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Kay's Originals Vol. 1


Volume 8 Page 227
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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 161 No. LXVIII. MR. ALEXANDER WOOD, SURGEON. THE pencil of Kay has done justice to the memory of this eminent surgeon and very excellent man, by the production of two striking portraits of him. The one here prefixed possesses the real octogenarian demeanour of the " kind old Sandy Wood," who is represented as passing along the North Bridge with an umbrella under his arm, in allusion to the circumstance of his having been the first person in Edinburgh who made use of that very convenient article-now so common. MR. WOOD'Sfa ther was the youngest son of E.W ood of Warriston, in Mid-Lothian-afterwards the property of the Earl of Morton. He long possessed a house and grounds, situated immediately to the north of Queen Street, and rented from the Town of Edinburgh, where Mr. Wood was born in the year 1725. Mr. Wood completed his medical education in Edinburgh ; and having taken out his diploma, he established himself at Musselburgh, where he practised successfully for some time. He then removed to Edinburgh, becarne a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, and entered into a copartnership with Messrs. Rattray and Congalton, men of eminence in their day, and to whose practice he subsequently succeeded. Eeing gifted with strong natural talents, great tact, and an activity of mind and person rarely surpassed ; and possessing a perfect simplicity and openness of character, with a singularly benevolent disposition and peculiar tenderness of heart, Mr. Wood soon rose to high professional celebrity. Not long after connecting himself with Messrs. Rattray and Congalton, he married Miss Veronica Chalmers, second daughter of George Chalmers, Esq., W.S., an individual of great worth and respectability. In reference to this connection a very pleasing anecdote is told. Mr. Wood, on obtaining the consent of the lady, having proposed himself to Mr. Chalmers as his son-in-law, that gentleman addressed him thus :-" Sandy, I have not the smallest objection to you-but I myself am not rich, and shodd, therefore, like to know how you are to support a wife and family 1'' Mr. Wood put his hand into his pocket, drew out his lancet-case, and said, " I have nothing but this, sir, and a determination to use my best endeavours to succeed in my profession." His future father-in-law was so struck with this straightforward and honest reply, that he immediately exclaimed, '' Vera is yours I " Y
Volume 8 Page 228
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