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Sir William Collins

Mitchell Library, The Bailie

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Sir William Collins

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

councillors, Liberal Party, Lord Provosts, printers, printing, publishers, publishing, temperance, William Collins, Sons & Co

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