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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 ACC/0423
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Full title: WOOD FAMILY
Date(s): 1776-1788
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 0.45 linear metres.
Name of creator(s): Wood | family | of Littleton


Administrative/Biographical history:

The long-standing connection between the Wood family and the parish of Littleton began in the middle of the seventeenth century when Edward Wood, citizen and grocer of London, built his mansion house there. This remained the principal seat of the family until the house was destroyed by fire in December 1874, and Captain Thomas Wood removed permanently to the family estate at Gwernyfed, Brecknockshire, Wales.

The Woods were substantial landowners with property in a number of counties. The Middleham estate in Yorkshire was purchased in the seventeenth century and the estate at Gwernyfed was acquired in 1776 upon the marriage of Thomas Wood to Mary, daughter and heiress of Sir Edward Williams of Langoid Castle. In Middlesex the lordships of Astlam and Littleton were held by the family, and Captain Thomas Wood was lord of the manor of Littleton in 1906 (The Victoria History of the County of Middlesex, Vol. 2., 1911). The Littleton estate, comprising over 1250 acres in Littleton, Shepperton, Ashford and Laleham, was broken up and sold from 1892, although Captain Thomas Wood still owned much of the land in Littleton parish in the early twentieth century.

Members of the family followed careers, for the most part, in law, government, and the armed forces. The first Thomas Wood to live at Littleton (d.1723) continued his father's merchant business and held the appointment of Ranger of Hampton Court. His son Robert was a scholar and Doctor of Laws and, in the next generation, Thomas (1708-99) was Treasurer of the Inner Temple. His descendants entered the government, at home and overseas, often preceding this by military careers. Colonel Thomas Wood (1777-1860), Member of Parliament for Brecon for forty years, commanded the Royal East Middlesex Regiment of Militia for fifty six years and encamped with them at Aldershot in his eightieth year. His son Thomas (1804-72) commanded the 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards in the early stages of the Crimean War, prior to this he represented the County of Middlesex in Parliament. Thomas his son (b 1853) followed his father into the Grenadiers and saw action in the Sudan. Upon leaving the regular army he became a colonel in the Brecknockshire Rifle Volunteers and entered local government. Famous soldiers in the family include Charles Wood (1790-1877) who fought in the Peninsula, and at Waterloo, and his nephew General Sir David Wood (1812-94) an officer in the Crimean campaign and the Indian Mutiny.

Throughout the nineteenth century the family consolidated its position among the landed gentry by contracting alliances with the aristocracy. In successive generations three Thomas Woods married, respectively, the daughter of 1st Marquess of Londonderry, the grand-daughter of 4th Duke of Grafton, and the daughter of 1st. Lord Tollemache. Colonel Thomas Wood and his wife enjoyed the friendship of William IV and Queen Adelaide and the King nominated Wood to be one of his executors.

Colonel Wood was host to George IV at Gwernyfed, and members of the royal family visited Littleton. The fire which destroyed the Littleton mansion in 1874 also consumed a fine collection of paintings. The most famous of these was Hogarth's Strolling Actors, which had been purchased in 1745 by Thomas Wood. The artist's signed receipt for the purchase money is among the documents in this collection (ACC.1302/91). It was preserved carefully by the family and is mentioned by James Thorne in his Handbook to the Environs of London, published in 1876.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of the Wood family relating to property in Littleton, Laleham, Shepperton, Staines, Harmondsworth, and Stanwell.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Documents in chronological order.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to this collection rests with the City of London.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Gifted to the archive in June 1925.

Allied Materials

Related material:

The main collection of Wood papers, including a detailed history, are at reference ACC/0262 and ACC/1302. More papers relating to the Wood Family can also be found under reference codes ACC/0421, ACC/0840, ACC/0928, ACC/1030, ACC/1362, ACC/1713, ACC/2456, ACC/2916 and ACC/2917.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
January to May 2011.

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