First official record: version of the play entered into the Stationers' Register on 25 February 1598

First published: version of the play published in quarto in 1598 as The History of Henrie the Fourth, with the battell at Shrewsburie between the King and Lord Henry Percy, surnamed Hotspur of the North, with the humorous conceits of Sir John Falstaffe 1623 Folio text appeared under the title The First Part of Henry the Fourth, with the Life and Death of Henry Sirnamed Hot-spurre

First recorded performance: the play was probably performed at court for an Ambassador from Burgundy on 6 March 1600.

Evidence:

 

ACT I

SCENE I. LONDON. THE PALACE.

 

Enter KING HENRY, LORD JOHN OF LANCASTER, the EARL of WESTMORELAND, SIR WALTER BLUNT, and others

KING HENRY IV

So shaken as we are, so wan with care,
Find we a time for frighted peace to pant,
And breathe short-winded accents of new broils
To be commenced in strands afar remote.
No more the thirsty entrance of this soil
Shall daub her lips with her own children's blood;
Nor more shall trenching war channel her fields,
Nor bruise her flowerets with the armed hoofs
Of hostile paces: those opposed eyes,
Which, like the meteors of a troubled heaven,
All of one nature, of one substance bred,
Did lately meet in the intestine shock
And furious close of civil butchery
Shall now, in mutual well-beseeming ranks,
March all one way and be no more opposed
Against acquaintance, kindred and allies:
The edge of war, like an ill-sheathed knife,
No more shall cut his master. 

 

Full Text of play