In a room in Richard Scroop, Archbishop of York’s palace, the Archbishop gives Sir Michael letters to deliver to his brother and others. The Archbishop is wracked with anxiety about the next day’s battle, fearing that King Henry’s numerous strong troops will defeat the rebels, who are much weaker without Northumberland and Glendower to fight with them. King Henry has heard about the Archbishop’s allegiance with the rebels so the Archbishop fears that, if the king defeats Hotspur at Shrewsbury, he’ll attack the Archbishop next. He sends Sir Michael off with the letters and prepares to write more to rally additional rebel allies.
This scene is omitted from some editions of the play. As in his earlier letter to Hotspur, the Archbishop shows himself to be Hotspur’s opposite: Richard Scroop is an anxious rebel, wary of warfare and fearful that King Henry’s troops will prove too strong for the Percys. As a man of the Church and not a warrior, he uses language alone to try to support the rebellion and protect himself.