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Historical Dates of Scenes

Note: An attempt is made here to show how Shakespeare adapted historical chronology to suit his dramatic purposes and necessities. The dates given are those of modern historians; in Holinshed, however, Shakespeare found much less distinctness regarding the lapse of time and the order of events.

Scene Location Historical Date
I. i. Windsor Castle 28 April, 1398
I. ii. London A few days before I. iii.
I. iii. Coventry 11 or 17 September, 1398
I. iv. Windsor Castle 12 or 13 October, 1398 (departure of Bolingbroke)

3 February, 1399 (death of John of Gaunt. Ll. 53–63 show that II. i. ensues immediately upon I. iv.)

II. i. London 3 February, 1399

18 March, 1399
29 May, 1399

(The cancellation of Bolingbroke's letters-patent was published 18 March, and Richard did not sail for Ireland until 29 May; moreover, Bolingbroke was not invited to return until after Richard's departure)
II. ii. London After 4 July and before 22 July, 1399
but a. Worcester's defection, ll. 59–60, took place after Richard's return;

b. the Duchess of Gloucester died 3 October, 1399)

II. iii. Wilds of
27 July, 1399
II. iv. North Wales Before 1 August, 1399
III. i. Bristol 29 July, 1399
III. ii. Coast of Wales 22 or 26 July, 1399 (but the king's meeting with Salisbury occurred 1 August, 1399)
III. iii. Flint Castle, in
North Wales
19 August, 1399 (but the embassage of Northumberland had come to Richard at Conway several days before)
III. iv. Langley in
After 1 September, the day on which Richard was taken into London
IV. i. Westminster Hall 30 September, 1399 (abdication of Richard)

22 October, 1399 (speech of Carlisle)
3 November, 1399 (trial of Bagot and appeal of Aumerle)

V. i. London 30 September, 1399 (immediately after Parliament scene, but Richard was not removed from the Tower to go to Pontefract Castle until 29 October, 1399)
V. ii. London: York House 4 January, 1400
V. iii. Windsor Castle 4 January, 1400
V. iv. Windsor Castle Several days before 14 February, 1400
V. v. Pontefract Castle,
14 February, 1400 (traditionally)
V. vi. Windsor Castle 17 February, 1400 (but the affair at Cirencester took place 7–8 January, 1400)