William de Worde Edit
William de Worde is the second son and heir of Lord de Worde. His first appearance is in the Discworld Companion, several years before The Truth was released. As the cadet son of the de Worde family, he went to Hugglestones' Academy, where keenness was priced far higher than intelligence or similar 'lesser' traits. The school trained the sons of nobles in the best brick-headed tradition, but in spite of this, William found a lot of time to read books. He is said to have had numerous fallings outs with his father as a child, due to Lord de Worde's overbearing nature. William's elder brother, Rupert de Worde, would have been Lord de Worde's heir except for his untimely death. Rupert attended the Assassins' School but probably didn't go for the license. A Hugglestones natural but for the accident of birth, Rupert thought that the Klatchians would turn and run when they encountered the brave Ankh-Morporkians shouting loudly with shiny steel swords in their hands; this belief proved fatal making Rupert one of the very few casualties in the war that technically, and diplomatically speaking, never happened. William therefore becomes heir but has no interest in his family and remains estranged from his father, an arrogant bully and speciesist (one who looks down on 'lesser species)'. As the second son, William is expected to become a priest, or take up land management, but instead he moves to Ankh-Morpork to become a writer, and later, a reporter. His first major appearance is in The Truth, where he lives in a boarding house run by a lady named Mrs. Arcanum and observes what his fellow boarders find important, believable and of interest in their daily lives. He therefore begins a career as a reporter by gathering up news of interesting occurrences and items in Ankh-Morpork, writing them down and sending copies of this writing to key nobles in other countries, ranging from the city-states of the Sto Plains, to Lancre, to Al Khali and Überwald. When he connects quite literally with the printing press of Gunilla Goodmountain, a dwarf with grand ideas, leaving William with an R-shaped bruise on his forehead and breaking the engraving for his newsletter, Goodmountain prints the news sheet for him and the two became the founding partners of the Ankh-Morpork Times with an office in Gleam Street. William becomes the senior editor and is also the head reporter.
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 collapse of the scheme and the reinstating of Vetinari. Because he puts honesty before all else, William confronts his father and forces him to leave the city when he finds that his father has committed a crime and been involved in the plot.
Because William has been brought up to dislike species other than humans he is consequently uncomfortable and exceedingly polite to them. This is noticed by Otto von 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.
William is connected with Sacharissa Cripslock, a capable young lady working together with William at the Times. Sacharissa is the granddaughter of Mr. Cripslock, the engraver who printed William's newsletter before the Times was established. They first were introduced when Sacharissa accused William of destroying her grandfather's livelihood by introducing moveable type and printing his broadsheet in partnership with Gunilla Goodmountain instead of with her grandfather. Shortly afterwards, William offers her a job. By the novel Going Postal, William and Sacharissa are likely married, since Moist von Lipwig 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". William also appears as a war correspondent in Monstrous Regiment with Otto von Chriek, and is mentioned in Thud!, Making Money, Unseen Academicals, and Snuff. According to Moist von Lipwig he is roughly the same age as Moist, who is 26 in Going Postal. William de Worde's c-mail (clacks mail is WDW@Times.AM.
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".
Raising Steam (in a footnote)