Elizabeth R (1971)
Director: Roderick Graham.
Starring: Glenda Jackson (Queen Elizabeth I), Ronald Hines (William Cecil, Lord Burghley), Stephen Murray (Walsingham), Robert Hardy (Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester), Angela Thorne (Lettice, Lady Leicester), John Shrapnel (Earl of Sussex), Robin Ellis (Robert Devereaux, Earl of Essex), Rachel Kempson (Kat Ashley), Peter Howell (Lord Howard), Peter Jeffrey (King Philip II of Spain), Vivian Pickles (Mary Queen Scots).
miniseries about Queen Elizabeth I starring Glenda Jackson
Spoiler Warning: below is a summary of the entire film.
Episode I. The Lion's Cub.
Part I.I Assassination Attempt.
Elizabeth's Uncle Thomas Seymour (married to her last step-mother, Katherine Parr) and an accomplice named Fallon open a series of doors that gives them access to the boy king Edward. The boy's dog barks and barks at the men until Uncle kills the dog. Guards soon arrive and asks if His Majesty is harmed? The two men are arrested. Seymour is the Lord High Admiral. The head of the guards says that they will investigate his dealings, including those with Princess Elizabeth.
Part I.II. Arrest and Charges.
Elizabeth awakens and calls for her servant Kat Ashley. Since there is no answer, Elizabeth starts to search her out continually calling her name. She runs into a man she calls Master Tibbett. She asks him where are her people? Tibbett says the Council has sent him to question her. Ashley and her treasurer Perry are both arrested. He is here to ask her questions about the topic of treason. He tells Elizabeth that her step-father Thomas Seymour is in the Tower of London. Elizabeth starts to cry. She says that Seymour was her guardian and friend along with her step mother Katherine. Tibbett informs Elizabeth that Katherine is dead and the Admiral has proposed marriage to her. Elizabeth tells Tibbett that she has done nothing wrong! He counters that the rumor is that she is with child by Seymour.
Apparently Seymour planned to marry the king to Lady Jane Grey (granddaughter of Henry VIII's sister Mary Tudor) whose wardship he bought for 2,000 English pounds. He entered Edward's chambers to take the king. Tibbett then cruelly reminds Elizabeth that the punishment for treason is decapitation or burning. (Her mother Anne Boleyn was decapitated by her father King Henry VIII.)
Part I.III. Seymour Affair.
Seymour is being a bit forward with Elizabeth trying to get her out of her bed. Kat Ashley jumps in to stop Seymour telling him this is inappropriate. After Seymour leaves, Elizabeth and Kat laugh over his crazy antics. On another occasion the Queen held her down while Seymour cut her gown. Kat scolds Elizabeth for this, but Elizabeth says it was only a game. Kat still doesn't approve. In another scene Seymour tells Elizabeth: "I am bewitched by you."
Elizabeth comments: "Poor Queen. All affection is false." She remembers when the Queen accused Seymour and Elizabeth of mocking her behind her back and wishing that she were dead.
Part I.IV. Confessions and Freedoms.
Mrs. Tibbett comes in to tell Elizabeth that she will be her new mistress. She says the Council orders her here. Elizabeth wants to know where her servants are. They are in the Tower of London. This both upsets and scares Elizabeth.
One of Elizabeth's man servants confesses falsely against Elizabeth under the threat of torture. Now it's Kat's turn to confess. They show Kat her colleague's confession and Kat scolds the servant for falsely confessing.
William Cecil, later Lord Burghley, comes to see Elizabeth. The lawyer gives her some legal advice. He says whatever she does she must not confess that it was her intention to marry without the consent of the Council. Elizabeth is suspicious of his motives, but he just says that after her sister Mary, Elizabeth will reign. He tells her to write the document of what she did and did not do. Cecil will deliver it to the Council. He questions her about her relationship with Seymour. She basically says that Seymour was a bit of a fool. Elizabeth asks: "Is it treason to mock a fool?"
Lady Tibbett tells Elizabeth that Seymour's property has been confiscated. Cecil tells her that her servants are now free. And Seymour is dead. Elizabeth is upset by his death.
King Edward is very sick. He dies.
Part I.V. A Queen is Crowned.
Cecil rides to speak with Mary. She tells Cecil that she sees that her brother is dead and now she is the queen. She also tells him that he is her enemy. Cecil says he has news for her. Northumberland has married his son to Lady Jane Grey and she proclaimed the queen. Mary tells Cecil that his news is false. Cecil objects that he knows and accepts that Mary is the next rightful Queen. He tells Mary that she should proclaim herself sovereign. Northumberland and his daughter are put in the Tower.
Mary appears as queen but is bothered when Sir Thomas Wyatt shouts: "God save the Princess Elizabeth." Mary tells her people to take that man out of the room. She tells Elizabeth that they will speak privately. Alone together Mary asks Elizabeth: "Why am I hated?" Elizabeth says this is not true. Mary wants Elizabeth to become a catholic. She is still suspicious of Elizabeth and even asks as Elizabeth leaves if she wishes her dead?
Part I.VI. Marriage is Announced.
Elizabeth is isolated in her apartments. She says that the Catholics have reinstated her once again as the bastard Elizabeth. Elizabeth learns that Her Majesty is to marry the future King Philip II of Spain. And Mary even speaks of having children. Elizabeth finds that ridiculous. Mary is too old to have children.
