Alexander Wood 1725-1807
An Edinburgh surgeon and 'character' who was nicknamed 'Lang Sandy' Wood, because of his lanky figure. Burns greatly liked the warmth and generosity of Wood's nature. He had a high reputation as a doctor in Edinburgh, and attended Burns when he hurt his leg badly falling from his coach. For his part, Wood admired Burns's genius and recommended him for a post to the Excise Commissioners. He was the first man in Edinburgh, Henry Mackenzie tells us, to own an umbrella, about 1780. When he was seized one night by a rioting mob, he cried: 'I'm lang Sandy Wood; tak me to the licht and ye'll see.' He was at once released.