Henry IVth Part One

Portrait of Henry IVth

Literary sources for this history play include Edward Hall (1498-1547) from his “The Union of the Two Noble and Illustre Families of Lancaster and Yorke” (3rd ed: 1550) Raphael Holinshed (c. 1528-c. 1580) from his “The Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland” (2nd ed: 1587) and from Robert Fabyan (?-1513) who wrote “New Chronicles of England and France” (1516). It was thought to have been written in 1596-97 and registered at the Stationer’s Office on the 25th of February 1598 followed by several editions: no date available (Q0), 1598 (Q1), 1599 (Q2), 1604 (Q3), 1608 (Q4), 1613 (Q5), and 1622 (Q6), and the First Folio of 1623 (F1). Charlton Ogburn suggests the play was written soon after the expeditionary force to the Low Countries was endorsed by Queen Elizabeth with her paramour Sir Robert Dudley in command. In August 29th 1584 the Earl of Oxford was the Commander of Horse on this particular occasion. Meanwhile his secretary, John Lyly moves into their new residence Fisher’s Folly. Shakespeare mistakenly conflates Edmund Mortimer Earl of March, who married Catrin, the daughter of Owain Glendower with the younger brother of Roger Mortimer (1354-60), Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March who died in 1409. This second Mortimer was recognised by Richard II as his heir in 1424. Apparently, when Shakespeare first wrote the play he called Falstaff Sir John Oldcastle but Lord Cobham, (Lord Chamberlain 1596-97) and his actual descendants protested. Sir John Oldcastle, a Lollard by religion served Henry IVth in France and was mentioned as a martyr in “Foxe’s Book of Martyrs”.

The links to my publications “Shakespeare’s Qaballah”, a Companion to Shakespeare Studies and my anthology of poetry, “Parthenogenesis” are as follows:


Website: www.qudosacademy.org

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