Elizabeth goes to see Mary, but is told that Her Majesty will not see her. Mary comes out and Elizabeth uses the opportunity to tell her that she is thinking about switching over to Catholicism. Mary can hardly believe it and asks: "Is this true?" Elizabeth says she was very impressed when Mary told her that she would gladly give her life for her religion. So she asks Mary to grant her instruction in the faith. So Mary assigns a priest to help Elizabeth learn about the catholic faith. Mary says that God has guided her sister to this decision. She adds that she, Mary, shall amend all errors in this land.
The French ambassador speaks with Thomas Wyatt (son of the poet Thomas Wyatt). He tells Thomas how clever Elizabeth is by saying she may convert to Mary's faith. Wyatt is plotting a rebellion against Mary and says that Elizabeth must be safe out in the country when they act.
Mary speaks with the Spanish ambassador. She says she has been deceived. Philip has mistresses and bastards. The ambassador tells her not to believe these lying rumors. Mary wants to know if what she has heard is true. The ambassador draws her attention to Philip's portrait and says that the picture does not lie. He changes the direction of the conversation by saying that Philip may not come to England until the plots and treason of Elizabeth are dealt with. This worries Mary. The ambassador says that Elizabeth laughs and jests with the French ambassador. Mary asks if Elizabeth mocks her in these conversations. The Spaniard says yes. She asks if Elizabeth has betrayed her. He say yes again. Mary now asks how can she bring Elizabeth down? The ambassador tells Mary to let Elizabeth go from court and send spies to watch her. He says she is dangerous because she is much loved and is young. Mary asks the ambassador to leave her.
Part I.VII. Wyatt's Confession.
Mary talks with Elizabeth and says that she wants only the truth from her. Elizabeth continues to swear her absolute loyalty to and love of her sister. Mary informs Elizabeth that she is free to leave court. As she rides away from court Elizabeth shouts: "Free! Free! Free!"
Sir Thomas Wyatt says the whole country will rise with him against Mary and for Elizabeth. Meanwhile, the Spanish ambassador wants to create a reason for a charge of treason against Elizabeth. Sir Thomas is arrested. He is told he will die the vile death of a traitor. He is a traitor because he rebelled against his lawful sovereign. They want Wyatt to confess that the rebellion's purpose was to crown the Princess Elizabeth queen and that Elizabeth both knew and approved of this.
Elizabeth faints when the Spanish ambassador comes in to take her to be questioned. She sees five heads set on long pikes. Elizabeth throws up. Later she asks to see Mary, but is told the Queen will not see her. She learns that Lady Jane Grey was executed eight days ago. Lady Jane Grey's father had followed Wyatt. The Catholic bishop tells Elizabeth that he wants her to confess for surely the Queen will pardon her. Elizabeth says that she will not confess and, therefore, she will not repent. She is innocent. She then accuses the Catholic bishop, saying that this is all his doing. He says that Elizabeth will go to the Tower.
Part I.VIII. To the Tower.
Elizabeth and Kat Ashley are taken to the Tower by boat. It is raining very hard. As Elizabeth walks up the steps, she decides to just sit down. Elizabeth is told that she must enter or she will be forced to come in. Elizabeth asks Kat for the Bible and she opens the book to a certain passage. She says: "Now we will go in, reading from the Bible." In her cell Elizabeth thinks about execution. She says if it comes to it, she will ask her sister Mary to send to France for an executioner who uses a sword instead of an axe.
Bishop Gardiner goes to the Archbishop of Canterbury and asks him "to guide this lady" to the decision best for her. (Which means what's best for Mary and the Catholic faith.) When Elizabeth arrives, the Archbishop asks Elizabeth if she is innocent. She just says: "I am innocent." He replies: "Then God be with you." Bishop Gardiner is not happy.
Elizabeth is confronted with Sir Thomas Wyatt. Elizabeth says that she knows nothing of this man. Thomas says that it was for Elizabeth that they rebelled. Elizabeth insists that she is innocent. The accusation is that Elizabeth was privy to the rebellion. Elizabeth insists that they bring her to trial or declare her innocent. When it is all over and Elizabeth is alone, she says: "I will survive!"
Queen Mary is very sick. Elizabeth gets a big surprise. Bishop Gardiner says that she has received a death sentence and it will be carried out within the hour. Elizabeth says that she has not had any trial. She asks him if he is part of a conspiracy? She demands to see the death warrant. She gets it and sees that Mary has not signed it. Rather the Bishop, the Lord Chancellor, signed it for her sister. She warns the Bishop that he will die for this. The Bishop says that he is the head of the Council. Elizabeth tells him to take it to Mary and see if she will condemn her own sister to death. When the Bishop leaves, Elizabeth quietly shouts: "I have won!"
Part I.IX. The Wedding Night.
Elizabeth is happy. She says Mary does not want to be known as her sister's murderer. Wyatt is to go to the block and have his head chopped off. The order to the jailor Master Beddingfield about Elizabeth is that she be kept close confined. She will be moved in secret from this place. Elizabeth says that they will have to drag her. Beddingfield says that the Prince of Spain will come today to meet the Queen and she doesn't want any disturbance or unpleasantness. Therefore, Elizabeth must be shut away.
Mary is looking forward to seeing the Spanish Prince. She waits for him laying in her bed. The prince keeps her waiting so long that she falls asleep. The prince comes in, sees Mary looking terrible, speaks a few words to her and then leaves.
Part I.X. To be Close Confined.
