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The ''Tilbury Speech''

  • The Elizabethan Era
  • 2 mins

By Crusader1307

The ''Tilbury Speech'' was attributed to Queen Elizabeth I - in relation to a probable Spanish Invasion of England in 1588. She gave a ''rallying speech'' to Her Forces, overlooking The Cliffs of Dover in August of 1588. As is portrayed in Art and Literature, Elizabeth donned a suit (or at least Breastplate) of Greenwich Armor, and mounted on Hr steed, gave the following acclamation to Her Forces -

 

''My Loving People.
We have been persuaded by some that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we commit our selves to armed multitudes, for fear of treachery; but I assure you I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful and loving people. Let tyrants fear. I have always so behaved myself that, under God, I have placed my chiefest strength and safeguard in the loyal hearts and good-will of my subjects; and therefore I am come amongst you, as you see, at this time, not for my recreation and disport, but being resolved, in the midst and heat of the battle, to live and die amongst you all; to lay down for my God, and for my kingdom, and my people, my honor and my blood, even in the dust.
I know I have the body but of a weak, feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too, and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realm; to which rather than any dishonor shall grow by me, I myself will take up arms, I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field.
I know already, for your forwardness you have deserved rewards and crowns; and We do assure you on a word of a prince, they shall be duly paid. In the mean time, my lieutenant general shall be in my stead, than whom never prince commanded a more noble or worthy subject; not doubting but by your obedience to my general, by your concord in the camp, and your valor in the field, we shall shortly have a famous victory over these enemies of my God, of my kingdom, and of my people.''
And while much of this speech was seen by Modern Historians as ''false'', one can imagine someone of Elizabeth I profile as being the ''true Author''. The real ''speech'' does not officially appear. In reality - The ''Queen's Speech'' at Tilbury was more so a piece of ''contrived literature'' of the 19th Century ''Romanticism Revival'' of England, than anything else.