|Virginia Council of State|
|State Senator, Virginia|
|Representative for Mecklenburg County, Virginia House of Delegates|
|Born||August 15, 1775|
|Richland, Mecklenburg County, Virginia|
|Died||June 21, 1825|
|Alma mater||College of William & Mary|
|Known for||Poems, and Compositions in Prose on Several Occasions (1798)|
William Munford (1775-1825), legislator and court reporter, was born in Mecklenburg County, Virginia to Colonel Robert and Anne Munford. He began his education at the grammar school of the College of William & Mary, eventually entering the college itself. After his father’s death, George Wythe provided for his continued education. Without Wythe’s aid, Munford likely would not have been able to continue his studies at the college. Under Wythe, Munford developed his life-long appreciation for both the classics and the law. Munford considered Wythe his “great resource” and believed that “such a man as he casts light upon all around him.” Munford completed his legal education under St. George Tucker.However his remained close to George Wythe; at Wythe’s funeral, Munford gave a eulogy considered by those present to be an effective tribute.
After completing his legal studies, Munford entered politics, representing Mecklenburg County from 1797-98. In 1800, he was elected to the state senate. In 1811, Munford was made Clerk of the House of Delegates, a position he held until death. In addition to his political activities, Munford compiled reports of the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. His efforts began at first in collaboration with William W. Hening covering the years 1806-10 and later as a solitary enterprise for the years 1810-21. 
Munford is best known for his contributions to the classics rather than the law. In 1798 he published a compilation of poems and translated classical writings and tragedies. Throughout his life, he worked on crafting a definitive translation of Homer’s Illiad because he believed that existing English translations did not capture the magnificence of the original. In 1846, twenty-one years after his death, his translation was published and was considered a significant achievement in American scholarship.
- Theodore S. Cox, "Munford, William" in vol. VII, part 1 of Dictionary of American Biography ed. Dumas Malone(New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1962),326.
- Lyon G. Tyler, “Glimpses of Old College Life,” William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine 8, no. 3 (Jan. 1900), 153-154.
- Ibid., 156
- Oscar Lane Shewmake, “The Honorable George Wythe: Teacher, Lawyer, Jurist, Statesman” (Speech, Williamsburg, Virginia, December 18, 1921), William & Mary Law School Scholarship Repository, http://scholarship.law.wm.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2420&context=facpubs , 22.
- Theodore S. Cox, "Munford, William," 326.
- Ibid., 326-27
- Ibid., 327