The Collins Family

Ethel Frances Collins

Birth: 8 October 1894

Father: James Stratford Collins

Mother: Mary Isabella (Johnson) Collins

Death: 9 June 1897, in the wreck of the Aden off Socotra in the Mahra Sultanate of Qishn and Socotra (now part of Yemen), aged 2. See the entry on Ethel's mother, Mary, for details of this tragedy.

A memorial to Ethel has been placed in Ardamine Church, county Wexford.
In loving memory of
Rev. James Stratford Collins. C. M. S.
drowned in Min River, China, April 20th 1897 aged 37
buried at Foo Chow
also of Mary Isabella his wife aged 37
Ethel aged 2 and Philip aged 1 their children
and Margaret Hogan their nurse
lost in the wreck of the 'Aden' off Socotra June 9th 1897.



Sources:

Helen Mary Emily Collins

Birth: 7 July 1892, in Foo-Chow, Fukien province, China

Father: James Stratford Collins

Mother: Mary Isabella (Johnson) Collins

Death: 16 December 1989

Samuel Johnson Headstone
Headstone of Helen Mary Emily Collins in St John the Apostle graveyard, Ardamine, county Wexford
photo by Ray Johnson
Buried: St John the Apostle graveyard, Ardamine, county Wexford, Ireland. Helen's headstone reads:
Helen M. E. CoLLINS
died 16th dec. 1989. aged 95 yrs

Census:
1911: 14 Belgrave Road, Monkstown, county Dublin

Sources:

Herbert Stratford Collins

Birth: 27 January 1891, in Foo-Chow, Fukien province, China

Father: James Stratford Collins

Mother: Mary Isabella (Johnson) Collins

Education: Trinty College Dublin

Married: Ellen Louise Furr in 1918, in Dublin South district, county Dublin, Ireland

Occupation: Medical Doctor. Herbert graduated M.B., B.Ch. in 1918 and M.D. in 1920 and admitted D.P.H., R.C.P.S. Ireland in 1920.

Notes: Herbert served in World War I in the Army Service Corps. On 12 September 1914 he was promoted from Cadet to temporary Second Lieutenant (London Gazette 6 October 1914 p8003)

Census & Addresses:
1911: Middletown, Ardamine, county Wexford
1945: Hollingbourne, Kent (CWGC memorial for son, Peter)
1960: Godfrey House, Hollingbourne, Kent (The Medical Register pt1 p420)

Sources:

James Stratford Collins

James Stratford Collins
James Stratford Collins

James Stratford Collins
James Stratford Collins
photo in collection at Visual Cultures in East Asia
Title: Reverend

Birth: 11 September 1860, in Shih-Ku, Kuang-Tung, China

Father: William Henry Collins. Rev. Collins was also a missionary in China, in Shanghai and Peking.

Mother: Helen Jane _____

Education: Trinty College Dublin, graduating B.A. in 1884.

Married: Mary Isabella Johnson on 17 February 1890
The history of the Church Missionary Society: its environment, its men and its work p793 by Eugene Stock (1899):
[James Collins] had married a C.E.Z. lady in the Fuh-kien Mission, one of two Misses Johnson of Dublin, sisters of the present head of the Irish Church Missions to Roman Catholics there.

Children:
Occupation: Missionary to China
James was ordained in 1884, and sailed for China in September 1887.
The Church Missionary Gleaner May 1889 pp68-9
In 1887 a missionary union formed among the students of Trinity College, Dublin, decided, by subscriptions collected by themselves, to support a Fuh-Kien missionary, and in pursuance of this scheme a young Dublin University man, the Rev. J.S. Collins, B.A., a son of the Rev. W.H. Collins, who was a C.M.S. missionary at Shanghai and Pekin from 1857 to 1880, was sent out.
... The present disposition of the staff is as follows: - ... Mr. Lloyd and Mr. Shaw work the College at Fuh-Chow and the other educational institutions. Mr. Collins, the Trinity College (Dublin) missionary, will also be attached to the College.

