William de Worde

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The Reporter
William de Worde by Kit Cox
Name William de Worde
Race Human
Age born (approx.) 1965
Occupation Reporter, Editor & Publisher of the Ankh-Morpork Times
Physical appearance
Parents Lord & Lady de Worde
Relatives Rupert de Worde (brother, deceased), one sister (un-named)
Marital Status uncertain
Books The Truth
Cameos Monstrous Regiment, Going Postal, Making Money, Unseen Academicals, Snuff

William de Worde began his career as a reporter by gathering up news of interesting occurrences and items in Ankh-Morpork, writing them down and sending copies of this writ to several nobles in other countries, ranging from the city-states of the Sto Plains, to Lancre, to Al Khali and Überwald. When he encounters the printing press of Gunilla Goodmountain, a dwarf with grand ideas, they decide to go into business together, continuing and expanding on William's enterprise. And so, the Ankh-Morpork Times newspaper is born. He is currently senior editor and also head reporter of the Times.

William is the Son of Lord de Worde, but is currently estranged, due to irreconcilable differences. Being the second son, he was expected to become a priest, or take up land management, but instead went to Ankh-Morpork to become a writer, and later, a reporter. He is said to have had numerous fallouts with his father as a child as well, due to Lord de Worde's overbearing nature. William's elder brother was named Rupert de Worde.

As of The Truth, William is staying in a boarding house run by a lady named Mrs. Arcanum, in the city of Ankh-Morpork. His office, that of the Times, is in Gleam Street in the city.

William and Gunilla Goodmountain, the Times' prınter, met when the cart carrying Goodmountain's press hit William, leaving the latter with an R-shaped bruise on his forehead and breaking the engraving for his newsletter. Goodmountain printed the news sheet afresh, and the two became the founding partners of the Ankh-Morpork Times.

William prides himself on being honest, and dislikes not being able to discover the truth. When he discovers a plot to replace Havelock Vetinari as the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork, William digs out details of the plot and reveals them to the public in the Times, eventually leading to the failure of the scheme and the reinstation of Vetinari. William often puts honesty before all else, and confronts his own father, forcing him to leave the city, when he finds that his father has committed a crime.

William has been brought up to dislike species other than humans, and is consequently uncomfortable and exceedingly polite to them. This is noticed by Otto Chriek, the vampire iconographer of the Times, and the dwarfs who run the paper's press. However, Otto also points out that William is doing his best to change his attitude towards other species, and, in fact, shows many acts of kindness towards them.

He is somewhat erm...entangled with Sacharissa Cripslock, a quite capable young lady working together with William at the Times. Sacharissa is the granddaughter of Mr. Cripslock, the engraver who would help print William's newsletter before the Times was established. As of Going Postal, William and Sacharissa may already be married, since Moist notices a wedding ring on Sacharissa's finger the first time she calls on him for an interview. In Raising Steam, a footnote on page 123 explicitly refers to "Mr de Worde and wife". However, the reference does not elaborate as to whom. The author loved these little puzzles.

He also makes an appearance in Monstrous Regiment where he is reporting on the war in Borogravia.


  • William de Worde first appeared in The Discworld Companion, several years before The Truth was released. According to the Annotated Pratchett File, the "name is a composition of the names Wynkyn de Worde and William Caxton. In 1474 Caxton printed the first book in the English language, a translation of The Recuyell of the Historyes of Troy. In his career he printed more than 70 books, 20 of them his own translations from the Latin, French, and Dutch. Wynkyn de Worde was his successor".
  • In Making Money Moist von Lipwig is annoyed that William writes editorials like an old man despite being "almost certainly the same age as Moist" and in Going Postal Moist tells Sacharissa that he is 26.