John Wood


The brothers John and Charles Wood took over the running of their fathers business after his death in 1811. A contract had already been entered into with Henry Bell for the building of the little steam boat called the Comet.

Although John wood completed the ship but it was to bring him no financial gain as Bell failed to pay those involved, and was forced to use any money that he had made to repair the Comet after it was wrecked at Graignish Point in 1820.
John Wood was noted for building sailing ships which were greatly admired for fine workmanship and symmetry. They were fondly referred to as 'Woods yacht's'.

Miss Elizabeth Kyall Douglas was to visit Port Glasgow with the happy news of her forthcoming marriage to John Wood she was coming to meet the people around him and her new family. She was to take unwell with "fever" and sadly died a short time later. John Wood requested that she be laid to rest in the graveyard beside his father where he worshiped so he could tend the grave which he did for the rest of his life having never married.

He also specialized in the building of river Steamers and built 33 of them between 1812-1847, he retained an interest in steam ships throughout his career.
Wood was asked to build 4 ships for the newly formed fleet of Samuel Cunard. He agreed to build one , the Acadia and in 1848 he made another the Europa, the last before he retired from shipbuilding.

John Wood Snr: was employed by Thomas McGill and learned his trade from him. In 1783 he opened his first yard in the town on the same site that the East Yard would later occupy.. Wood and McGill between them built 51 ships in 9 years between 1783-1792.

Charles Wood started shipbuilding in Qubec before returning to to the Clyde and opening a yard in Dumbarton.

John Wood died on 22nd December 1860 at the age of 72. On the day of his funeral the coffin was carried by some of his carpenters. They were dressed in a costume similar to that which John Wood supplied for them to wear to church on Sundays - blue cloth suits with brass buttons and cloth caps and on this occasion they wore white kid gloves.
He was laid to rest in Newark Parish Church beside his father and Miss Elizabeth, although the ground is no longer in use the stones for them and his brother still remain in place
A memorial stone now stands in the town giving details of the Comet and John Wood.

This page last modified on Friday, April 02, 2010

John Wood Street Port Glasgow

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