Wait, William The Conqueror Really Did Come First?

Many of the geeks out there have heard the old story about Richard Burbage (playing Richard III at the time) arranging a late night encounter with a female fan, only to have Shakespeare get there first and deliver the famous line, “William the Conqueror came before Richard III!”

I always assumed it was just an apocryphal story.  So I was surprised to see the story circulating this week, because apparently we’ve got a diary from 1602 that is the source of the story.
Really?  Things like this don’t just pop up, so naturally I figured that this is a known document.  I wasn’t too pleased with this “on display to the public for the first time ever” stuff.
The Diary of John Manningham  Page 39.  You’re welcome.  I still figure it’s an urban legend, but at least now I know that it comes from a source at the time and wasn’t created a few hundred years after both men were dead.  Today I learned!

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