Who Came First?
hyatt carter/who came first?/page 1 of 1
13 March 1601
LONDON (u.p.: UP) — John Manningham, local gossip, reports that when Burbidge played Richard III Saturday, there was a Citizen goene soe farr in liking with him, that before shee went from the play shee appointed him to come that night unto hir by the name of Richard III.
Shakespeare overhearing their conclusion, went before, was intertained, and at his game ere Burbidge came.
Them (Shakespeare and the Citizen) message being brought that Richard III was at the dore, Shakespeare raised himself from the bed and shouted:
“William the Conquerour came before Richard the Third!”
Manningham said the Citizen conceived Shakespeare’s quip merrily, but added that Burbidge was not immediately pricked by the Bard’s humour.
Note: This is something I turned in, as a joke, for an assignment in a journalism class in college many years ago.