Master Cecil comes to speak with Elizabeth. He indicates to Elizabeth that when the jailor is present, he will speak the way that Mary would like him to speak, so Elizabeth should not be alarmed. Cecil tells Elizabeth to confess and she will be forgiven and set free. He adds that Her Majesty is with child. Elizabeth says: "I cannot confess what is false." When the jailor leaves, Cecil tells Elizabeth that her servants have not converted to Catholicism. The Bill of Heresy is for those who will not convert. He says no one will be spared. The heretic Archbishop Kranmer denied his recantation. Into the fire he then thrust first his hand, the one he used to sign the paper.
When the jailor returns Elizabeth asks him for a mass. He agrees and leaves again. Elizabeth then talks about going to France or elsewhere. Cecil tells her that her cousin Mary, Queen of Scots, would have her killed if she went to France. He says that she simply can't leave England. She is the hope of the people.
Mary runs out of her room shouting that it's all her fault in Latin. She shouts that she is past her time and that the child is dead in her womb. But Mary is not with child. Rather she suffers from a growth in her womb.
Prince Philip says that he must leave England and go home. The Spanish ambassador urges the Prince to stay. There are two reasons for this. The first is that he can help prevent any further burnings of those who do not convert to Catholicism. He says this hurts the image of Catholicism. And second, he can use the time to befriend Elizabeth. The woman is said to have a passionate nature. This intrigues the Prince. The ambassador tells him to use his powers of persuasion to have the Queen bring Elizabeth to court.
Part I.XI. Free to Wait.
Queen Mary comes in to speak with Elizabeth. Elizabeth thanks her for letting her out of the Tower, but Mary says that it was the doing of the King. Mary now fears that Elizabeth will speak ill of her to her husband. Elizabeth swears that she will not. Mary says that she will banish Elizabeth from England. That really upsets Elizabeth. The King comes in through a side door. He says he is returning to Spain because his father is dying. But he wants to say before he goes that she has been wronged. He adds that he is her friend. He kisses her on the check slowly and leaves. Elizabeth goes to her knees and starts laughing and laughing at this strange turn of events.
Mary tells her husband that she will banish Elizabeth. Philip says that if she ever wants to see her husband again, she will treat Elizabeth gently. Mary goes down on her knees and grabs onto Philip to plead with him not to desert her. He pushes her away and tells her to let Elizabeth ride by her side tomorrow to calm the feelings against Mary and all other Catholics.
After Elizabeth rides by Mary's side, she says she will do as Mary wants and stay away from her. Mary tells Elizabeth that she will know when she is dead, when Mary's betrothal ring is brought to her.
Part I.XII. The Lord's Doing.
1558. Elizabeth walks alone in an open field. Three riders come up to her. They bring Elizabeth Mary's betrothal ring. Elizabeth is so relieved and so happy now. She says this is the Lord's doing. The new Queen comments: "I may not be a lion, but I am a lion's cub and I have a lion's heart."
Episode II. The Marriage Game.
Part II.I. Long Live the Queen.
Robert "Robin" Dudley comes riding to court. The Spanish ambassador, Count de Feria, tells the Bishop de Quadra that he has seen Elizabeth and she was very friendly to Dudley. The Bishop is upset that a Catholic queen is lost for one that is a Protestant heretic. He wants to know if Elizabeth will let King Philip II of Spain chose her husband and the ambassador says yes.
The members of the Council bow to the Queen. She talks with Robin, her master of horse. Sussex is upset to see this because he doesn't like Robert Dudley, the son of the rebel Northumberland.
Elizabeth rides to London on her white horse and the people cheer her.
The Spanish ambassador talks with the bishop. The ambassador says that Elizabeth is a woman and comments, and she a "mere" girl.
William Cecil begins the Council meeting. Elizabeth comes in. She is going to attend the meeting today. One of the matters is the marriage of Elizabeth. She tells Cecil to leave that aside. Sussex says the matter must be discussed and Elizabeth firmly restates, leave that matter aside.
Part II.II. The Spanish Proposal.
King Philip is interested in marrying Queen Elizabeth. He wants her to become a Catholic and return England to the Catholic faith. While Elizabeth awaits the Spanish ambassador, she speaks to Robin's sister Mary about Robin's whereabouts. She tells her to write Robin and tell him to come back from the country to the court. The Spanish ambassador arrives. He says he brings the Spanish King's offer of his hand in marriage to her. Elizabeth has to act surprised and she does so. She tells the Count de Feria that she cannot give him an immediate answer because she must consult with her advisors as to what is best for England.
Robin is with his wife Amy. She is upset with Robin because he won't let her go to court with him. Robin says that the Queen doesn't do anything without consulting him. He says that this is his big chance for success. And he must have a say in deciding who her future husband will be or her choice may blow Robin right out of court.
Bishop de Quadra is now the new Spanish ambassador. He plans to bring pressure on Elizabeth's advisors to help her make the "right" choice.
Part II.III. A Bevy of Suitors.
Elizabeth tells Robin that King Erik of Sweden has written her quite a love letter. He writes better than the Archduke Ferdinand. Elizabeth insists that she will not marry a man she has not seen. She is determined not to make her sister Mary's mistake and marry a man who does not love her.
Elizabeth tells Robin that he stares at her too much. She then tells him that she will make him "my eyes".
