Of this play there are more editions printed before 1640 than of any other play of Shakespeare's. As in the case of I. Henry IV., six Quarto editions of this play appeared before the publication of the first Folio in 1623. The first Quarto was printed in 1597, and entitled:
The Tragedy of | King Richard the third. | Containing, | His treacherous Plots against his brother Clarence: | the pittiefull murther of his innocent nephewes: | his tyrannicall vsurpation: with the whole course | of his detested life, and most deserued death. | As it hath beene lately Acted by the | Right honourable the Lord Chamber- | laine his seruants. | At London | Printed by Valentine Sims, for Andrew Wise, | dwelling in Paules Churchyard, at the | Sign of the Angell. | 1597. | The next Quarto appeared in 1598; the title-page is substantially the same, except that the name of the author (“By William Shakespeare”) was added, and that it was printed by Thomas Creede for the same publisher. The third Quarto was printed in 1602. On the title-page of this edition we find “Newly augmented;” but this statement is not founded on fact, as no additions were made. It was reprinted from the second Quarto by the same printer for the same publisher; and the only additions to be found in it are some additional errors of the press.