Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: September 21, 2019
Webpage updated: January 03, 2020




The Collier family were for long known in Plymouth as wine and spirit merchants.  The first to arrive in the Town was Mr Jonathan Collier.  In 1676 he purchased a wine importing business in Southside Street, close to Plymouth's Barbican.  It is said that it was already well established but the family were to make their own mark on the Town over the succeeding two centuries and more.

William Frederick Collier was the second son of Mr John and Mrs Emma Collier and was born on March 14th 1824.

He fully entered in to public life in the Town and was a member of Plymouth Borough Council from 1848 until 1854. 

Unlike his older brother, Mr Robert Porrett Collier, he joined the family wine and spirit merchant's business and after the death of his father in 1849, became senior partner with his younger brother, Mr Mortimer John Collier.   So esteemed was his father that when William took over the business it was quickly confirmed that he would continue to hold the offices of Lloyd's Agent and Vice-Consul for Austria, Hungary, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and Uruguay.

On March 7th 1854 Mr William Frederick Collier married Miss Cycill Christiana Calmady, of Langdon Court, at Wembury Parish Church.

Mr Collier was one of the original members of the Dartmoor Hunt but he was forced to retire in 1878 following a serious accident, the aftermath of which he suffered with courage until the bitter end.  He was the largest contributor to the fund for the purchase of the hounds when their previous owner, Admiral Parker, retired.

During his lifetime, Mr Collier not only ran his business but also found time to become deputy-chairman of the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce, and involved with the Cattewater Harbour Commissioners, the Sutton Harbour Improvement Company, the Plymouth Institution (he was president in 1870), Plymouth College, Plymouth Public Free Schools, the Devonshire Association, the Social Science Congress, the South Devon and East Cornwall Hospital, the Dartmoor Preservation Association, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty  to Children, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Sampford Spiney School Board.  He held the office of chairman of Sampford Spiney Parish Council for many years.

Mr William Frederick Collier died at his home, Woodtown, in Sampford Spiney, near Horrabridge, on Sunday February 9th 1902.  He was 78 years of age and was survived by three sons and one daughter.  The management of Messrs Collier and Company then passed to Mr Mortimer John Collier.