Here lands as true a subject, being
prisoner, as ever landed at these stairs. Before Thee, O God, I speak it,
having none other friend but Thee alone.
to have been spoken by Elizabeth when she arrived at the Tower of London
as a prisoner)
Much suspected by me,
Nothing proved can be.
carved onto a window at Woodstock Manor, Oxfordshire)
Christ was the word that spake it.
He took the bread and break it;
And what his words did make it
That I believe and take it.
spoken by Elizabeth when questioned on her beliefs on the Eucharist in
This is the Lord's doing and it is marvellous
in our eyes.
verse reputedly spoken in Latin by Elizabeth I when she received news of
her accession to the throne)
I will be as good unto ye as ever a
Queen was unto her people. No will in me can lack, neither do I trust shall
there lack any power. And persuade yourselves that for the safety and quietness
of you all I will not spare if need be to spend my blood.
to the Lord Mayor and people of London on the eve of her Coronation)
This judgement I have of you, that you
will not be corrupted by any manner of gifts, and that you will be faithful
to the State; and that without respect of any private will, you will give
me the counsel you think best.
to William Cecil on making him Secretary of State at her accession)
I do consider a multitude doth make
rather discord and confusion than good counsel.
on her decision to keep the Privy Council small)
I shall desire you all, my lords, (chiefly
you of the nobility, everyone in his degree and power) to be assistant
to me that I, with my ruling, and you with your service, may make a good
account to Almighty God and leave some comfort to our posterity on earth.
at the beginning of her reign)
I have already joined myself in marriage
to a husband, namely the kingdom of England.
Better beggar woman and single than
Queen and married.
Was I not born in this realm? Were my
parents born in any foreign country? Is there any cause I should alienate
myself from being careful over this country? Is not my kingdom here?
We princes are set as it were upon stages
in the sight and view of the world.
There is only one Christ, Jesus, one
faith. All else is a dispute over trifles.
response to the Catholic/Protestant divide)
Though after my
death you may have many stepdames, yet shall you never have a more natural
mother unto you all.
to members of Parliament)
I have no desire to make windows into
a reference to the Catholic/Protestant issue)
It would please me best if, at the last,
a marble stone shall record that this Queen having lived such and such
a time, lived and died a virgin.
to Parliamentary Delegation)
Young heads take example of the ancient.
in a message to Parliament)
My Lords, do whatever you wish. As for
me, I shall do no otherwise than pleases me.
to Parliament on the succession issue)
I will never be by violence constrained
to do anything.
It is monstrous that the feet should
direct the head.
Let this my discipline stand you in
good stead of sorer strokes, never to tempt too far a Prince's patience.
A strength to harm is perilous in the
hand of an ambitious head.
in a letter to Henry Sidney, 1565)
With your head and my purse I could
apocryphal. Reputedly spoken by Elizabeth to William Cecil)
Unbridled persons whose mouths were
never snaffled by the rider, did rashly ride.
to Parliament, 1566, reasserting her authority)
I will have here but one mistress and
to Robert Dudley)
You are like my little dog; when people
see you, they know I am nearby.
to Robert Dudley)
What availeth wit when it fails the
owner at greatest need?
to Robert Dudley on his performance in the Netherlands)
Dost thou think me so unlike myself
and unmindful of my royal majesty that I would prefer my servant whom I
myself have raised, before the greatest prince of Christendom...?
on the rumor she would rather marry Robert Dudley than the Duke of Alencon)
Anger makes dull men witty, but it keeps
to Sir Edward Dyer)
There is no marvel in a woman learning
to speak, but there would be in teaching her to hold her tongue.
to the French Ambassador after he had praised her linguistic skills)
From mine enemy
let me defend myself; from a pretensed friend, good lord deliver me.
I know I am but mortal and so therewhilst
prepare myself for death, whensoever it shall please God to send it.
to Parliament in response to the succession issue)
If I should say the sweetest speech
with the eloquentest tongue that ever was in man, I were not able to express
that restless care which I have ever bent to govern for the greatest wealth.
to Parliament, 1576)
No prince herein, I confess, can be
silver tied or faster bound than I am with the link of your good will.
I have had good experience and trial
of this world...I know what it is to be a subject, what to be a sovereign,
what to have good neighbours, and sometimes meet evil willers. I have found
treason in trust, seen great benefits little regarded.
speech to Parliamentary Delegation, 1586)
What will my enemies not say, that for
the safety of her life a maiden queen could be content to spill the blood
even of her own kinswoman?
to another Parliamentary Delegation (1586), begging her to proceed with
the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots)
Your judgement I condemn not, neither
do I mistake your reasons, but pray you to accept my thankfulness, excuse
my doubtfulness, and take in good part my answer, answerless.
to Parliamentary Delegation again in regards to the execution of Mary,
Queen of Scots)
You lawyers are so nice and precise
in shifting and scanning every word and letter that many times you stand
more upon form than matter, upon syllables than the sense of the law.
to lawyers urging her to execute the Queen of Scots)
Would to God each had his own and were
on European power struggles and war)
If I were turned out of my realm in
my petticoat, I would prosper anywhere in Christendom.
I know I have the body of a weak and
feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king.
speech, 1588. See section on The Spanish Armada)
He that will forget God, will also forget
to William Lambarde, 1601)
Proud Prelate, you know what you were
before I made you what you are. If you do not immediately comply with my
request, I will unfrock you, by God!
to have been written by Elizabeth to the Bishop of Ely. However,
these words are apocryphal.)
My mortal foe can wish me no greater
loss than England's hate. Neither should death be less welcome unto me
than such a mishap betide me.
Those who touch the sceptres of princes
deserve no pity.
My mind was never to invade my neighbours.
All my possessions for a moment of time
this famous quote is apocryphal)
GOLDEN SPEECH 1601
To be a King
and wear a crown is a thing more pleasant to them that see it, than it
is pleasant to them that bear it.
I were content
to hear matters argued and debated pro and contra as all princes must that
will understand what is right, yet I look ever as it were upon a plain
tablet wherein is written neither partility or prejudice.
There is no
jewel, be it of never so rich a price, which I set before this jewel; I
mean your love.
hath raised me high, yet this I account the glory of my reign, that I have
reigned with your loves.
I have ever
used to set the last Judgement Day before mine eyes, and so to rule as
I shall be judged to answer before a higher judge.
You may have
many a wiser prince sitting in this seat, but you never have had, or shall
have, any who loves you better.
It is not my
desire to live or to reign longer than my life and reign shall be for your