Elizabeth I's 'Tilbury speech'


This document records the famous speech supposedly delivered by Queen Elizabeth I in 1588 to her troops assembled at Tilbury Camp to defend the country against the Spanish Armada.

The successful defence of the Kingdom of England against invasion on such an unprecedented scale boosted the prestige of the queen and encouraged a new sense of nationalism. The defeat of the Spanish Armada has also long been held as one of England’s greatest military achievements. In this well-known speech Elizabeth defends her strength as a female leader saying,

I know I have the body butt of a weake and feble woman, butt I have the harte and stomack of a king, and of a king of England too.

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Elizabeth I's 'Tilbury speech'
© British Library
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Public Domain in most countries other than the UK.

Held by
British Library
Harley MS 6798

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