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Sources for the histories

The histories:

Click on the play to open a popup that summarizes the sources Shakespeare used in composing each play.

Footnotes

  1. Henry VI, Part One

    Sources:

    • The Union of the Two Noble and Illustre Famelies of Lancastre and Yorke, Edward Hall (1548)
    • The Third Volume of Chronicles, Raphael Holinshed (1587)
    • Historia Regum Britanniae, Geoffrey of Monmouth - Bk. VIII, Ch. xxi-xxiii

    Probable historical source:

    • Contemporary account. From Journal of the Siege of Rouen, Sir Thomas Coningsby (1591)
  2. Henry VI, Part Two

    Sources:

    • The Union of the Two Noble and Illustre Famelies of Lancastre and Yorke, Edward Hall (1548)
    • Probable sources:
    • Actes and Monuments of Martyrs, John Foxe (1583)
    • The Third Volume of Chronicles, Raphael Holinshed (1587)
    • A Chronicle at Large, R. Grafton (1569)

    Analogues:

    • Device for Lord Mayor's Pageant, T. Nelson (1590)
    • The Life and Death of Jack Straw, Anon. (1593/4)
    • A Myrroure for Magistrates (1559) - The Duke of Suffolk
  3. Henry VI, Part Three

    Sources:

    • The Union of the Two Noble and Illustre Famelies of Lancastre and Yorke, Edward Hall (1548)
    • The Third Volume of Chronicles, Raphael Holinshed (1587 edition) - "The Death of York"
    • Possible source:
    • A Myrroure for Magistrates (1559) - "Richard, Duke of York" and "King Henry the Sixth"
  4. The Tragedy of Richard III

    Sources:

    • The Union of the Two Noble and Illustre Famelies of Lancastre and Yorke, Edward Hall (1548)
    • Probable sources:
    • A Myrroure for Magistrate, (1559) - "George, Duke of Clarence"
    • The True Tragedy of Richard III, Anon. (1594)

    Possible source:

    • Hercules Furens, Seneca; translated by Jasper Heywood (1561) - Act II

    Analogues:

    • Richardus Tertius, Thomas Legge (1579)
    • The Rose of Englande, Anon.
  5. The Life and Death of King John

    Sources:

    • The Third Volume of Chronicles, Raphael Holinshed (1587)
    • The Troublesome Raigne of King John. Anon. (1591)
    • Probable source:
    • The Union of the Two Noble and Illustre Famelies of Lancastre and Yorke, Edward Hall (1548)

    Possible sources:

    • Actes and Monuments of Martyrs, John Foxe (1583)
    • Analogue:
    • The English Chronicle of Randulph of Coggeshall - "The Attempt to Blind Prince Arthur,&quot and " Faukes de Brent"
    • King Johan, John Bale
  6. The Tragedy of King Richard II

    Sources:

    • The Union of the Two Noble and Illustre Famelies of Lancastre and Yorke, Edward Hall (1548)
    • The Third Volume of Chronicles, Raphael Holinshed (1587)
    • Thomas of Woodstock, Anon.
    • Probable sources:
    • The First Fowre Bookes of the Civile Wars, Samuel Daniel (1595)

    Possible sources:

    • A Myrroure for Magistrates, (1559) - "Lord Mowbray" and "King Richard II"
    • The Chronicle of Froissart; translated by Lord Berners (1523-25)

    Analogue:

    • Chronicque de la Traïson et mort de Richard Deux Roy Dengleterre, ed. and translated by Benjamin Williams
  7. Henry IV, Part One

    Source:

    • The Third Volume of Chronicles, Raphael Holinshed (1587)
    • Probable sources:
    • The First Fowre Bookes of the Civile Wars, Samuel Daniel (1595)
    • The Chronicles of England, John Stowe (1580)

    Possible source:

    • A Myrroure for Magistrates (1559) - "Owen Glendower" and "Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland"

    Historic analogue:

    • Sir John Fastol of Nacton

    Analogues:

    • A New Enterlude called Thersytes. Anon.
    • Endimion, John Lyly (1591)
    • The Nature of the Four Elements, John Rastell? (1519)
    • The World and the Child, Anon. (1522)
  8. Henry IV, Part Two

    Sources:

    • The Third Volume of Chronicles, Raphael Holinshed (1587)
    • The Famous Victories of Henry the Fifth, Anon. (1598)

    Probable sources:

    • The First Fowre Bookes of the Civile Wars, Samuel Daniel (1595)
    • The Union of the Two Noble and Illustre Famelies of Lancastre and Yorke, Edward Hall (1548)

    Possible source:

    • The Governour, Sir Thomas Elyot (1531) - Bk. II, Ch. VI
    • The Chronicles of England, John Stowe (1580)

    Analogues:

    • Tarlton's Jests (1638)
    • Hickscorner, Anon. (1510)
  9. The Life of Henry V

    Sources:

    • The Third Volume of Chronicles, Raphael Holinshed (1587)
    • The Annals of C. Tacitus; translated by R. Grenewey (1598)

    Possible sources:

    • The Battle of Agincourt, Anon.
    • The First Fowre Bookes of the Civile Wars, Samuel Daniel (1595)
    • Instructions, Observations and order Militarie, Sir John Smithe (1595)

    Analogue:

    • A Myrroure for Magistrates, (1559) - "Richard, Earl of Cambridge"
  10. The Famous History of the Life of Henry VIII

    Sources:

    • The Third Volume of Chronicles, Raphael Holinshed (1587)
    • Actes and Monuments of Martyrs, John Foxe (1583)

    Probable source:

    • When You See Me, You Know Me, Samuel Rowley (1605)