

Children of John Collins and Unknown are:

2 i. Katherine2 Collins, born February 22, 1588 in Maidstone, Kent Co., England; died Aft. 1661 in Surry Co., VA (Source: LDS.).

+ 3 ii. John Collins, born Abt. 1590 in Maidstone, Kent Co., England; died July 15, 1686 in Essex Co., VA.

4 iii. William Collins, born Abt. 1601 in Maidstone, Kent Co., England; died Aft. 1650 in Surry Co., VA (Source: LDS.).

[Notes for William Collins:]
William Collins, age 34, sailed for Virginia on the "Plain Joane", Richard Buckam, Master. He departed London on May 15, 1635. On the passenger list, there is another William Collins, age 20, who is believed to be his nephew. Source: List of Immigrants to America in the period 1600-1700 by Hotten, pp. 78-79.



...[t]he prison belonging to the corporation, [was] formerly called the Brambles. (fn. 5) This prison appears to have belonged antiently to the archbishops of Canterbury, and continued so till archbishop Cranmer, in the 29th year of king Henry VIII. exchanged the prison house of this town with that king. (fn. 6) In king Charles I.'s reign it remained in the king's hands; for by his letters patent, in 1631, he granted the office of keeper of it, and the custody of all prisoners there, to John Collins for his life; who, by his will, in 1644, gave his patent of the king's gaol in Maidstone, with all the irons, implements, fees, and appurtenances to his son of the same name.

The public gaol of the western division of the county of Kent was formerly placed most inconveniently in the very middle of the town, to its great annoyance, where it remained till 1736, when on a petition of its inconvenient situation, near the market place, of its being much decayed, and that there was no gaol for debtors, an act was obtained for erecting another in the room of it, together with a bride well, in another part of the town. This, after some intermission, was accomplished, and a capacious strong building of stone, with large outlets and conveniences for this purpose, has been erected near the out parts of the town, in East-lane, which has been lately still further strengthened and enlarged at a large expence,at the charge of the western division of the county.

From: 'The town and parish of Maidstone: Town and manors', The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 4 (1798), pp. 260-307.

[Definition of antiently: Obsolete spelling of ancient (used in this context would mean "of ancient times")]

Family Members

Gravesite Details D.O.B. and D.O.D. are approximate


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  • Created by: Ron Collins
  • Added: 10 Jul 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 93402885
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for John Collins, I (1569–1644), Find A Grave Memorial no. 93402885, ; Maintained by Ron Collins (contributor 14149965) Unknown.