In 1795 Richard Valpy, a well-known schoolmaster of Reading on the Thames, brought out a work entitled: 'The Roses; or King Henry the Sixth; An Historical Tragedy Represented at Reading School, Oct. 15th, 16th, and 17th, 1795. Compiled principally from Shakespeare.' This play opens with the announcement of York's death to his sons, Edward and Richard (3 Henry VI II. i). It is essentially an acting version, for young performers, of the last four acts of 3 Henry VI, with occasional borrowings from the two earlier Parts and even, in one instance, from Richard II. The printed text was popular enough to reach a second edition in 1810.
A composite drama, called Richard Duke of York, was made by J. H. Merivale out of the three parts of Henry VI, and acted at Drury Lane Theatre, December 22, 1817, the chief part, that of York, being taken by Edmund Kean. The greater portion of Merivale's abridgment is drawn from 2 Henry VI, but his fifth act corresponds with the first act of Shakespeare's Third Part.
The actor, Charles Kemble (1775–1854), condensed the three parts of Henry VI into a single play, but does not appear to have produced his version on the stage. In 1863 Shepherd and Anderson successfully acted at the Surrey Theatre an adaptation of Shake-
- The 'Second Edition' is dated 1724; the first appeared apparently in 1723, and the play was performed at Drury Lane on July 5, 1723.
- According to Krecke (op. cit.) Cibber's version consists of 985 lines from Shakespeare, 507 from Crowne, and 746 of Cibber's own.
- The text of this abridgment was first printed, from Kemble's manuscript, in volume ii of the Henry Irving Shakespeare.