Monday 17 July 2023

A Brief Biography of Kelsick Wood.


 Kelsick Wood (1771 - 1840). 

A Brief Biography.

In Preparation - Some Notes.

I couldn't have prepared this post without using Captain Kelsick Wood..... by John and Ann Ferguson pub. Coldharbour 2012. and the further input of John Ferguson.

Kelsick Wood - Son of John Wood (1717 - 89) and Sarah nee Wilson (1734 - 1807).

In 1762 the Wood family home and warehouse were at Ropers Alley, later renamed Coates Lane, Whitehaven.

The premises I believe were demolished and replaced by a Bank.

Born Workington 2 Aug 1771, baptised 22 Sept 1771 at St Michaels Church, Workington.


1790. KW accompanies his elder brother John (Rev. John Wood 1762 - 1828) to visit their uncle George Hope Jnr (1749 - 1818 (shipbuilder of Hampton Virginia). Whilst staying they were poisoned by servants.(citation needed).

6 Aug 1791 KW Married Mary Nelson (daughter of Philip Nelson and Ann Sibson) at Cross Canonby. 

They have one son John Nelson Wood (26 Jan 1792 - 1855). He was baptised at St Mary's, Maryport. It states in the Baptismal Register - John Nelson Wood, Son of Kelsick Wood Mariner& Mary his wife late Nelson.

Mary died 30 Jan 1792.

1 Nov. 1796) KW. Marries Mary Inman, daughter of John Inman (1738 - 1827) described as iron merchant and Agnes Postlethwaite (1746 - 1816).

Is this the same John Inman who captained the brig Harriott and Matilda 262 tons from Maryport, which was captured off Pernambuco? The Harriott and Matilda had originally been captured from the Danes in 1808. this boat was captured by the Privateer Yankee valued at $27,000 dollars 31 January 1813.

from - Tales of an old sea port; a general sketch of the history of Bristol, Rhode Island, by Wilfred Harold Monro pub 1917.

see -


10 April 1797. The Postlethwaite of 258 tons registered at Maryport, built by William Wood (1725 - 1803) at Maryport and is to be captained by Kelsick Wood.


1803, Wilton Wood (1758 - 1803) of Wilton Wood & Co, Workington, the son of John Wood and brother of KW dies. 

John Fawcett (1775 - 1808) husband of Sarah Wood, daughter of Wilton Wood, they married in 1804, succeeds Wilton Wood, at the  Low yard Workington.

16 July 1806. KW places an advertisement in the Carlisle Journal: "Wanted young men as apprentices to a ship building Yard, Apply Kelsick Wood, George St, Carlisle". Probably written for Fawcett at Workington.

1808, John Fawcett dies and Kelsick Wood returns from Carlisle with his family where he had a timber merchants (and hat manufactory) to Workington.

It seems that the business had been started by John Ellwood.

1809, February (see KW transcribed Journal at Carlisle Archives CRO D/Cr/25), KW was then in partnership with Thomas Piele at Workington.

13 Jan 1810 Kelsick Wood leases the timber yard at Workington from JC Curwen (Whitehaven Archives YDX 133/28).

In 1810 KW was also in the Ropery business with William Peile at Harrington which became W Peile, Wood & Co. 

This Ropery had commenced in Harrington on 1 Jun 1776 with capital from J Ellwood & Co - as Andrew Green & Co? 

22 Feb 1779 Richard Askew succeeded Andrew Green and the firm became Askew, Ellwoood & Co "The Ropery" - who became ship builders in 1783, when land closer to the Harrington harbour than the Ropery was leased by John Christian Curwen to John Ellwood, Richard Askew and Wilton Wood. Their first ship was launched in 1784 and the last by this company in April 1810.

In 1803 HJ Hurd succeeded Richard Askew at the  Harrington yard and 16 Oct 1808 William Peile succeeded Mr Hurd.

1810. The business is renamed K Wood, Peile and Co.

1811. William Peile and Kelsick Wood - William Peile, Wood & Co. leased from John Christian Curwen additional land of 6 acres at Harrington lying between the ropery and their shipyard.


1808, KW succeeds John Fawcett who had died as head of the Wood family business at Workington.

In Jollie's Guide of Cumberland. 1811.

Kelsick Wood & Co. Ship builders are listed as on the Quayside at Workington.

Mrs Wood is living at Brow Top - the family home, they also have a house in Portland Square, Workington.

Kelsick Wood is also listed as Insurance Underwriter.


Belfast Monthly Magazine, Vol XI.

KW listed as ship owner of Carlisle late of Maryport.

1837, Kelsick Wood and John Inman both subscribe £500 towards the Maryport and Carlisle Railway. 

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