Elizabeth I of England

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A painting of Queen Elizabeth I

Elizabeth I (1533–1603) was Queen of England from 1558 until her death in 1603. Her rule saw Protestantism restored in England. She was famously known as The Virgin Queen, as she never took a husband. After her death, James I and the House of Stuart came to the throne.

Sourced quotes

  • "The queen of Scots is this day leichter of a fair son, and I am but a barren stock."[1]
Simple: The queen of Scots today gave birth to a fair son, but I have no children.
  • "I know what it is to be a subject, what to be a Sovereign, what to have good neighbours, and sometimes meet evil-willers."[2]
Simple: I know what it is like to be a subject, what it is like to be a Sovereign, what it is like to have good neighbours, and sometimes meet people who mean harm.
  • "In trust I have found treason."[2]
Simple: People I trust commit treason.
  • "For the face, I grant, I might well blush to offer, but the mind I shall never be ashamed to present."[3]
About the quote: In a letter to her brother, Edward VI (1549–1551).
Simple: Although I may well be ashamed to show my face, I shall never be ashamed to show my mind.
  • "I will make you shorter by the head."[2]
About the quote: Spoken to her councillors who argued with her about Mary, Queen of Scots.
Simple: I will take your head off.
  • "I know I have the body 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 foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realm."[3]
Simple: I know I have the body of a weak and frail woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too; and do not think that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe, would dare to bring an army across the border (edge) of my country.
  • "The daughter of debate, that eke discord doth sow." [4]
Simple: The daughter of debate, that also plants the seeds of disagreement between people.
  • "Though God hath raised me high, yet this I count the glory of my crown: that I have reigned with your loves."[5]
About the quote: Elizabeth's Golden Speech of 1601, spoken to the House of Commons. It was Elizabeth's last great speech before her death two years later.
Simple: Though God has placed me in a high place, I count this as the glory of my crown: that I have ruled with your loves.
  • "Madam I may not call you; mistress I am ashamed to call you; and so I know not what to call you; but howsoever, I thank you."[1]
About the quote: Spoken to the wife of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Elizabeth did not like clergymen marrying.
Simple: I cannot call you "Madam"; I am ashamed to call you "mistress"; so I do not know what to call you; but whatever, I thank you.
  • "Must! Is must a word to be addressed to princes? Little man, little man! thy father, if he had been alive, durst not have used that word."[1]
About the quote: Spoken to Robert Cecil, her councillor, after he told her that she must go to bed.
Simple: Must! Is that a word to be used to princes? Little man, little man! Your father, if he were alive, would not dare use that word.
  • "If thy heart fails thee, climb not at all."[2]
Simple: If your heart fails you, do not struggle.
  • "I would not open windows into men's souls."[1]
What it means: Elizabeth was urged to force her Catholic subjects to become Protestant. She said no, as she did not want to force her subjects to choose either way.[3]
  • "My Lord, I had forgot the fart."[1]
About the quote: Spoken to her courtier, the Earl of Oxford, after coming home from a seven-year exile. He had broken wind in front of the Queen.
Simple: My Lord, I had forgotten about the fart.
  • "Twas God the word that spake it,
    He took the bread and brake it;
    And what the word did make it;
    That I believe, and take it."[2]
About the quote: Elizabeth's reply to being asked what she thought of the sacrament.
Simple: God was the word that said it.
He took the bread and broke it;
And God was what the word made the bread into.
I believe that, and I take it.
  • "All my possessions for a moment of time."[1]
About the quote: Elizabeth's recorded last words. This is thought to be fiction rather than fact.
Simple: I would give my goods for a little bit of time.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 "Elizabeth I". Oxford Dictionary of Quotations. Retrieved on November 15, 2008
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 "Elizabeth I". Concise Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (2004). Retrieved on November 14, 2008
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Collinson, Patrick (2004). "Elizabeth I". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved on November 14, 2008
  4. Strickland, Agnes (1844). Lives of the Queens of England, from the Norman Conquest; with Anecdotes of their Courts. London: Henry Colburn, publisher, 320–321. 
  5. "The Farewell Speech". Internet Modern History Sourcebook (November 30, 1601). Retrieved on November 16, 2008

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