In 1890, Collins was put in charge of the missionary activities in Lo-ngwong.
For Christ in Fuh-Kien pp70-72, by T. McClelland (Church Missionary Society, 1904)
  When, at the beginning of the year 1890, the Rev. J. S. Collins was put in charge of Lo-ngwong, and took up his residence in the district, he found much to distress him. The district had previously been superintended by Archdeacon Wolfe from Fuh-chow, but he was. only able to visit it occasionally; consequently the native pastor and other agents did not have that close and constant supervision which was so necessary. As a result, quarrels and dissensions were sadly prevalent, and constituted a great stumbling-block to the work among the Heathen. This is illustrated by a remark made to Mr. Collins, "The Christians abuse their neighbours. We can do that without changing our religion." In some cases, too, the work proved to be only of a surface character. As an illustration of what was met with, Mr. Collins told of a visit he paid to Tiong-tang, where in one large clan out of seven brothers six had been baptized:-
  My first visit there was the sign for a storm such as I have seldom encountered. One of the hrothers had heen expelled from the Church on a charge of false witness, though he had previously held a position as Churchwarden (or what corresponds to the office out here), and the bitterness against all in authority was intense. With open Bibles they met me text for text, with bitter words and angry looks and gestures. I waited and prayed. At last the chance was given and they listened till the word given me brought from the second brother the angry retort, "There was only one Jesus, and He was God, but I am a man," but it had shown him our standard, and his own conscience had shown him how far short he had fallen of it, as he confessed months afterwards with words of humble apology.
  But encouraging incidents were not lacking. Sung
kia, being situated on an island three miles to seaward, had escaped the unhappy contagion of discord, and was described as "the one bright spot" in fee district. Mr. Collins wrote:-
The two leading men are in themselves pictures of what the love of Christ can make this people, and an evidence that there was a true and real work from the very first here. Just before I came an attempt had been made by the Heathen to compel the Christians to subscribe to a new idol temple. The richest man on the island is a Christian, and, led by him, they stoutly refuised, and held their own. Not only so, but they did more. The island was reached by a stone causeway, covered at high tide. The chief village on it extends for half a mile along the side of the island facing the mainland. At the upper end, opposite the new temple, is the old causeway, so that to cross from the lower end of the village, a long detour had to be made. The Christians refused to subscribe to the temple, but to show their public spirit, offered to build a second causeway at the lower end of the island. This was done, and I was taken to see the new causeway as a triumph, which, indeed, it was.
  And of a former member of the congregation at Uong-buang who had lately removed to Lo-ngwong, and whose zeal was a great encouragement, Mr. Collins wrote:-
Living in the Roman Catholic quarter of the town, he refused to go with his neighbours, who iuvited him, either to worship or to gamble, and his reputation reached the ears of the priest, a Spaniard, who sent for him, and talked with him for two hours, questioning him on both the Old and New Testament history. Astonished at the answers of so rough a man, he asked him how many years he had read in school. 'I never was at school,' said the man. 'Where, then, did you learn all this?' 'From reading my Bible.' was the answer, and the priest was silent. Then he showed him the crucifix in the chapel. It impressed the man, but in an unexpected direction. To some minds his answer would be shocking, but to him, himself recently an idolator, it came quite naturally. 'What a pity,' he said, 'to make an idol of the Lord Jesus Christ for the heathen to laugh at!'
  Mrs. Collins was warmly welcomed in visiting the homes of the Christian women, but meetings of women were not possible, owing to the prevalent animosities.
  During the next few years the work was extended in several directions. A little hospital was opened at Lo-ngwong under the charge of the head student of Dr. Taylor's hospital at Fuh-ning; a boarding-school for boys was established with sixteen pupils, and also, a Women's Scliool; and work among a community of lepers living outside the Nortk Gate was set on foot by the help of the Mission to Lepers, which supplied the stipend of the leper catechist who lived amonig them. He was the only Christian in the village when he died, in 1895, but there were one or two earnest inquirers. Later a number of the lepers were baptized; a church was built in the village by means of funds contributed through the Mission to Lepers by two Dublin ladies; and afterwards an American lady, through the same Society, provided the money for building a Home for the untainted children of lepers (which was built close to the Mission compound), and also for its endowment.

