Matthew Wood

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"Served as Lord Mayor of London from 1815 to 1817 and was a Whig MP from 1817 to 1843. At the age of fourteen he was apprenticed to his uncle, a chemist and druggist in Exeter. He moved to London in 1790 where he continued in this line of trade. In 1802, he patented a colouring matter for beer and went into business with a hop merchant. As Mayor of London Wood took a lead in many city improvements, and gained popularity for the way in which he promoted resistance to repressive government measures and for his campaign against the London underworld. He laid the foundation of a new debtors' prison in Whitecross Street, and encouraged the construction of the new London Bridge and formation of the Post Office." Source : National Portrait Gallery online


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