Authorised form of nameCollinson; Peter (1694 - 1768)
Dates1694 - 1768
Dates and placesBirth:
94 Lombard Street, London, England (January 1694)
Thorndon Hall, Brentwood, Essex (11 August 1768)
Long Lane burial-ground, Bermondsey, London
Research Field:
Natural history, dissemination of science
Quaker school at Wandsworth, Surrey
Took over the family business with his brother James and improved it by extensive trading with the American colonies; helped Mark Catesby (FRS 1733) to find patrons in America; Sir Hans Sloane (FRS 1685) encouraged his interest in the metamorphosis of insects, much of his collection was deposited in Sloane's museum and he later contributed to the British Museum; his gardens at Peckham and Mill Hill were known for their exotics and he is credited with introducing or reintroducing 180 species into England; encouraged the cultivation of silk, flax, hemp and wines in America; London agent for the Library Company of Philadelphia (1732); corresponded with Benjamin Franklin (FRS 1756) and other scientists in America, Europe and elsewhere;
FSA; Berlin Academy; Uppsala Academy
Royal Society activityMembership:
Election Date:
RelationshipsSon of Peter Collinson, Mercer, of Hugal Hall on the borders of Lake Windermere and Elizabeth Hall; married (11 June 1724) Mary, daughter of Michael Russell of London; one son, one daughter; Quaker, but withdrew from Society of Friends
Bulloch's Roll; DNB; DSB; DQB
H G Lyons, 'Two Hundred Years Ago: 1739' in NR 1939 vol 2 pp 34-42
R V Jones, 'Benjamin Franklin' in NR 1976-7 vol 31 pp 201-225
John H Appleby, 'Ginseng and the Royal Society' in NR 1982-83 vol 37 pp 121-145
Geoffrey Cantor, 'Quakers in the Royal Society, 1660-1750' in NR 1997 vol 51 pp 175-193
Obituary, Gentleman's Magazine (1768) p 398
DNB gives birth date of 14 January 1694 and birth place near Windermere. DSB agrees with DQB date of 28 January and is corroborated by Quaker Register of births. DNB gives father-on-law as Mr Bushell of Mill Hill, Hendon, Middlesex. Proposed by Sylvanus Bevan; Sir Hans Sloane; John Gaspar Scheuchzer
Royal Society codeNA8428
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
IM/000926Collinson, Peternd
EL/L6/49James Logan, dated at Philadelphia, to Peter Collinson20 November 1735
IM/000925Collinson, Peternd
RBO/16/10'Account of the same aurora borealis by Mr Richard Lewis'1730
AB/1/2/1/125Letter to Mr West from Dr Hill17 January 1768
EL/C3/43Benjamin Cooke, dated at Newport, Isle of Wight, to Peter Collinson1733
RBO/21/36'An Account of the American Ginseng by Mr Peter Collinson'1738
RBO/17/10'An account of a remarkable Seeming Alteration in the Size and Shape of objects at a distance occasion'd by the Exhalations from the Earth by Peter Collinson'1731
IM/005839Franklin, Benjamin2001
L&P/4/255Letter, 'A beautiful Chinese pheasant - the argus' from George Edwards to Peter Collinson1 March 1765
L&P/1/439Letter, 'Of cobwebs and cattle disorders' from John Payne to Peter Collinson22 December 1745
L&P/1/286Paper, 'On the colour of men's skins' by John Mitchell22 April 1743
L&P/4/200Letter, 'An account of the fish from Batavia called Jaculator' from Johann Albrecht Schlosser to Peter Collinson22 September 1763
L&P/1/131Letter, 'Concerning a water animal (hydra) which being cut into pieces becomes so many perfect animals' from John Frid Gronovius to Peter Collinson1742
L&P/3/139Letter, 'Microscopical observations' from Edward Wright to Petter Collinson26 December 1755
L&P/2/384Letter, 'Of a marine cluster-polype' from John Ellis to Peter Collinson8 November 1753
L&P/1/178Letter, 'Of certain ferruginous stones 'Granadoes Terrelles'' from Benjamin Cook to Peter Collinson4 October 1742
L&P/1/122Letter, 'A note relating to vivaprous fish shewed by Mr Ames' from Peter Collinson to John Machin1742
L&P/1/280Letter, 'On the Manna persicum explanta. Alhagi maurorum' from John Fothergill to Peter Collinson25 February 1744
L&P/1/317/1Letter, 'Of a bone found in a ship's bottom' from Beck to Peter Collinson1744
L&P/1/230Letter, 'On the disappearing of Saturn's ring in 1743 and 1744' from Godfrey Heinsius to Peter Collinson13 September 1743
L&P/1/266Paper, 'On the food of the soal fish' by Peter Collinson1743
L&P/2/289Letter, 'Of the shells of crabs' from James Parsons to Peter Collinson22 April 1752
L&P/2/478Letter, 'Concerning a particular species of coralline' from John Ellis to Peter Collinson7 February 1754
L&P/1/265Paper, 'On the hardness of shells' by Peter Collinson1743
L&P/1/309Letter, 'Of the alt-marsh mussel Pensilvania' from John Bartram to Peter Collinson4 July 1742
L&P/2/133Letter, 'Of the periodical appearences of locusts' from Peter Collinson to Martin Folkes1750
L&P/2/343Letter, 'Of an electrical kite' from Benjamin Franklin to Peter Collinson3 October 1752
L&P/2/10Letter, 'Of a great black wasp from Pennsylvania' from John Bartram to Peter Collinson20 December 1749
L&P/1/454Letter, 'Legendary acct. of cockatrice' from Benjamin Cooke to Peter Collinson20 February 1746
