COLLINS, Henry Powell (1776-1854), of Hatch Court, nr. Taunton, Som.
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Family and Education
b. 1776, 2nd s. of John Collins of Hatch Court by Jane, da. of Jonas Langford of Antigua, and Theobalds Park, Herts. m. 4 June 1800, Dorothea, da. of Sir John Lethbridge*, 1st Bt., 1da. suc. bro. John Raw Collins 1807.
Lt. Som. fencibles 1794-8; cornet and sub lt. 1 Life Gds. 1798-1800.1
Sheriff, Som. 1827-8.
Collins owed his seat in the House to his father-in-law, who in 1811 purchased the Taunton property of John Hammet. He was returned on the vacancy caused by Hammet’s death that year, having announced his intentions ‘several months since’. A ‘native’, with ‘no predilection whatever’ as to party, he met with no substantial opposition until 1818.2 His only known gesture in his first Parliament was to vote with the ministerial minority against the abolition of McMahon’s sinecure, 24 Feb. 1812. He appeared on the Treasury list as a supporter after the election of 1812, but he was a fitful one. No speech is known. He opposed Catholic relief throughout in 1813 and again in 1817. He sided with ministers against scrutiny of the Regent’s expenditure, 31 May 1815. Surprisingly he was in the minority for a reduction of the army estimates, 6 Mar. 1816 (taking three weeks’ leave a week later), but his known votes were otherwise with government: on the civil list, 6 May 1816, on the composition of the finance committee and Admiralty questions, 7, 17, 25 Feb., and for the suspension of habeas corpus, 23 June 1817.
Collins was narrowly defeated at the poll in 1818. In his preliminary address he had pledged himself not to accept a place from the ministry.3 He unseated his Whig opponent on petition. He was in the government majority against Tierney’s censure motion, 18 May 1819. He declined another contest in 1820. Collins died 22 Aug. 1854, aged 78.