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William 'Memory' Woodfall (1746–1803)

Photo credit: Parliamentary Art Collection

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This is a version of the painting by Beach in the National Portrait Gallery collection. Woodfall became known as the father of modern parliamentary reporting. He was the printer and editor of 'The Morning Chronicle' and then produced his own paper, 'The Diary'. He undertook to write detailed accounts of the proceedings of parliament the same night, and his ability to remember information without the assistance of notes earned him the sobriquet of 'memory'. Before Woodall's revolutionary approach, parliamentary reporting had been irregular and often suspect. Of Beach he wrote 'Mr Beach [paints] in a style which entitles that gentleman to a very distinguished situation among the best artists of the present age'.

William 'Memory' Woodfall (1746–1803)




oil on canvas


H 96 x W 79 cm (E)

Accession number

WOA 3345

Work type



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Parliamentary Art Collection

The Curator's Office, Department of Information Services, House of Commons, 1 Canon Row, Greater London SW1A 0AA England

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