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Printed for J. Nichols and Son; F. C. and J. Rivington; J. Stockdale;
* THIRD PART OF KING HENRY VI.] The action of this play (which was at first printed under this title, The True Tragedy of Richard Duke of York, and the good King Henry the Sixth; or, The Second Part of the Contention of York and Lancaster,) opens just after the first battle at Saint Albans, [May 23, 1455,] wherein the York faction carried the day; and closes with the murder of King Henry VI. and the birth of prince Edward, afterwards King Edward V. [November 4, 1471.] So that this history takes in the space of full sixteen years. THEOBALD.
I have never seen the quarto copy of the Second part of THE WHOLE CONTENTION, &c. printed by Valentine Simmes for Thomas Millington, 1600; but the copy printed by W. W. for Thomas Millington, 1600, is now before me; and it is not precisely the same with that described by Mr. Pope and Mr. Theobald, nor does the undated edition (printed in fact, in 1619,) correspond with their description. The title of the piece printed in 1600, by W. W. is as follows: The True Tragedie of Richarde Duke of Yorke, and the Death of good King Henrie the Sixt : With the whole Contention between the Two Houses Lancaster and Yorke as it was sundry Times acted by the Right Honourable the Earle of Pembrooke his Servants. Printed at London by W. W. for Thomas Millington, and are to be sold at his Shoppe under St. Peter's Church in Cornewall, 1600. On this piece Shakspeare, as I conceive, in 1591 formed the drama before us. See Vol. XIII. p. 2, and the Essay at the end of this play.
The present historical drama was altered by Crowne, and brought on the stage in the year 1680, under the title of The Miseries of Civil War. Surely the works of Shakspeare could have been little read at that period; for Crowne, in his Prologue, declares the play to be entirely his own composition: "For by his feeble skill 'tis built alone,
"The divine Shakspeare did not lay one stone." whereas the very first scene is that of Jack Cade copied almost verbatim from The Second Part of King Henry VI. and several others from this third part, with as little variation. STEEVENS.