Western Wood was the Liberal MP for the City of London from 1861 to 1863, following the elevation of Lord John Russell to Earl Russell. Wood’s selection meeting took place at the London Tavern on Bishopsgate, a large venue used for public meetings. The British and Foreign Bible Society had been established there in 1804.
In October 1862, Wood chaired the City’s “Garibaldi meeting” there in support of the Italian leader. The meeting, he wrote, had resolved that the general should “live to see the aspiration of his life realised in a free, united and constitutional Italy”. In 1863, Wood voted against the Security From Violence Bill, which advocated the whipping of garroters as well as their imprisonment. It passed by 63 votes.