David Collins (1756-1810), deputy judge advocate and lieutenant-governor, was born on 3 March 1756 in London.
He was commissioned second lieutenant on 20 February 1771 and later served in North America.
In 1786 accepted an appointment to the expedition to Botany Bay. On 24 October 1786 he was commissioned deputy judge advocate of the new colony and of the marine detachment. Collins was responsible, under the governor, for the colony's entire legal establishment. Collins placed him in close association with the Governor and brought him into conflict with officers of the New South Wales Corps. Collins was a keen observer, particularly of the Indigenous people of Port Jackson. Collins sailed for London in August 1796. From his own records he completed in May 1798 the first volume of An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales.
In 1802 he was chosen to form a new settlement in Bass Strait. He arrived at Port Phillip Bay on 9 October 1803, but decided to move to the Derwent where Lieutenant John Bowen had already established a settlement at Risdon. The main settlement was later moved to Hobart. Collins died suddenly in Hobart on 24 March 1810. He was buried on the spot intended for a church, now St David's Cathedral.