Henry Woodfall, Printer in London without Temple Bar, 1724 - mentioned in Negus’s lists as ‘well affected’. Nichols adds this note: “This was the first, I believe, of a name which has now for almost a century been conspicuous in the Annals of Typography. That the more immediate subject of this note was a man of Wit and Humour, is evident from the famous old ballad of “Darby and Joan” which he wrote when he was an apprentice to the printer of that name, John Darby. At the age of 40 he commenced as master, at the suggestion , and under the auspices of Mr. Pope, who had distinguished his abilities as a scholar, whilst a journeyman in the employment of the then printer to this admired author. Of his personal history, I know little, except that he carried on a considerable business with reputation, and had two sons, Henry, a printer in Paternoster Row, and George, a bookseller in Charing Cross. Woodfall was apprentice to one John Darby, as he was 40 by 1724, this must have been the elder Darby who died in 1704”. John Darby, senior, printer in London, Bartholomew Close, 1602-1704. In February, 1684 he was convicted of printing a libel called “Lord Russell’s Speech”; but he escaped with a fine of 20 marks. Dunton has this notice of him: “I might call him a religious printer. He goes to Heaven with Anabaptists, but is a man of general charity. He printed that excellent speech of My Lord Russell and several pieces of Colonel Sydney, and is a true assertor of English liberties”. Timperley says that he died December 11th, 1704 in his 80th year, He was succeeded by his son, John.

From: The English Newspaper by Stanley Morison (very interesting P.H.)

pages - 126, 187, 196, 193 (145– London Packet) Cambridge Press


Henry Woodfall, was a printer of the “Public Advertiser” in Paternoster Row, and a master of the Stationers’ Company in 1766, while at his death in 1769 he was a common councilman of many years’ standing. John Darby, snr and his wife were said to be subjects of Woodfall’s ballad ‘Darby and Joan’ (first printed in ‘Gentleman’s Magazine’ for March, 1735, p. 153 under the heading, “The Joys of Love never forgot. A Song”). He printed for Phillip Francis (1708-1773) [q.v.] in 1746, eight sheets of his translation of Horace.