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Elizabeth addresses her troops at Tilbury

By July 3, 2015February 18th, 2021No Comments

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, for my kingdom, and for my people, my honour and my blood, even in the dust. 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; and think it 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, on the word of a prince, they shall be duly paid you. In the meantime, 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 valour in the field, we shall shortly have a famous victory over those enemies of my God, of my kingdom, and of my people.

Sir ES Creasy, Fifteen Decisive Battles Of The World, Forty-Fourth Edition, London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co, pp 249-50

Following the defeat of the Spanish Armada, in which he played a notable part, Sir Francis Drake wrote:

They were not ashamed to publish in sundry languages in print, great victories in words, which they pretended to have obtained against this realm, and spread the same in a most false sort over all parts of France, Italy, and elsewhere; when, shortly afterwards, it was happily manifested in very deed to all nations, how their navy, which they termed invincible, consisting of one hundred and forty sail of ships, not only of their own kingdom, but strengthened with the greatest argosies, Portugal carracks, Florentines, and large hulks of other countries, were by thirty of her majesty’s own ships of war, and a few of our own merchants, by the wise, valiant, and advantageous conduct of the Lord Charles Howard, high-admiral of England, beaten and shuffled together even from the Lizard in Cornwall, first to Portland, when they shamefully left Don Pedro de Valdez with his mighty ship; from Portland to Calais, where they lost Hugh de Moncado, with the galleys of which he was captain; and from Calais, driven with squibs from their anchors, were chased out of the sight of England, round about Scotland and Ireland, where, from the sympathy of their religion, hoping to find succour and assistance, a great part of them were crushed against the rocks, and those others that landed, being very many in number, were, notwithstanding, broken, slain, and taken; and so sent from village to village, coupled in halters, to be shipped into England, where her majesty, of her princely and invincible disposition, disdaining to put them to death, and scorning either to detain or to entertain them, they were all sent back again to their countries, to witness and recount the worthy achievement of their invincible and dreadful navy. Of which the number of soldiers, the fearful burthen of their ships, the commanders’ names of every squadron, with all others, their magazines of provision were put in print, as an army and navy irresistible and disdaining prevention: with all which their great and terrible ostentation, they did not in all their sailing round about England so much as sink or take one ship, bark, pinnace, or cock-boat of ours, or even burn so much as one sheep-cote on this land.

Ibid, pp 266-67

There must be a beginning of any great matter, but the continuing unto the end until it be thoroughly finished yields the true glory.

Francis Drake

Patria says:-

It is worth noting that in this crisis of the undeclared war between England and Spain, the minority Roman Catholic population of our country remained loyal to their lawful sovereign, Queen Elizabeth.