The Peaceable King, or the Lord Mendall: A Lost Jack Cade Play and its 1623 Revival

David Nicol

Abstract


The lost play The Peaceable King, or The Lord Mendall was recorded by Sir Henry Herbert in 1623 as an old play revived by Prince Charles’s Men. Its title indicates that it was about Henry VI and Jack Cade, and like Shakespeare’s Henry VI, Part 2, it may have explored the clash between a peace-loving king and a popular rebellion. Its revival in 1623 may have had a political subtext, since at this time King James too was known as a ‘peaceable king’ and was facing open hostility from a portion of the populace that objected to his pacific foreign policy.


Keywords


Lost plays; Jacobean drama; politics; theatre history

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.12745/et.19.1.2699


David Nicol
Dalhousie University
Canada

David Nicol (david.nicol@dal.ca) is an associate professor in the Fountain School of Performing Arts at Dalhousie University. He is the author of Middleton and Rowley: Forms of Collaboration in the Jacobean Playhouse (2012) and of articles on the plays of William Rowley in Cahiers Élisabéthains, Comparative Drama, Early Theatre, Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England, Notes and Queries, and Studies in English Literature 1500-1900. His most recent work is the stage history section of the forthcoming New Variorum edition of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.