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The Tudor Society
  • 9 August – Elizabeth I’s Tilbury Speech

    On this day in Tudor history, 9th August 1588, Queen Elizabeth I gave her famous Tilbury Speech to the forces gathered at Tilbury Fort.

    It is a speech that has been immortalised on screen by the likes of Glenda Jackson and Cate Blanchett, and is famous for the line “I know I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too”, but what words did Elizabeth really speak that day?

    In today’s talk,I share three versions of Elizabeth I’s Tilbury Speech.

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  • Elizabeth I’s Golden Speech – 30 November 1601

    On 30th November 1601, Queen Elizabeth I delivered her famous Golden Speech to the House of Commons. She gave this speech to address their concerns over England’s economic state of affairs. It was the last speech that she gave to Parliament, and in it, she spoke of her position as queen and her love and respect for her realm and for her members of Parliament.

    There are various versions of this speech, but the following version is taken from diarist and MP Hayward Townshend’s Commons Journal, printed in Historical Collections: Or, An Exact Account of the Proceedings of the Four Last Parliaments of Q. Elizabeth:

    “In the Afternoon, the Commons Attended the Queen at White-Hall, about Three of the Clock, to the Number of One Hundred, and Forty.

    The Commons attend the Queen in the Council-Chamber.

    At length, the Queen came into the Council-Chamber; where sitting under the Cloth of State, at the Upper End, the Speaker, with all the Commons came in: And after Three low Reverences made, he spake to this Effect:

    The Speaker’s Speech to Her Majesty.

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