FRANCIS COLLINS
 

Plaque, on a short stone column, west side of Jarvis St., just north of King St. E., Toronto
 
Francis Collins (1799-1834) was an early reporter of legislative debates in Upper Canada, publisher of the Canadian Freeman, and a champion of a free press. Jailed in 1828 for criticizing the ruling Family Compact, he received wide support, including that of William Lyon Mackenzie who later led the Rebellion of 1837-38. Following appeals on his behalf by the House of Assembly, Collins was granted royal clemency and released from jail. While Collins and Mackenzie did not agree on all questions, they were both part of the developing reform movement.