Cecil breaks the news that the King of France, Henry II (ruled 1547-1559), is dead. Mary Stuart is now the Queen of France. She and her husband (King Francis II) will claim the throne of England as well. This absolutely infuriates Elizabeth. (King Francis, however, ruled only from 1559-1560, December.) She leaves the room. Cecil and Sussex talk. Cecil thinks this a great opportunity to throw the French out of Scotland and unite England and Scotland. They consider Elizabeth marrying the Earl of Arran who has a claim to the Scottish throne. They ask Robin for his support of their ideas. He says Elizabeth will never marry a man she does not love. Sussex tells Cecil that Robin is an opportunist. He doesn't want her to marry from within the realm. Robin wants her to marry a foreigner so he will be away most of the time and he can play prince consort to Her Majesty.
Part II.IV. Dudley's Whispering Game.
Robin visits his sister Mary. She tells her brother that people are gossiping about a scandal concerning him and the Queen. Robin says that is treason. He gets down to business. He wants Mary to help him get Elizabeth to marry the Archduke Charles, brother of the Archduke Ferdinand.
The Bishop of Quadra speaks with Lord Norfolk and tells him that he has information from Robin's sister that Elizabeth wants to marry the Archduke Charles. Norfolk likes the idea. Elizabeth would have to become Catholic.
The Bishop tells Elizabeth that the Archduke will come to England, but only as her future husband. He tries to corner Elizabeth into agreeing with him, but she eventually gets mad at the Bishop. She leaves the room. The Bishop then leaves. The advisors suspect that Robin is behind all this and they are extremely mad at him. And so is his sister Mary.
Part II.V. Lord Robert's Love.
Amy is very ill. She has a lump in her breast. Robin arrives only to tell Amy that while Cecil negotiates with Scotland for peace, he must be with Elizabeth. Amy begs him to let her come with him. The Queen has given Robin a house in Kew and she could live there. Robin replies that the Queen won't like it. He asks Amy: "Do you want to destroy me?" He leaves.
Robin returns to Elizabeth in her bedchamber. He tries to kiss her but she won't let him. But before he leaves the room, she kisses him tenderly. Her ladies-in-waiting are shocked. Elizabeth says that she thinks Robin the most handsome man in the kingdom. Kat Ashley tells Elizabeth that she takes too many liberties with the married man. Elizabeth says it's harmless, but Kat says all Europe thinks Robin is much more than a friend to Her Majesty. Elizabeth says it's not true, as well Kat herself knows.
Part II.VI. Amy's Death.
Amy Dudley says she wants all her servants to go to the fair on Sunday. They object that they never go to the fair on a Sunday, but Amy insists. Amy is very distraught.
The Bishop speaks to Cecil. He say congratulations on the treaty with Scotland he negotiated. But, he asks, will Mary Stuart ratify it?
Mary Queen of Scots is shocked at the treaty that says that the French should leave Scotland and she to give up all claim to the crown of England. She won't sign.
Cecil is disturbed with Elizabeth. He had to pay for his entire journey to Scotland himself, a cost that will set him back for years. And when he comes back to England, all she can talk about is Robin Dudley.
Amy dies in her house. She fell down the stairs. When Mary Queen of Scots finds out she laughs because now Elizabeth will marry her horse keeper. She believes Robin has killed his wife to marry Elizabeth.
Robin comes in to see the Queen. Elizabeth gets angry at the sight of him and tells him to go away. The rumor is that Dudley killed his wife. She tells him to get out of London. He is to go to Kew and stay there. Robin sulks in his place in Kew. Master Blount investigates what happened to Amy for Robin. The head of the servants says she is certain that it was sure mischance.
Cecil visits Elizabeth. A jury brings in the verdict of "accidental death" for Amy Dudley. He warns her that if she marries Dudley, her good name will be gone forever. She reminds Cecil that she has said that she will never marry anyone. He leaves. Cecil goes to see Robert Dudley. He urges Dudley to be patient. Elizabeth suffers from nervous excess. Sussex says all the talk is that Amy Dudley committed suicide. He also says that if Robin is the only man the Queen can love, then let her marry Robin. Robin slowly walks down the hall with his head held high. He is greeted by the Queen. He kneels on one knee and thanks her for his return. Then he slowly walks out backwards.
Part II.VII. Love and Anger.
The Bishop asks Cecil if Elizabeth means to marry Robin? Cecil says he doesn't know. But he does know she is going to give him an Earldom. Elizabeth, however, decides not to make him Earl of Leicester. His family has been traitors for three generations and she doesn't want them threatening her again. But she will make him Earl of Warwick. Then she goes to comfort him as he says she has destroyed him. He asks her: "How can you treat me the way you do?" Elizabeth responds: "How? Because I love you."
Elizabeth, Robin and others are on a boat. She teases Robin by asking him why shouldn't they marry right here because the Bishop is here.
Part II.VIII. Surviving Small Pox.
Doctor Burcot comes to examine Elizabeth. She does not like him poking at her. He tells her straight out that she has small pox. She screams: "You lying knave! Get out!" It's nothing but a stinking chill, she says.
Bishop de Quadra has died.
The Council come in to visit Elizabeth. She says in a very husky voice hat Lord Robert will be made the Lord protector of England and to receive 20,000 pounds per year. She adds that although she loved Lord Robert, nothing improper has ever passed between them. She has them promise and they do promise her.
Suffolk virtually drags Doctor Burcot to see Elizabeth again. He has to threaten him with a knife to get him to go into her room. The doctor sees her. He says: "Almost too late." Then he starts barking out orders to the servants. They awaken her to give her some medicine. When she sees the pox blisters on her skin, she wails out and then cries. Mary Dudley now discovers that she has the same spots on her hands. The doctor goes out to tell the Council members that Elizabeth will live. Sussex breathes a sigh of relief saying that they are safe. William Cecil says: "For now."
