Evidence indicates that Shakespeare may have used a scribal version of Samuel Daniel’s The Civil Wars, rather than the first printed edition, while writing Richard II. There are two extant manuscripts of portions of Daniel’s epic poem. A never-printed stanza in one manuscript employs imagery similar to Shakespeare’s to describe the same invented episode. To investigate possible influence, this essay assesses the dates of the manuscripts, analyzes variants from the printed edition, evaluates the shared imagery, and considers how Shakespeare’s possible use of a manuscript impacts the dating of Richard II. It also identifies social connections between the authors that explain how the playwright could have obtained access to an early version of the poet’s work.