Wood Close, HA1

Place Name

Dr Joseph Wood  (1841 – June 19, 1923) was an clergyman and schoolmaster, headmaster successively of Leamington College, Tonbridge School, and at nearby Harrow School between 1898 and 1910. While in London a prebendary of St Paul’s Cathedral and in retirement was a Canon of Rochester Cathedral. On his appointment, The Spectator reported: “Dr Wood goes to Harrow with the reputation of an energetic and successful organiser… a brilliant scholar, an ardent patron of cricket.” Christopher Tyerman’s history of Harrow School, explained that Wood was an unexpected choice, due to his age. Since the retirement of Thomas Thackeray in 1760, all headmasters of the school had been in their twenties or thirties when first appointed. Wood was already fifty-six and was twelve years older than the outgoing head, Welldon. He was left in the invidious position of trying to enforce a policy of compulsory retirement for all schoolmasters at the age of 60, while himself continuing well beyond it, until he was 68. This is one of a cluster of streets named after teachers and headmasters of Harrow School. Namely: Edward Ernest Bowen (about 1885 – 1901), author of the Harrow school song, Forty Years On; Montagu Butler (1859 – 1885); Charles Vaughan (1845 – 1859); Joseph Drury (1785 – 1805); Benjamin Heath (1771 – 1785); and, Robert Carey Sumner (1760 – 1771)

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