Part II.IX. Parliament's Plea.
Elizabeth has recovered. The House of Commons decides not to grant the Queen any money until she agrees to marry. Sussex believes they must support Parliament.
Cecil announces to the Queen the arrival of the deputations from the house of Parliament. She goes out to them. Sussex speaks. They have come to humbly beg her to marry. Elizabeth becomes angry and says: "How dare they send such a message and how dare you bring it?" She says she is married to England. She adds that she will be at no man's bidding. Elizabeth says they are harrying her. She picks out Robin in particular to scold.
Part II.X. Who Will Marry Marry?
Elizabeth asks: "What complexion is your Queen, Sir James?" He answers: "Not so white as yours, Your Highness." Getting down to business James says Mary Queen of Scots believes that Elizabeth will have no objections to her marrying the young French king, her late husband's brother, Charles IX (who ruled 1560-1574). Elizabeth says she will consider it an unfriendly act.
Sir James comes in to see Elizabeth while she plays the harpsichord. She says she never plays before men.
Now Elizabeth says that Mary should marry the Earl of Leicester. Elizabeth quickly makes Robert Dudley the Earl of Leicester. She tells Sir James that she hopes that Mary will not prefer Lord Darnley to the Earl of Leicester. He says that Mary thinks that Robert Dudley has no enthusiasm for the match because his hopes lie elsewhere. Sir James asks about Elizabeth naming Mary as her successor. Elizabeth will not, but she says if Mary will follow her advice and do what she asks, in time she shall have all that Elizabeth has.
Mary writes back that she had not thought of marrying a subject, but she will listen to her advice.
Cecil tells Elizabeth that Mary has married Lord Darnley. He says that he believes that Robert Dudley spoke to her secretly, denying his proposal of marriage. She explodes: "He did what?! Where is he?!" He is just outside. Elizabeth reads him the riot act. She says how dare he disobey his Queen's orders? Now Mary has married Darnley and he has a claim to the thrones of both Scotland and England. She wags her finger at him and says: "You are a traitor! . . . and so all who wish you well."
Part II.XI. Lord Robert Proposes.
Robin is frustrated. He talks with his sister Mary. The Queen blames him for the marriage of Mary to Lord Darnley. He thinks it was a plot by Cecil to earn him the disfavor of the Queen. And now Elizabeth won't even speak to him.
Robin urges his sister to go back to court. But with the many small pox scars on her face, she absolutely refuses. He says that the Queen has been given her favors these days to Thomas Henridge. Robin tells Mary that two can play at this game. He will flirt with Lettice Knollys, the Queen's cousin. He sets out to start his courting of Letice. She has a husband fighting in Ireland. The Queen comes down the hall and slugs Robin with her right hand saying: "So you turn your back on me!" He says she has turned her back on him. Robin asks permission to leave the court and she agrees he should go. He starts to leave, but she says: "No! I cannot bare to part with you. I need you with me. For you are like my little dog. When people see you they know I am nearby."
She leaves, but Robin follows her. She rants at him and threatens to destroy him. He bows his head and says nothing to that. She comes over and grabs his shoulders from behind saying: "Robin, Robin, how could you speak of leaving me?" She says she will send Thomas Henridge away. He tells her that for six years he has asked her to marry him. And now he tells her to come to St. Swithens church on Wednesday next at 11 a.m. If she comes they will marry and he will love her forever. If she does not come, he will leave and never care for her again.
Part II.XII. Elopement Gone Awry.
Robert and his men wait at the church for Elizabeth to show up. After awhile, he gets discouraged and leaves. Elizabeth arrives at the church after he has left. She looks around for him, but he is not there. She rides after Robin.
A horseman catches up with Dudley and tells him that the Queen is coming. He goes to stand akimbo in the middle of the road. Elizabeth tells him he waited, but not long enough. She gets out of the carriage. When she was eight years old Katherine Howard was more like a sister than a stepmother to her. Katherine tried to reach Elizabeth's father to beg for her life, but they wouldn't let her speak to him. They dragged her away and then they cut off her head. "I learned then how dangerous life was. .. Never to live safely again." She says up to now she owes her life to no man's good will.
They both agree to go back to Greenwich. Elizabeth and Robin get into the carriage.
Episode III. Shadow in the Sun.
Part III.I. The Massacre.
Everyone is dressed in black. The Ambassador to England from France slowly comes in. Most of the people in the court do not look at him. Elizabeth says: So it is true. There are 6,000 dead. The ambassador says France had to respond to the Huguenot Conspiracy. (Huguenots were Protestant French men and women.) The King thought his life was in danger. Elizabeth asks: "And that required the murder of women and children?" She tells the ambassador to tell his king that "we" are deeply grieved at the loss of so many of his loyal subjects.
Some of Elizabeth’s advisors say that she should give the axe to Mary of Scotland. Elizabeth's "spy master" Walsingham asks: "Is it wise to wait and see?"
Part III.II. The Prospective Groom.
Katherine of France watches as dwarves act out and make fun of the relationship between Robin and the Queen of England. It is announced that her son, Francis, the Duke of Aaronsen?, is here. She tells her son not to quarrel with the King. Don John is dead. The Spanish no longer have an agent in the Netherlands. Her son is considered a friend of the Huguenots. He says he could lead these people into battle. The Duke asks the Queen to let them prove their loyalty in battle. He is the known champion of the Huguenots. Francis needs a spy. His friend Simier will be his spy.
Part III.III. A Lovestruck Spy.
