Record

CodeNA6119
Dates1760-1838
Person NameWood; John Philip (1760-1838); antiquary and biographer
SurnameWood
ForenamesJohn Philip
Epithetantiquary and biographer
ActivityWood was born in 1760 into a family in the parish of Cramond. Deaf and dumb from infancy, he held the office of auditor of excise in Scotland. He was greatly interested in historical and antiquarian lore, and with his first published literary work he opted for biography of an 18th-century figure and fellow native of Cramond. This was ‘A Sketch of the Life and Projects of John Law of Lauriston, Comptroller-general of the Finances of France’ (Edinburgh, 1791). A new and enlarged edition, entitled ‘Memoirs of the Life of John Law,’ appeared in 1824. Wood went on to bring out the first parochial history attempted in Scotland, ‘The Ancient and Modern State of the Parish of Cramond’ (Edinburgh, 1794). His principal work, however, was his edition of the ‘Peerage of Scotland’ by Sir Robert Douglas, which was printed at Edinburgh in two folio volumes in 1813. He had originally intended to bring out a separate peerage for the period between 1707 and 1809, but was persuaded to incorporate his collections with Douglas's work.
Wood died in Edinburgh in December 1838. He was a friend of Scott, who styled him ‘honest John Wood,’ and brother-in-law of Robert Cadell, the partner of Archibald Constable. He made several contributions to the ‘Gentleman's Magazine,’ and communicated to John Nichols most of the biographical notes to the writers of the poetry comprised in ‘The Muses Welcome to King James,’ printed in the ‘Progresses of King James I.’
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