Henry IV, Part 2 (1597–1598)
1600 quarto of Ben Jonson's Every Man out of His Humour, which contains an allusion to 2 Henry IV.
- First official record: entered into the Stationers' Register by Andrew Wise and William Aspley on 23 August 1600 as "the seconde parte of the history of Kinge Henry the iiijth with the humours of Sir Iohn Ffallstaff." Jointly entered with Much Ado About Nothing.
- First published: 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 (printed by Valentine Simmes for Andrew Wise and William Aspley) The 1623 Folio text appears under the title The Second Part of Henry the Fourth, Containing his Death: and the Coronation of King Henry the Fift.
- First recorded performance: probable performance took place on or around 14 February 1613, when either 1 Henry IV or 2 Henry IV (or both) were performed at court as part of the celebrations for the marriage of Princess Elizabeth to Frederick V, Elector Palatine. A play performed under the title Sir Iohn Falstaffe is thought to refer to 2 Henry IV. It is unlikely to refer to 1 Henry IV as a play under the name The Hotspur would seem to indicate that play. Additionally, a list of plays under consideration for court performance in 1620, compiled by George Buck, Master of the Revels, mentions the "Second part of Falstaffe not plaid theis 7. yeres." This would seem to confirm the 1613 performance as 2 Henry IV, as, due to the lack of republication of the initial 1600 quarto text, it is known that 2 Henry IV was not nearly as popular as 1 Henry IV (which was republished five times prior to 1623).
- Evidence: as a sequel to 1 Henry IV and a prequel to Henry V, the play was obviously written at some point between the two. We know that 1 Henry IV was probably written by early 1597 at the latest, and that Henry V was written by September 1599, so 2 Henry IV can be dated from early 1597 to September 1599. There is some tentative evidence to narrow the date further, however. For example, the fact that Falstaff seems to have been called Falstaff from the very inception of 2 Henry IV would suggest the play was written after the censoring of 1 Henry IV in 1596/1597. The fact that the 25 February 1598 Stationers' Register entry for 1 Henry IV does not identity it as the first part of a two-part play has led some scholars to speculate that 2 Henry IV could not have been completed by that date. There is also a reference to the character of Justice Shallow in Ben Jonson's Every Man out of His Humour, which was first acted in 1599, indicating the play was well enough known by then for an audience to understand the allusion. All of this seems to place the date of composition as somewhere in late 1597/early 1598.