William Wood (botanist)
William Wood (29 May 1745 – 1 April 1808) was an English Unitarian minister and botanist who was involved in efforts to remedy the political and educational disabilities of Nonconformists under the Test Acts.
Wood was born in Collingtree, near Northampton. His father was Benjamin Wood, who attended the services of Philip Doddridge. Wood was educated at Stephen Addington's school at Market Harborough, Leicestershire, then from 1761, studied for the ministry under David Jennings, Samuel Morton Savage, Andrew Kippis, and Abraham Rees.
Wood's first sermon] was preached at Debenham, Suffolk in 1766 and he became minister at Stamford, Lincolnshire the following year. He subsequently preached all over London. Wood and Rees were both ordained in Southwark. Wood served for a while in Ipswich as assistant to Thomas Scott before, in 1773, succeeding Joseph Priestley at Mill Hill Chapel in Leeds, on the recommendation of Priestley himself and Richard Price, the latter having become a close friend.
Doctrine and activism
Though his father was a Calvinist, Wood did not follow him. He rejected belief in the Trinity but, as was common at the time, he did not pronounce on doctrinal matters during his sermons. Wood published several collections of sermons and a liturgy, Form of Prayers (1801), for the use of his congregation.
Wood married Louisa Ann Oates (1758–1806), the daughter of a wealthy Leeds family, in 1780 and they had three sons and one daughter.
- George William Wood, his eldest son, was Member of Parliament for South Lancashire, a prominent Manchester Unitarian, businessman and leader of civil society.
- Wykes (2004)
- "Scott, Thomas (1705-1775)". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
- Charles Wellbeloved; Memoirs of the Life and Writings of the late Rev. W. Wood ... To which are subjoined an address delivered at his interment ... and a sermon, on ... his death, &c; Leeds, 1809.
- "Author Query for 'Wood'". International Plant Names Index.
- Wykes, C. L. (2004) "Wood, William (1745–1808)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, accessed 16 August 2007 (subscription or UK public library membership required)