This Day in History: 1633-11-16

On 16th November 1633, there was the earliest record of a performance, at court, of Shakespeare’s Richard III during the reign of Charles I. The play had been written sometime between 1591-93 and had received regular performances by the Lord Chamberlain’s Men into the 1600s. The play was entered into the Register of the Stationers’ Company on 20th October 1597. Earl Rivers’ makes a memorable reference to Pontefract’s historic role in his impending execution and in English history in Act III, Scene III: “O Pomfret, Pomfret! O thou bloody prison, Fatal and ominous to noble peers! Within the guilty closure of thy walls Richard the second here was hack’d to death; And, for more slander to thy dismal seat, We give thee up our guiltless blood to drink.”