Henry IV ii(1596–1597)

First official record: version of the play entered into the Stationers' Register on 23 August 1600

First published: version of the play published in quarto in 1600 as The second part of Henrie the fourth, continuing to his death, and coronation of Henrie the fift. With the humours of Sir John Falstaffe, and swaggering Pistoll 1623 Folio text appeared under the title The Second Part of Henry the Fourth, Containing his Death and the Coronation of King Henry the Fift

First recorded performance: a play entitled Sir John Falstaffe was performed at Whitehall over the Christmas period of 1612 which is believed to be 2 Henry IV.

Evidence: The play could not have been written any earlier than January 1596, as it contains an allusion to the Sultanate of Mehmed III, who didn't become sultan until that date.

Warkworth. Before the castle
Enter RUMOUR, painted full of tongues


Open your ears; for which of you will stop
The vent of hearing when loud Rumour speaks?
I, from the orient to the drooping west,
Making the wind my post-horse, still unfold
The acts commenced on this ball of earth:
Upon my tongues continual slanders ride,
The which in every language I pronounce,
Stuffing the ears of men with false reports.
I speak of peace, while covert enmity
Under the smile of safety wounds the world:
And who but Rumour, who but only I,
Make fearful musters and prepared defence,
Whiles the big year, swoln with some other grief,
Is thought with child by the stern tyrant war,
And no such matter? 

Full text of play