9 August 1588 – Elizabeth’s Speech to her Troops at Tilbury

The most memorable speeches invariably are short and effective.

Janet Wertman

This is one of the most famous speeches of all time – delivered by Elizabeth I to inspire her forces just before the arrival of the Spanish Armada. And inspire she did. Carolly Erickson describes her riding “through their ranks on a huge white warhorse, armed like a queen out of antique mythology in a silver cuirass and silver trauncheon.” The speech was received with thunderous applause, and word of it quickly warmed the hearts of her entire country. As Leicester wrote to the Earl of Shrewsbury, “Our royal mistress hath been here with me to see her camp and people, which so inflamed the hearts of her good subjects, as I think the weakest person among them is able to match the proudest Spaniard that dares land in England.”

My loving people,

We have been persuaded by some that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we…

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