Draft government proclamation, 1588 (SP 12/211)
This extract has been translated into modern English with line numbers added.
Line 1 Although the Queen’s Majesty does assure herself, that the
greatest number of her good and faithful subjects specially such
as are endowed with knowledge to discern of her Majesty’s intentions
and actions in public causes, do truly condone, allow and
Line 5 embrace as most necessary, those her actions, which have been put
in execution of late years for the reducing of her people into
warlike order, through her whole realm, for defence of the same, as
a matter most necessary, to conserve all her good subjects, from the
highest to the lowest in surety against all attempts of enemies and
Line 10 rebels: …
Line 1 Her Majesty the Queen assures herself that the
majority of her good and faithful subjects, especially those
who know about Her Majesty’s intentions
and actions in public causes, truly excuse, allow and
Line 5 hold as necessary her actions. These have been
done recently to get her people
ready for war, through her whole realm, for its defence.
This is necessary to save all her good subjects, from the
highest to the lowest, against all attempts of enemies and
Line 10 rebels: …
1. This is an extract taken from a draft proclamation by the government of Elizabeth I. This was sent with a letter on 24th June 1588 by Lord Burghley, Elizabeth I’s chief minister, to Sir Francis Walsingham. They were clearly discussing how to make their case most persuasive and to blame the war on others.
- Elizabeth I had clearly been blamed by the Spanish for starting the war by building up her armed forces, her army and her navy. What reasons did the writer give to explain Elizabeth’s actions?
- Why were there more soldiers than sailors?
- How did the writer try to appeal to as many English people as possible?