Woodfall Road, N4

Place Name

William Woodfall (February 7, 1746 – 1803) was a printer and publisher who was a pioneer of the Hansard reports of the House of Commons. Woodfall lived in Islington. His father, Henry Woodfall, was the printer and publisher of the Public Advertiser which William and his brother Henry Sampson Woodfall took over on his retirement. In 1769, he founded the Morning Chronicle as publisher, editor, and reporter. In 1789 he sold his interest in the Morning Chronicle and founded The Diary, or Woodfall’s Register, which pioneered the full reporting of Parliamentary debates. Because of the ban on note-taking in the House of Commons, he had to memorise what was said, and write it down afterwards. Edmund Burke sued him for libel and, in 1779, Woodfall was found guilty of printing and publishing a leaflet supporting the acquittal of Admiral Augustus Keppell. He was sentenced to 12 months in Newgate Prison. This road, which was laid out sometime around 1869, was originally Moreland Street, Seven Sisters Road. It was renamed in 1938.

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