L&P/2/199Letter, 'Of a small species of wasp' from John Harrison to Peter Collinson19 July 1748
L&P/1/346Letter, 'Concerning the germination of melon seeds 33 years old; and, of a skeleton of a man found with stag's horns near Bakewell' from Roger Gale to Peter Collinson1745
L&P/1/424Letter, 'Effect of apple farina (pollen) on other apple blooms' from Benjamin Cooke to Peter Collinson7 October 1745
L&P/1/350Letter, 'On the libella' from Peter Collinson to Hans Sloane23 June 1744
L&P/2/91Paper, 'On cancer major' by Peter Collinson1 January 1751
L&P/2/71Letter, 'Of the earthquake shock of March 18' from Benjamin Cooke to Peter Collinson26 March 1750
L&P/2/499Letter, 'Of certain fossils - oysters, belemnites' from Joshua Platt to Peter Collinson22 March 1754
L&P/2/238Letter, 'Of the effects of lightning' from Benjamin Franklin to Peter Collinson 29 June 1751
L&P/2/198Letter, 'Of electrical experiments' from Benjamin Franklin to Peter Collinson4 February 1751
L&P/2/175Letter, 'Of certain clay nodules' from Joshua Platt to Peter Collinson1750
L&P/2/477Letter, 'Of dyeing black without logwood' from Gustavus Brander to Peter Collinson7 February 1754
L&P/3/223Letter, 'Extract of a letter sent from Philadelphia' from Benjamin Franklin to Peter Collinson23 September 1756
L&P/3/138Letter, 'Of the earthquake of Nov 1 at New York' from Cadwallader Colden to Peter Collinson9 December 1755
L&P/2/469Letter, 'Of the pheasant of Pennsylvania and the Otis minor' from George Edwards to Peter Collinson10 January 1754
L&P/3/300Paper, 'Agreeing with some of his views and dissenting from others (birds of passage)' from Peter Collinson to Jacobus Theodorus Klein6 March 1758
L&P/2/517Letter, 'Of corallines' from John Ellis to Peter Collinson1754
L&P/2/565Letter, 'Of Mount Taborg in Sweden (iron ore)' from Petrus Ascanius to Peter Collinson6 December 1754
L&P/3/174Letter, 'Of a remarkable fossil Orthocertites' from Edward Wright to Peter Collinson18 May 1756
L&P/3/169Letter, 'Of copper springs lately discovered in Pennsylvania' from John Rutty to Peter Collinson22 April 1756
L&P/3/175Letter, 'Of a remarkable fossil Orthocertites' from Edward Wright to Peter Collinson [Second letter]11 June 1756
L&P/3/331Letter, 'Of the migration of swallows' from Keane Fitzgerald to Peter Collinson27 March 1758
L&P/4/156Letter, 'Remarks on swallows on the Rhine' from Francois Acard to Peter Collinson7 September 1762
L&P/3/288Letter, 'Of a fossil thigh-bone from the Stonesfield Slate' from Joshua Platt to Peter Collinson20 January 1758
L&P/4/46Letter, 'Computation of lives' from James Burrow to Peter Collinson1761
L&P/4/349Paper, 'Of the East Indian elks' by James Parsons and Peter Collinson26 February 1766
L&P/4/413Letter, 'Of elephants teeth' from Peter Collinson to Matthew Maty19 November 1767
L&P/4/45Letter, 'Of checking the too luxuriant growth of fruit trees' from Keane Fitzgerald to Peter Collinson19 January 1761
L&P/4/257Letter, 'Account of Gmelin's work on the fossils of Wirtemberg' from Edward Mendez da Costa to Peter Collinson25 February 1765
L&P/4/191Paper, 'Of the cicada of North America' by Peter Collinson1764
CLP/2/37Paper, 'An account of a remarkable seeming alteration in the size and shape of a distance from the exhalation from the Earth' by Peter Collinson[1731]
CLP/6/72aLetter, account of boring a well at Queensborough by Frost, Young, Oxley, Roswell, Stacey, Hayward, Ward, Hogg, Dod, Finch, Devert, and Jones9 October 1723
IM/001543Franklin, Benjamin2001
EL/L6/48James Logan, dated at Stenton, to Peter Collinson31 October 1737
L&P/4/333Letter, 'Of the Jaculator fish' from Peter Simon Pallas to Peter Collinson20 October 1764
CLP/8ii/72Letter, observations of a comet and an eclipse at Philadelphia in Pensylvania by Dr Kearsly1737
EL/V/71Extract of a letter from Captain Vigor, dated at St Petersburg, to Peter Collinson1737
CLP/4ii/4Paper, account of the aurora borealis of 22 October 1730 by Richard Lewis of Annapolis in Maryland18 December 1730
Add to My Items

    Collection highlights

    Browse the records of some of our collections, which cover all branches of science and date from the 12th century onwards. These include the published works of Fellows of the Royal Society, personal papers of eminent scientists, letters and manuscripts sent to the Society or presented at meetings, and administrative records documenting the Society's activities since our foundation in 1660.

    The Royal Society

    The Royal Society is a Fellowship of many of
    the world's most eminent scientists and is the
    oldest scientific academy in continuous existence.
    Registered charity number 207043

    Website design ©CalmView


    + 44 207 451 2500
    (Lines open Mon-Fri, 9:00-17:00. Excludes bank holidays)

    6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AG

    Email Us →


    Subscribe to our newsletters to be updated with the
    latest news on innovation, events, articles and reports.

    Subscribe →

    © CalmView