Wooll, John (DNB00)

WOOLL, JOHN (1767–1833), schoolmaster, the son of John Wooll of Winchester, gentleman, was baptised at St. Thomas, Winchester, on 18 May 1767. He was educated at Winchester College under Joseph Warton [q. v.], being admitted as scholar in 1779. He matriculated from Balliol College, Oxford, on 17 Jan. 1785, but migrated to New College, graduating B.A. in 1790, M.A. in 1794, and B.D. and D.D. in 1807. He obtained a scholarship at New College on 19 July 1786, and held a fellowship there from 1788 to 1799, when he vacated it by marriage.

Wooll was instituted in 1796 to the living of Wynslade, Hampshire, but exchanged it for the rectory of Blackford, Somerset, the value of the latter benefice being within the maximum amount of preferment held to be tenable with a fellowship (information from Dr. Sewell of New College; Gent. Mag. 1796, ii. 973). In 1799 he was appointed to the head-mastership of Midhurst free grammar school, and raised the school to great efficiency. From 1807 to 1828 he was headmaster of Rugby school, during which period the school buildings were rebuilt and the number of scholars increased to 380. Many of his pupils were distinguished in after life in parliament and in the church. Claughton (afterwards bishop of St. Albans) and John Frederick Christie, fellow of Oriel College, are picked out as belonging to a ‘very good batch of sixth-form men sent to Oxford by Dr. Wooll’ (Mozley, Reminiscences, i. 145). He died at Worthing on 23 Nov. 1833. A monument (by Westmacott) to his memory was erected at the cost of his pupils in the school chapel at Rugby. His portrait by Lawrence was engraved by C. Turner and published by Colnaghi on 24 Nov. 1813.

Wooll was the author of 1. ‘The King's House at Winchester: a Poem,’ 1793; this edifice was appropriated at that time to the French refugee clergy. 2. ‘Biographical Memoirs of Joseph Warton, D.D.,’ 1806, with a collection of letters reserved by the doctor for publication. The second volume of this memoir referred to on page 407 as to appear in November 1806 was never published. A sermon exemplifying, for the benefit of his pupils, through the murder of Mr. Weare [see Thurtell, John], ‘the dangerous and irresistible progress of habitual sin’ passed through two editions in 1824.

[Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1715–1886; Gent. Mag. 1834, i. 227; Rugby School Reg. 1881, vol. i. p. xii; Kirby's Winchester Scholars, p. 272.]

W. P. C.