The Duke of Arronsen brings a gift to the Queen via Simier. Why isn’t he here? asks Elizabeth. The English Queen insists on seeing him in person. He is said to be young.
Simier says the Duke wants 60,000 pounds a year. Robin says that Elizabeth will never marry. All the Duke wants is children, he says. Burghley says to Elizabeth that if she wishes to say no, he will try to find a way out of the marriage. Elizabeth is given a gynecological exam. The conclusion is that there is no obvious reason why she can’t have children.
Robin is jealous of the Queen’s possible marriage. Elizabeth tells him not to be jealous or at least don’t let it show. She tells him to act as if he were her choice. He says that he loves her and she says: "I depend on it."
Part III.IV. A Splendid Impression.
Francis arrives to see Simier. He says he rode all night. Simier asks him, doesn’t he want to see the Queen? In time, he says. Simier writes that the Duke is here.
Elizabeth says that she is old enough to be his mother.
Part III.V. The Queen’s Frog.
The Duke arrives to see Elizabeth. Later she says: "I think I like him above any man I have ever known. I mean to have him." Walsingham the Puritan emphasizes to Elizabeth that there is only one religion in England. She calls him Mr. Preacher and says she will hear no more. "I will not be abused in my own chapel."
Robin says that the Duke makes him jealous. He says he was her pet. Elizabeth tells the Duke: "You are my frog."
Part III.VI. The Grand Ball.
All dressed up in costume, Robin attends the Grand Ball. He says that he feels so silly in his costume. Robin gets mad at his wife, Elizabeth’s cousin Latticed because he told her not to come to the ball. Elizabeth dances with Robin. Later his wife dances with him. Still later Robin escorts his wife out.
Elizabeth still says that the Duke will do very well and that she means to have him.
Part III.VII. The Council’s Confusion.
On the council some advisors say Elizabeth cannot marry the Duke. Others say that she must. The people love Elizabeth but the people will forbid her to marry. Robin wants to know what she wants from them? The Council can come to no real conclusion as to the proper advice for the Queen. The conclusion for Elisabeth: "We are divided and irreconcilable." The advisors say they will follow Elizabeth. They want to know what she wants.
Part III.VIII. Useless Advisors.
Elizabeth says she is disappointed in the members of her Council. She tells them that she had expected much better than just wrangling and disputation. One advisor says the people fear for their religion. Elizabeth cries. She says: "You must forgive me. I am a woman." She goes on to say that she has denied herself everything for her country. Elisabeth says what she wanted was their clear approval of the marriage.
Elizabeth tells Simier that there is a new clause added to the agreement. The articles must be suspended for two months. This time is needed in order to bring the English people around to consent to the marriage. Elizabeth tells Simier to tell his Lord that she loves him.
Elizabeth is still upset. Francis tells her to let him help her. Elizabeth says: "I am not firm, but weak. I want to be young again, to have my hopes again."
The Duke sleeps with a woman named Marie. Simier arrives. The Duke tells him that he can’t get over to England because of the vicious storms of late. Simier assures the Duke that Elizabeth loves him and wants to marry him. He says that Robin and Walsingham are saying that the Duke will get England into a war with Spain. Also, Elizabeth is giving the Duke 30,000 pounds. This pleases the Duke. Another thing. Elizabeth wants assurances that if Spain attacks England, France will come to England’s aid. Walsingham is already in Paris negotiating with Queen Katherine. The two men make a toast to Elizabeth.
Part III.IX. Nuptial Negotiations.
Katherine talks with Walsingham. She says they must have a definite day for the wedding. Walsingham says it is doubtful that Elizabeth can have children. This upsets Katherine and she tells Walsingham to tell his queen how much she pities her. Walsingham objects that the marriage will be like a declaration of war on Spain. Katherine disagrees. She says the marriage will prevent Spain from attacking either one of their countries.
Robin comes in to see Elizabeth. He tells her that the Duke is here. He also says it’s still not too late to back out of the marriage. Elizabeth says it’s too far now to turn back.
Elizabeth goes to meet the Duke. Sussex tells the Duke not to leave England before he is married or he never will be. Elizabeth asks the Duke to take a walk with her followed by her advisors and others.
Elizabeth comes to the Duke’s room. The Queen is amazed that he is still in bed. She has brought him some soup. The Duke says he is exasperated with all this waiting for something to happen. He is pretty fresh with her saying he is all ready for the royal bedchamber. Elizabeth says she will listen to no more wantonness. She leaves.
Robin sees Elizabeth coming out of the Duke’s bedchamber. He scolds Elizabeth saying that people will be talking about her daring to visit the Duke in his bedchamber. Elizabeth says: "Trust me, as I trust you."
Part III.X. The Queen’s Discovery.
The French ambassador, Simier and the Duke come to see Elizabeth and the Council. The King of France has agreed to all their terms. And now the Duke says they will fix the marriage date. But Robin says France should give them some assurance as England has given France. He wants Elizabeth to ask for Calais as her dowry. This demand outrages the French representatives. They are so mad that Simier calls out Robin. He tells the Queen that the man is married to her cousin, Lattice Nalese.
Elizabeth is stunned. She asks Robin if it is true and he says yes. She orders that Robin be taken to the Tower. Then she grabs the Duke and kisses him passionately. She shouts: "My Lords, I give you the next King of England!"
The advisors get together. The feeling is that Parliament will forbid the marriage anyway. The Queen’s passionate kiss, by the way, was not for the Duke, but for Robin. And it looks like Robin will have to go to the Tower. The advisors fear that the people will rise on behalf of Robin and against any marriage to the Duke. Elizabeth says she will not listen to anyone about the matter. She says they have betrayed her and the marriage and this is high treason.
