WOOD, Edward, of Sandwich, Kent.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

1st s. of Humphrey Wood of Derby by Joan Rogers of Marden. m. Elizabeth, da. of Thomas Bewford of Little Hadham, Herts., 1s.1

Offices Held

Freeman, Sandwich 1555, common councilman by 1562, jurat,2 mayor 1577-8, 1578-9, 1588-9, ?1591-2,3 brodhull rep. on several occasions.4


Wood’s family was prominent in the affairs of Sandwich from the middle of the sixteenth to the middle of the seventeenth century, during which time it supplied four mayors. It is not known why Wood’s father moved from Derby to Kent, but Wood himself and his younger brother Stephen began to take an active part in the local government of Sandwich in the 1550s. In June 1559, when the silting of the harbour was causing concern, Wood and another local man went over to Flanders to find ‘a cunning and expert man in water works for to take in hand the amendment of the haven’. They engaged an engineer called Jacobson, of Amsterdam, who died at Sandwich the following October, having had time only to sketch out a fresh plan at an estimated cost of £10,000. As a common councilman, Wood contributed £3 6s. 8d. in May 1563 to the new school founded by Roger Manwood and was among its first wardens. By 1573, when the Queen visited Sandwich, he was clearly one of the senior townsmen: he lived next door to the Manwoods, and figured prominently in the ceremonies. During his second mayoralty, the new guildhall was completed and his initials were carved over the door.

Wood was first returned to Parliament in 1584, after a four-cornered contest. A fortnight before the election he and William Crisp, the mayor, had been summoned, with representatives of the other Ports, to the lord warden’s house, Cobham Hall, perhaps in connexion with the forthcoming Parliament. He was re-elected in 1586, when the freemen, in another contested election, presumably acted on the Privy Council’s request that the 1584 Members would be chosen again. On each occasion he was paid 4s. a day. As one of the Sandwich burgesses in the 1586 Parliament he could have sat on a committee concerned with fish, 6 Mar.5

Like most leading townsmen in the Ports, Wood represented his borough at a number of brodhull meetings. Among these was the occasion in 1572 when an attempt was made to restrict the choice of parliamentary burgesses to the freemen of the Ports. Later, in 1580, he was fined £3 ‘for an injury done against our charters’. The date of Wood’s death has not been found, but it probably occurred soon after 1592. His only son, William, was mayor of Sandwich three times between 1596 and 1608.6

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: M.R.P.


  • 1. Vis. Kent (Harl. Soc. lxxv), 148.
  • 2. Sandwich little black bk. 1552-67, f. 80; Vis. Kent (Harl. Soc. lxxv), 59.
  • 3. There is confusion over the mayors, 1591-3, between Vis. Kent and Boys, Sandwich, i. 419.
  • 4. Cinque Ports black bk.
  • 5. Little black bk., ff. 80, 140, 147; Gardiner, Historic Haven, 202; Boys, Sandwich, 207, 208, 213, 692; Hasted, Hist. Kent, x. 166; Sandwich year bk., 1582-1608, ff. 26, 59; D’Ewes, 412.
  • 6. Cinque Ports black bk.; Vis. Kent, 148; Boys, 419-20.