Collins corresponded with Newton and with many of the leading English and foreign mathematicians of the day, drafting mathematical notes on behalf of the Society.
When Jones applied for the mastership of Christ's Hospital Mathematical School in 1709 he carried with him testimonials from Edmund Halley and Newton. However Jones's former pupil, Philip Yorke, had by now embarked on his legal career and introduced his tutor to Sir Thomas Parker (1667-1732), a successful lawyer who was on his way to becoming the next lord chief justice in the following year.
On his return to London he had earned his living as a teacher and an accountant.
He held several increasingly lucrative posts and was adept at disentangling intricate accounts.
In fact it was first used in print in its modern sense in 1706 a year before Euler's birth by a self-taught mathematics teacher William Jones (1675-1749) in his second book based on his teaching notes.
Before the appearance of the symbol π, approximations such as 22/7 and 355/113 had also been used to express the ratio, which may have given the impression that it was a rational number.
These would prove of great interest to Jones and useful to his reputation.
Born half a century apart, Collins and Jones never met, yet history will forever link them because of the library and mathematical archive that Collins started and Jones continued, arising from their shared passion for collecting books.
It was probably around 1706 that Jones first came to Isaac Newton's attention when he published Synopsis, in which he explained Newton's methods for calculus as well as other mathematical innovations.
In 1708 Jones was able to acquire Collins's extensive library and archive, which contained several of Newton's letters and papers written in the 1670s.