Alexander Wood was a highly respected and extremely popular Edinburgh surgeon. The son of a Restalrig farmer, he studied medicine in Edinburgh and for a while practiced in Musselburgh. He subsequently moved back to the capital and became a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in 1756. Known for his philanthropy and kindness he was nicknamed by the citizens of Edinburgh, `lang Sandy? for his lanky figure. Wood was a friend of Robert Burns and was held in high esteem by Byron. When one night he was mistakenly seized by a rioting mob, he saved himself by exclaiming: 'I'm lang Sandy Wood; tak' me to a lamp and ye'll see'. One of Wood?s pupils was the pioneer of psychiatric medicine, Sir Alexander Morison.