Skip navigation
Media File
William Warren Wood
Date: British, born 1780
Biography: Ralph Winstanley Wood was born on October 9, 1745, the son of William Winstanley Wood, of Wigan, Lancashire. He reportedly ran away from school and enlisted in the "Saucy Greens." He later took a commission in the 8th Hussars and sailed for India. On the voyage out he met Mary Margaretta Pearce, whom he subsequently married. Their son William Warren, born about 1780, was named for his godfather, Warren Hastings, whom Wood befriended in India. Having left the army on Hastings's advice, Ralph Winstanley Wood accumulated a fortune as a salt agent. In 1785 he bought Pierrepont Lodge in Frensham, Surrey, and he built a house in Highfield for one of his daughters, who had married a high official in the East India Company Civil Service. He invested heavily in Bocham, Taylor & Company, the business concern of another son-in-law, his daughter Elizabeth's husband. When the firm declared bankruptcy, Wood lost his fortune and was forced to sell Pierrepont Lodge. He and his wife went to live at the Highfield house, which their daughter and son-in-law had preferred not to occupy. Pierrepont Lodge was purchased by Crawford Davison, who subsequently married another of the Woods' daughters, Mary. Following his wife's death in 1808, Ralph Winstanley Wood lived on as a widower for twenty-three years. He died at the end of March 1831, and was buried in Frensham church yard on April 2.