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Painted by 7. Vorthcote, R. A.
Engrazed by B. Reading KING RICHARD III
Alt 3. Scene I. 1 two Princes, Dukes of Gloster and Buckingham, etc.
Arshed by 7. & 7. Boydell, Shakspeare Gallery, 1 Hain.
HENRY MORLEY, LL.D.
KING RICHARD III
WITH “THE TRAGEDIE OF RICHARD DUKE OF YORKE,"; ETC, UPON WHICH SHAKESPEARE BASED HIS PLAY
KING RICHARD THE THIRD completes the Civil War series of the Three Parts of King Henry the Sixth, and is probably the earliest historical play of which Shakespeare alone was the author. There was an older play of which Shakespeare made no use, entitled “ The True Tragedy of Richard the Third : wherein is shown the death of Edward the Fourth, with the smothering of the two young Princes in the Tower: with a lamentable end of Shore's wife, an example for all wicked women. And lastly, the conjunction and joining of the two noble Houses, Lancaster and York. As it was played by the Queen's Majesty's Players.” This old piece was first printed in 1594, and was then evidently of older date. It has been suggested that as it includes references to contemporary events, and does not refer to the Spanish Armada, the play must have been written before 1588. Its form certainly indicates an undeveloped state of the drama, and it has interest of its own as one of the earliest historical plays in our printed literature. For that reason, and for contrast witb Shakespeare's play on the same subject, room shall be found for it after Titus Andronicus. The
present volume has to contain the completion of The True Tragedy of Richard Duke of York, the ground-work of Shakespeare's Third Part of King Henry VI. There was also a Latin play on Richard III. by Dr. Legge, acted at Cambridge before 1583, which has no likeness to Shakespeare's.
Of Shakespeare's Richard III, there are four quartos, each giving it “as it hath been lately acted by the Right Honourable the Lord Chamberlain his servants.” The title in each is the same_" The Tragedy of King Richard the Third Containing, His treacherous Plots against his brother Clarence : the pitiful murther of his innocent Nephewes : his tyrannicall vsurpation : with the whole course of his detested life, and most deserued death.” The first quarto, dated in 1597, was printed by Valen. tine Sims for Andrew Wise. The second quarto, dated in 1598, was printed by Thomas Creede for Andrew Wise. So was the third quarto, dated in 1602. The fourth quarto, dated in 1605, was printed by Thomas Creede, and sold by Matthew Lowe, to whom the play had been assigned on the 27th of June, 1603. The next edition was that of the first folio of 1623. But there were afterwards at least three more reprints of the quartos, namely, in 1624, 1629, and 1634.
The first actor of the part of Richard III. was Richard, one of the two sons of James Burbage. James Burbage was head of the company of actors,