Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Queen Mary's Speech at Guildhall

Historian John Murphy on the speech which helped Mary Tudor to win a kingdom. To quote:
Unlike Elizabeth’s address at Tilbury, when it was known already the the Spanish armada was dispersed, Mary gave this speech when events might have moved either in her favour or against. She demonstrated remarkable nerve and certainty Hers is one of the few speeches history has to actually attest to the power of words. Mary Tudor moved men’s and women’s hearts and thereby we can say this speech changed the course of events.

Once more it is an example of how Mary as one of England’s most extraordinary rulers has been written out of history just as Elizabeth’s monument in Westminster Abbey subsumed her half-sister’s resting place. Mary may not have had the intellectual brio of Elizabeth nor the romantic elan of Mary Stewart but she had all the practical sense and courage and determination to become England’s first regnant female; hold her throne; marry whom she chose; impose the reformed Catholicism of Trent upon the country; take the country into a war with France and to her last breath, like her father, hold to the course she set. Remarkable seems way too small a word for such a huge achievement. (Read more.)

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