Page "John Oldcastle" Paragraph 17
His unpopular opinions and early friendship with Henry V created a traditional scandal which long continued.
In the old play The Famous Victories of Henry V, written before 1588, Oldcastle figures as the Prince's boon companion.
When Shakespeare adapted that play in Henry IV, Part 1, Oldcastle still appeared ; but when the play was printed in 1598 Falstaff's name was substituted, in deference, as it is said, to the then Lord Cobham.
Though the fat knight still remains " my old lad of the Castle ," the stage character has nothing to do with the Lollard leader.
In Henry IV, Part 2 an epilogue emphasises that Falstaff is not Oldcastle: " Falstaff shall die of a sweat, unless already a ' be killed with your hard opinions ; for Oldcastle died a martyr, and this is not the man.