François-Charles Emmanuel Collin, a member of the constituent assembly called in 1848 to write and pass a new national constitution, was born in Hives near La Roche-en-Ardenne on 18 June 1790. He was the son of Jean-François Collin, a landowner and farmer, and Marie-Hélène Maboge. Collin joined the land registry office of the old Département des Forêts in 1795/96. He initially worked as a level-II surveyor, and later as a level-I surveyor, helping to draw up the Grand Duchy's first cadastral maps, a project that spanned between 1717 and 1830.

Shortly after the Belgian Revolution of 1830, Collin resigned due to ill health. Though he could have taken a promotion to chief surveyor, he had developed painful arthritis during his long years in the field. The revolutionary wave that swept across Europe in 1848 brought about changes in Luxembourg society too. Reform was needed, so a less authoritarian constitution was adopted, bringing in new civil liberties. On 19 April 1848, Collin was elected to serve on the constituent assembly in charge of writing the new constitution, which he did from 25 April to 28 July 1848. He then retired, and lived out his days on income from his property. Collin was married to Régine Gindorff. He died on 3 March 1851.