Joseph Woods: Journal of a Tour of Ireland

Scope and Content

Journal of a tour in Ireland, 7 July - 15 October 1809, 100 folios: (fo. 1) text; (fo. 91) notes on the text; (fo. 100) an index of place names. There are observations on local antiquities, natural history, social conditions and topography. The text is heavily corrected and appears to be a draft. On fo. 1r: 'Ireland. No. 1'. Accompanying the manuscript is a lithograph circular letter from J.B. Wells, 10 January 1829.

Administrative / Biographical History

Joseph Woods (1776-1864) was born in Stoke Newington on 24 August 1776, of a Quaker family. He attended a Friends' school at Tottenham until the age of 13, and in 1792 joined a firm in Dover to gain commercial experience. He soon gave up his position, and at the age of 22 began to study under a London architect. Woods established his own practice, but, after suffering litigation, he left the country in 1816. After three years on the continent he returned to England, and began work on a manual of field botany, which was published as The tourist's flora in 1850.

Woods visited Ireland in 1809 with two naturalist friends, L.W. Dillwyn and W.E. Leach, who accompanied him from Waterford to Killarney, before he travelled on his own to Limerick and Clare, visiting Connemara, and returning by generally the same route.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Received from the collection of Henry Bradshaw, 1870.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives. The biographical history was compiled with reference to the article on Woods' journal by Lyne and Mitchell (see below).

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Catalogue.

Custodial History

The journal was no. 80 among the Irish manuscripts of Henry Bradshaw's collection.


The author was identified as Joseph Woods by G.J. Lyne and M.E. Mitchell in 'A Scientific Tour through Munster: The Travels of Joseph Woods, Architect and Botanist, in 1809', in the North Munster antiquarian journal, Vol. 27 (1985), pp. 15-61. Their article comprises an edited and slightly shortened text of the manuscript, with an introduction and notes. An offprint of the article is in the box with Woods's journal.

Geographical Names