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

David Nicol


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.

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