Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Colin's Little Known Facts: Elizabeth's Speech Was at Tilbur

One of the best known speeches in English history was delivered at Tilbury in Essex.

In 1588, Queen Elizabeth received word that the Philip II’s Armada had left Spain in a bid to overthrow the Protestant state and bring back Catholicism.

As it happened, Sir Francis Drake and his band of sea-dogs had sent the Armada packing by the time Elizabeth visited the hastily-assembled army at Tilbury Fort, but the fear of invasion remained.

“I know I have the body of a weak, feeble woman”, she told them, and then, to rousing cheers, “but I have the heart and stomach of a king – and of a king of England too.”

It’s a speech that has rung down through the centuries, showing Elizabeth as one of the best monarchs for cultivating popularity.