Late in 1891 or early in 1892, Collins was appointed to the Nang-wa district, where his wife's sister, Frances Johnson, was working as a medical missionary with the C.E.Z.M.S.
The Church Missionary Gleaner April 1892 p58
LETTER FROM DR. J. RIGG
NANG WA, Dec. 9th, 1891.
Now I shall no longer be alone, as the Rev. J.S. Collins has been appointed here and will in a few weeks (p.v.) come up along with his family.
For Christ in Fuh-Kien pp121, by T. McClelland (Church Missionary Society, 1904)
Four lady missionaries of the C.E.Z.M.S., were appointed to this district at the end of 1891, and when the Rev. J. S. Collins, who was in charge of the district, came home on furlough and Dr. Rigg took up his residence at Seven Stars Bridge, near Kien-ning city, where the new hospital had been built, the ladies were left alone at the station.
  Mr. Collins returned to Nang-wa in March, 1897, but his term of service was but short, for on Easter Tuesday, April 20th, he met his death by drowning.

Mary Darley described her trip up the Min River from Foo-Chow to Nang-wa in February 1897. (The light of the morning : the story of C.E.Z.M.S. work in the Kien-ning Prefecture of the Fuh-kien Province, China by Mary E. Darley (1903) p20). Although she does not explicitly state it, mentioning only "a large party of new and returning missionaries", I believe the Rev. Collins and his family were with Mary on this trip, returning from their furlough.

Death:
20 April 1897, drowned in the Min River between Yen-ping and Chiu-kow, Fu-kien province, China, aged 37.
The history of the Church Missionary Society: its environment, its men and its work p793 by Eugene Stock (1899)
The Rev James Stratford Collins, of Trinity College, Dublin (and the first supported by the T.C.D. Association), - a son of the Rev. W.H. Collins, formerly of Shanghai and Peking - was one of the most earnest missionaries in China, and a devoted follower of Robert Stewart in his principles and methods of missionary work. On Easter Tuesday, April 20th, 1897, he was in a boat descending the River Min from Yen-ping to Chiu-kow, when the boat struck on a rock, and before he could swim to the shore, a whirlpool sucked him down.

Buried: Foo Chow, Fukien province, China
For Christ in Fuh-Kien pp121, by T. McClelland (Church Missionary Society, 1904)
His body was found, and interred in the Fuh-chow Cemetery. Some three hundred Native Christians attended his funeral. The hymn, " Peace, perfect Peace" was sung in English, and "For ever with the Lord" in Chinese.

A memorial to James and his family has been placed in Ardamine Church, county Wexford.
In loving memory of
Rev. James Stratford Collins. C. M. S.
drowned in Min River, China, April 20th 1897 aged 37
buried at Foo Chow
also of Mary Isabella his wife aged 37
Ethel aged 2 and Philip aged 1 their children
and Margaret Hogan their nurse
lost in the wreck of the 'Aden' off Socotra June 9th 1897.


For Christ in Fuh-Kien pp122, by T. McClelland (Church Missionary Society, 1904)
Mysterious indeed are God's ways. James Stratford Collins survived fevers, and escaped riots, to die by drowning in the familiar Min, on whose waters he had hundreds of times been borne without a thought of danger. He was an ardent missionary, of a bright and sunny nature; impulsive, it is true, but generous to a degree, and full of kindness. A brass to the memoiy of Mr. and Mrs. Collins has been put in Ardamine Church, Co. Wexford, the native place of the latter, bearing the appropriate text, "When thou passest through the waters I will be with thee." A memorial to Mr. Collins, subscribed for by old Reptonians, has also been erected in the Chapel of Repton School, where he was educated, and a further fund, raised by friends in Ireland, has been applied towards purchasing some mission property in Kien-ning.

Sources:

Philip Rowland Collins

Birth: 27 March 1896, in Rathdown district, county Dublin or Wicklow, Ireland

Father: James Stratford Collins

Mother: Mary Isabella (Johnson) Collins

Death: 9 June 1897, in the wreck of the Aden off Socotra in the Mahra Sultanate of Qishn and Socotra (now part of Yemen), aged 1. See the entry on Philip's mother, Mary, for details of this tragedy.

A memorial to Philip has been placed in Ardamine Church, county Wexford.
In loving memory of
Rev. James Stratford Collins. C. M. S.
drowned in Min River, China, April 20th 1897 aged 37
buried at Foo Chow
also of Mary Isabella his wife aged 37
Ethel aged 2 and Philip aged 1 their children
and Margaret Hogan their nurse
lost in the wreck of the 'Aden' off Socotra June 9th 1897.



Sources:
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