Tilbury Speech


Queen Elizabeth I 

My loving people, I have always so conducted myself that, under God, my strength and safety lies in the loyal hearts and goodwill of my subjects; so I come amongst you, not for my recreation and 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 my people, my honour and my blood, even in the dust.


I know I have the body of a weak, feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and a king of England too, and think foul scorn that 
Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realm; to which rather than any dishonour, I will myself take up arms beside you, I will be your general and your rewarder for your virtues in the field.


We know that you already deserved rewards and crowns; and we do assure you in the word of a prince, this shall be duly paid. And take heed too of my lieutenant general, for no prince ever commanded a more worthy or noble subject as he; by your obedience to him, by your valour in battle, we shall yet win a famous victory over these enemies of my God, of my kingdom and of my people.

9 August 1588



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