Precisely because he doesn’t like Robin, Sussex is sent in to speak with Elizabeth to spare Robin’s life.
Part III.XI. The Queen’s Fear.
Sussex goes to speak with Elizabeth. Elizabeth says: "I will hear no one else!" She says she cannot pardon Robin. Sussex says she is the Queen and the Queen must rule and not the woman. Elizabeth says that Robin has deeply offended her.
Sussex advises her to forgive Robin and go on with the marriage. Elizabeth says: "It is the Queen who means to marry, not I." She says she is afraid of dying and that she hates the very idea of marriage. In fact, she says she can’t do it. She will never marry.
When the Duke learns the news he is very upset and cries. He curses women.
Simier goes to the treasurer Burleigh demanding 60,000 pounds to compensate for the humiliation of the Duke. Burghley says they can only afford 30,000 pounds and only 10,000 of that can be paid up front. Simier agrees to the deal. He says the Duke will leave in the next three days. After he leaves, Walsingham asks Burlghley how much did it cost to make the Duke go away? Burghley says the amount is 60,000 pounds.
Part III.XII. Grievous Goodbye.
The Duke appears before Elizabeth to say goodbye. He is very upset about the turn of events. He slowly leaves. As he walks away, Elizabeth sees Robin coming toward her. Elizabeth tells him that he is welcome back to court. She also tells him that from now on they will be dealing with each other much more honestly. She gets up to leave. Instead of leaning on Robin as she usually did, she now leans on the arm of Sussex.
Episode IV. Horrible Conspiracies.
Part IV.I. The Trouble with Mary.
Someone in a mask is singing for Queen Elisabeth a song about her, the Queen. Behind the mask he wears another one, but this one is a skull mask.
The talk is about what Marry Queen of Scots has gone through lately, including the murder of Lord Darnley. Then there is the rising against Bothwell (her new husband who provided the powder for the murder of her husband Lord Darnley). Her son James sits on the Scottish throne as James VI (1567-1625), but he is very young.
Walsingham tries to get Elizabeth to admit that Mary is a constant threat to her life. She has already inspired numerous plots. He tells Elizabeth that she should stop dragging her feet and do something about Mary. Elizabeth says that Mary is being watched day and night so what can Mary possibly do to her? Amyas Paulet is watching her.
Queen Mary and Amyas talk. She complains that her laundress was searched the other day. Amyas says that the laundress might have been carrying letters to and from France for Mary. And Mary is also to have no gifts. She complains about that and that the bed sheets are never changed. She says she is in prison and adds: "I only think on death."
Part IV.II. Master Topcliffe.
A man is on the wrack. Another man comes in and explains that he is Richard Topcliffe, Wrackmaster. His life’s work is to rid England of the Catholic scourge. Richard tells him that he wants to know where the man has been hiding? He also wants to know how he came hither? He refers to the priest on the wrack as a traitor priest.
Walsingham tells Elizabeth that letters from Paris for Mary have been intercepted. They are from the Spanish ambassador Bernadino Mendoza. He is urging war on England. And Mary is dangerous. She now is liked in Europe because she is seen as a martyr, the shining glory of English Catholicism. Walsingham also tells Elizabeth that there is growing opposition to her.
Part IV.III. Catholic Conspiracies.
At Chartley Castle, Staffordshire, England, Amyas tells Mary that there is a gentlemen here that she may want to speak with, since she says she is lonely for company. He says this man, Gilbert Gifford, is well-trusted. Mary is very enthused about talking with the man.
Gifford comes in. She soon asks him for his help. He says he will help her. She says she must have news. She also mentions that there is a man named Phelippes that she does not like in the least. He checks all her letters.
Walsingham and Phelippes talk about their jobs. Walsingham says that Elizabeth has not consented to further action. They discuss a priest named Bullard. He is going around England disguised as Captain Fortescue.
Captain Fortescue talks with Sir Antony Babington. He has sought out Babington because he is a well-known Catholic and is sympathetic to the catholic Mary. After a brief talk, the Captain drops his disguise and tells Babington that his real name is Father John Ballard. He has plans to kill Elizabeth and put Mary on the throne.
Babington is a bit afraid of what all this means. Ballard assures him that he has talked with Mendoza and the man can get 60,000 soldiers from the Catholic League. Babington says that all this is going to be a heavy burden on him. Ballard says he can use a man known as John Savage as Elizabeth’s killer.
Babington says he will have no problems with Walsingham, because the man trusts him. He thinks Babington is loyal. Babington finally agrees to lead the revolt.
Part IV.IV. The Queens of Death.
Elizabeth is talking with Dr. Dee and a kind of psychic , Sir Edward Carey. Carey tells her that he sees a man hideous to behold. Dr. Dee tells Elizabeth this means that the vision foreshadows death. Elizabeth asks: "Whose death?"
Babington tells Ballard that he has a number of assistants: Edward Abington, Robert Barnwell, Chitti Atchborn (?spelling?), Sir Thomas Gerard and Thomas Salisbury. And Savage is ready. Moreover, a man named Gilbert Gifford will arrange for the exchange of letters with Mary.
Mary gives Gifford a letter to deliver.
Walsingham and Phelippes discuss the latest spy news. They know that the priest Ballard has sought out Babington for help. And John Savage is along with them. Gifford comes in with a letter from Mary to show to Walsingham. The letter is coded. Phelippes says it will only take him a couple of hours to decode it.
