30 November 1601 – Elizabeth I’s Golden Speech

| November 30, 2012

On this day in history, 30th November 1601, Elizabeth I delivered her famous Golden Speech to the House of Commons, addressing their concerns over England’s economic state of affairs. It was her final speech to Parliament and in it she spoke of her love and respect for her realm and for her members of Parliament. […]

Elizabeth I’s Earliest Surviving Letter

| July 31, 2012

On 31st July 1544, the future Elizabeth I wrote her earliest surviving letter to her stepmother, Catherine Parr. It was written in Italian and in a beautiful italic hand. Elizabeth wrote: “Inimical fortune, envious of all good and ever revolving human affairs, has deprived me for a whole year of your most illustrious presence, and, […]

Elizabeth I’s Golden Speech

| December 1, 2011

Apologies for not posting about Elizabeth I’s famous Golden Speech yesterday on its 410th anniversary, yesterday was just one of those days! You can find diarist Hayward Townshend’s version of the speech in our Speeches section under Resources – click here and it is an amazing speech. Elizabeth delivered it to the House of Commons […]

Elizabeth I the Poet – 1560s and 1570s

| October 8, 2010

The first poem I want to share with you was inscribed by Elizabeth I on the last leaf of her French psalter, which is in the Royal Library at Windsor Castle. Leah S Marcus, Janel Mueller and Mary Beth Rose, editors of “Elizabeth I: Collected Works”, date this poem to 1565 because:- “The lightly embellished, […]

Elizabeth I the Poet – The Woodstock Etchings

| October 5, 2010

What some people do not realise is that Elizabeth I was a very accomplished writer, something which could be attributed to her Humanist education but which was also a real gift. One of my favourite books is “Elizabeth I: Collected Works” which contains all of the letters, poems, prayers and speeches that Elizabeth wrote during […]

Elizabeth I – Primary Sources

| August 27, 2010

While there are some excellent biographies and books out there on Elizabeth I, her reign and Elizabethan times, there’s nothing quite like going back to the primary sources. Secondary sources obviously have their use, particularly when they are written by historians and authors who have made good use of primary sources and have based their […]

On Monsieur’s Departure

| June 10, 2010

On this day in history, 10th June 1584, François, Duke of Anjou and Alençon, died at the age of 30 from a fever, possibly malaria. Why am I writing about him here, on a website dedicated to Elizabeth? Because he was one of Elizabeth’s suitors and the man she affectionately called her “frog”. François, Duke […]

Act of Uniformity 1559

| May 8, 2010

On the 8th May 1559, Queen Elizabeth I gave her approval to the Acts of Uniformity and Supremacy which had been passed by Parliament on the 29th April. The Act of Uniformity made Protestantism England’s official faith, established a form of worship which is still followed in English Parish churches today and showed the country […]

Elizabeth I’s Reign – Just Survival?

| April 21, 2010

I have been reading G J Meyer’s The Tudors: The Complete Story of England’s Most Notorious Dynasty, which is an interesting read, but when I got to the part on Elizabeth my blood began to boil. It started off OK – it actually starts with Elizabeth I’s death – and Meyer writes of how, considering […]

The Mirror of the Sinful Soul

| April 1, 2010

Today, on Maundy Thursday (or Holy Thursday), the day we commemorate the Last Supper which Jesus Christ shared with his disciples, I thought it was fitting to look at “Le miroir de l’ame pecheresse” or “The Mirror (Glass) of the Sinful Soul”, the religious poem which Elizabeth translated as a gift for her stepmother Catherine […]