John Philp Wood

(Honest John Wood)

1762 - 1838

Antiquary and biographer. Born into an old Cramond family, Wood was a deaf mute who benefited from Thomas Braidwood's pioneering Academy for the Deaf and Dumb in Edinburgh. He learned to speak and went on to a successful career as Auditor of Excise.

Wood went on to prepare The Ancient and Modern State of the Parish of Cramond (Edinburgh) in 1794, the first history of a parish in Scotland. He is also noted for an edition of Douglas' The Peerage of Scotland published in two volumes in 1813 and a biography of John Law of Lauriston (1671 - 1729) which appeared in 1824.

A friend of the author Sir Walter Scott (1771 - 1832), who referred to him as Honest John Wood. He died in Edinburgh and lies buried in the kirkyard of St. Cuthbert's Church. His portrait in silhouette is held by the National Galleries of Scotland.

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