Sir William Collins (1817-1895) was a book publisher and Lord Provost, 1877-1880.
The son of the owner of a printing and stationery business in Townhead, Collins became a partner in his father's business in 1848 when it went into publishing. The firm prospered and became William Collins, Sons & Co in 1868 when Collins Snr’s two sons became partners.
Collins was a member of the Free Church. His fame as a campaigner for temperance reform inspired the nickname “Water Willie”. He was elected to the Town Council as a Liberal in 1868, and became a stern critic of Council expenditure. In 1877 he became the first total abstainer to hold the office of Lord Provost. He was knighted in 1880.
Reference: Mitchell Library, 920.04BAI
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning
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