Random Ramblings

Random Ramblings: Personal observations on a wide variety of subjects. Photographs of creatures and things that are taken on seeing the unusual as well as everyday things.

Queen Elizabeth

I have always had a sort of admiration for Elizabeth I … not for her ruthlessness – anyone within a mile of the thrown in those days had to be wary in a way that inevitably led to being ruthless. The thing that really stands out about Elizabeth was her ability to write. She could also deliver a speech and was electrifying to her audience. Her most famous of speeches was given at Tilbury Docks on 8th August, 1588. She had to show the strength of a monarch willing to take up arms and fight with her people … she wore white, dressed with a silver breast plate and she rode on a grey horse. Everything depended upon making ready to stand firm and defend until death but how could she persuade her tired troops … here are the words that she chose (can you think of anyone who could have given a greater speech - and how many women received education, let alone the same education as men? It is doubtful that even Elizabeth received the same education as the males around her – and yet we have her words, this is just a small portion of the speech she delivered … and remember she was not heavily guarded just six protectors at her side, as she mingled with the crowds -

My loving people, we have been persuaded by some that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we commit ourselves 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 or die amongst you all, to lay down for my God, and for my kingdom, and for my people, my honour and my blood, even in the dust. I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and 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 dishonour 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, in the word of a prince, they shall be duly paid to you.’

As with all of us time took its toll on Elizabeth. It was the custom in those days to paint the complexion white and the richer you were the whiter became your countenance. The make-up of the time was made from lead which over time caused those that used it to lose their hair and teeth … their skin became pitted and so badly damaged and ravaged as it became a vicious cycle of covering it up with more and more of the poisonous make-up …

b in Greenwich Palace, Kent on 7 September 1533

succeeded to the thrown on 17 November 1558

crowned in Westminster Abbey on 15 January 1559

d at Richmond Palace, Surrey on 24 March 1603

reigned for a total of 44 years and 127 days

(House of Tudor)


liza said...

I also admire her for being a strong woman. And I have to agree with you with that speech.

Btw, you have been awarded. Please grab it here.


Shinade said...

What a fantastic post Polly. I too have always been very fascinated with this particular time in English history.

I have read many books about Queen Elizabeth and of course I think I've seen every movie!:-)


I will say that is an amazing speech! I am completely fascinated by Elizabeth and have read many books on her as well as about her mother, father, etc. I love English history! Is there anything more interesting!!!???

dawn said...

It had to be hard being her.
Not exactly an easy time to be a woman ... And a woman IN CHARGE!
(Still though, she would have probably scared me half to death!)