Where does history begin? When playwrights turned to prose chronicles to adapt their material for the stage, they were, in a sense, free to choose. Chronicles such as Holinshed’s conveniently divided history from Adam and Eve to the Elizabethan present into smaller units. Thus, British history fell into the reigns of kings and queens. Advertising its contents, the third volume of Holinshed’s Chronicles (1586) reveals this common pattern on its title page: It announces that it will present history “beginning at duke William Norman, commonly called Conqueror; and deſcending by degrees of yeeres to all the kings and queens of England in their orderlie ſucceſſions.” 1 “Succession,” with its various meanings, is thus one of the central logics that govern the overall structure of chronicles. As the narrative of the respective kingdoms in the volume unfolds, kings and queens follow each other in “orderlie ſucceſſions” – even if ‘orderly’ here clearly means chronologically, rather than peacefully and without suspicion.