The Life of Sir John Oldcastle


William Shakespeare

Free Public Domain Books from the
Classic Literature Library

The Life of Sir John Oldcastle Page 01

The True and Honorable History of the Life of Sir John Oldcastle, the Good Lord Cobham. Attributed in part to William Shakespeare.

The Actors Names in the History of Sir John Oldcastle.

King Henry the Fifth.
Sir John Old-castle, Lord Cobham.
Harpoole, Servant to the Lord Cobham.
Lord Herbert, with Gough his man.
Lord Powis, with Owen and Davy his men.
The Mayor of Hereford, and Sheriff of Herefordshire, with Bailiffs
and Servants.
Two Judges of Assize.
The Bishop of Rochester and Clun his Sumner.
Sir John the Parson of Wrotham, and Doll his Concubine.
The Duke of Suffolk.
The Earl of Huntington.
The Earl of Cambridge.
Lord Scroop and Lord Grey.
Chartres the French Agent.
Sir Roger Acton.
Sir Richard Lee.
M. Bourn, M. Beverly, and Murley the Brewer of Dunstable, rebels.
M. Butler, Gentleman of the Privy Chamber.
Lady Cobham and Lady Powis.
Cromer, Sheriff of Kent.
Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports.
Lieutenant of the Tower.
The Mayor, Constable, and Gaoler of S. Albans.
A Kentish Constable and an Ale-man.
Soldiers and old men begging.
Dick and Tom, servants to Murley.
An Irishman.
An Host, Hostler, a Carrier and Kate.


The doubtful Title (Gentlemen) prefixt Upon the Argument we have in hand, May breed suspence, and wrongfully disturb The peaceful quiet of your settled thoughts. To stop which scruple, let this brief suffice: It is no pampered glutton we present, Nor aged Counsellor to youthful sin, But one, whose virtue shone above the rest, A valiant Martyr and a virtuous peer; In whose true faith and loyalty expressed Unto his sovereign, and his country's weal, We strive to pay that tribute of our Love, Your favours merit. Let fair Truth be graced, Since forged invention former time defaced.

ACT I. SCENE I. Hereford. A street.

[Enter Lord Herbert, Lord Powis, Owen, Gough, Davy, and several other followers of the lords Herbert and Powis; they fight. In the fight, enter the Sheriff and two of his men.]

SHERIFF. My Lords, I charge ye in his Highness' name, To keep the peace, you, and your followers.

HERBERT. Good Master Sheriff, look unto your self.

POWIS. Do so, for we have other business.

[Profer to fight again.]

SHERIFF. Will ye disturb the Judges, and the Assize? Hear the King's proclamation, ye were best.

POWIS. Hold then, let's hear it.

HERBERT. But be brief, ye were best.


DAVY. Cousin, make shorter O, or shall mar your Yes.


OWEN. What, has her nothing to say but O yes?


DAVY. O nay! pye Cosse plut down with her, down with her! A Pawesse! a Pawesse!

GOUGH. A Herbert! a Herbert! and down with Powis!

[Helter skelter again.]

SHERIFF. Hold, in the King's name, hold.

OWEN. Down i' tha knave's name, down.

[In this fight, the Bailiff is knocked down, and the Sheriff and the other run away.]

HERBERT. Powesse, I think thy Welsh and thou do smart.

POWIS. Herbert, I think my sword came near thy heart.

HERBERT. Thy heart's best blood shall pay the loss of mine.

GOUGH. A Herbert! a Herbert!

DAVY. A Pawesse! a Pawesse!

[As they are lifting their weapons, enter the Mayor of Hereford, and his Officers and Towns-men with clubs.]

MAYOR. My Lords, as you are liege men to the Crown, True noblemen, and subjects to the King, Attend his Highness' proclamation, Commanded by the Judges of Assize, For keeping peace at this assembly.

HERBERT. Good Master Mayor of Hereford be brief.

MAYOR. Sergeant, without the ceremony of Oyes, Pronounce aloud the proclamation.

SERVANT. The King's Justices, perceiving what public mischief may ensue this private quarrel, in his majesty's name do straightly charge and command all persons, of what degree soever, to depart this city of Hereford, except such as are bound to give attendance at this Assize, and that no man presume to wear any weapon, especially welsh-hooks, forest bills--

OWEN. Haw, no pill nor wells hoog? ha?

MAYOR. Peace, and hear the proclamation.

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book
Sir Thomas More