Walsingham speaks with the Wrackmaster. He wants to know if anyone under the wrack has mentioned a conspiracy against the Queen. The answer is no.
Walsingham comes to Elizabeth with a plan to stop all priests coming into England to question them. Elizabeth rejects the idea as impossible to enforce. Elizabeth does not feel well. She says she first had pain in her teeth and now she’s got bad stomach pains. In fact, she screams in pain.
Part IV.V. Babington’s Schemes.
Walsingham and Phelippes look over the great number of letters intercepted from France to go to Mary. They also have more letters from Mendoza. Another name coming up is Thomas Morgan. He speaks of Babington in his letters. Walsingham tells him to send it on to Mary.
Walsingham’s secretary named Davison, comes in to tell his boss that Sir Antony Babington wants to apply for a passport to France. Walsingham, tells him to let Babington in. The man comes in. He says he is going to Paris to visit friends. Walsinghnam tells Babington that there may be a serious delay in getting the document because of administrative reasons. Then Babington asks Walsingham if he might be a spy for him while he is in France. He says that in Paris he has lots of friends. Walsingham tells him that they will be in touch.
Mary tells Gifford that there is much news from France. She asks Gifford about this man Babington. He has been recommended to her. Gifford vouches for the man and says Mary should write to him.
Babington says to Ballard that Mary is the noblest woman he has ever seen and he will make her Queen of England. Ballard reminds him that it is still a dangerous undertaking. There will be an invading force available. And there will be English allies that will help with the dispatch of Elizabeth.
Phelippes talks with Walsingham. The catholic plan is that Elizabeth will be put to death by six English noblemen. And Babington is expecting rewards.
Part IV.VI. Treacherous Fears.
Elizabeth and Walsingham talk. She tells him that she must be sure of Mary’s deep complicity in this scheme. Therefore, she will delay for awhile. Elizabeth complains that she seems to always have been surrounded by conspiracies.
Babington is around trying to get his passport and himself appointed as spy for England. Walsingham tells the traitor that he is forever in his thoughts.
Of the conspirators, Elizabeth says: "May they perish in great agony; may their bodies be torn apart; and their souls damned to ever-lasting torment."
Part IV.VII. The Net is Tightened.
Ballard goes to speak to Babington. He tells him that his identity and purpose have been discovered. Babington starts freaking out and says: "We are finished!" Ballard tells him that he must kill the Queen and kill her now. Babington speaks with Savage and tells him to kill the Queen now.
Walsingham speaks with Phelippes. He says they need absolute proof of Mary's treason. In the outer office Babington is waiting for Walsingham. Walsingham has been keeping him waiting for days. What Babington wants to do is get a sort of amnesty by telling Walsingham all about the conspiracy. But by now this is old information. Babington learns that Ballard is already in the Tower and it scares him even more than he is already.
Part IV.VIII. Proofs and Punishments.
Gifford speaks with Mary. Mary says looking back she wouldn't change a thing. She gives Gifford a letter to go to London. She asks him to be careful with it because it contains "my life and freedom". Mary's letter is read by Walsingham and then he reads it to Elizabeth. Listening to the letter upsets and saddens Elizabeth. She realizes that Mary now seeks her death. Elizabeth is so upset and conflicted that she lashes out at Walsingham. She reproaches him for being happy about this development. Elizabeth says he sickens her and he is "a piss bowl of self-righteousness."
But Elizabeth knows that now some move has to be taken against her treacherous cousin Mary. Walsingham says Mary will be removed from Chartley Castle for awhile; she will be charged; and she will be brought to trial. He also tells Elizabeth that Babington has been arrested. She is so mad at Babington that she tells Walsingham to tell Topcliffe to invent some new torture for this traitor.
Topcliffe seems very happy about being able to torture the traitor Babington. He says that he will be yoked with John Savage and taken to the place of execution. Babington starts saying that he is not a traitor and he is not guilty, but Topcliffe just tells him to forget it. He is going to be castrated and then boiled alive and yet still be alive to be executed.
Phelippes and Amyas go through Mary's private things. They go through a fancy chest. Phelippes finds the hidden door and opens it. There they finds letters, ciphers, etc. They find her very closest secrets.
Part IV.IX. A Cornered Queen.
Walsingham speaks with Elizabeth. He does not want to let Mary go back to Chartley Castle. Amyas thinks it may not be safe now. Walsingham has a list of eight places to put Mary. Elizabeth rejects the tower. She settles on Fotheringay.
Amyas comes in to speak with Mary. She does not seem to realize just how much trouble she is in. Amyas says they have proof that she wholeheartedly supported the conspiracy against Elizabeth. The matter is one of treason and that brings a death sentence. Mary says that such a charge is groundless. She denies the charges and says she does not recognize the laws of England. Nevertheless, she says she will attend. Amyas gives Mary the letter written by Elizabeth to her. She reads it.
Part IV.X. Do it Privily.
The verdict at Fotheringay has been decided. Elizabeth says that the sentence must be staid. She says only the execution has been delayed. Gifford speaks with Amyas, who tells him that traitors should all die and in haste. He doesn't like the idea of a delay in the execution.
Elizabeth has now reigned for twenty-eight years. And yet she still puts off the final decision as to the execution of Mary. Her advisors are disappointed in her delay.
Amyas speaks with Mary. She protests how she is being treated. He tells her: "You are now only a dead woman." And he and others don't know why she is so calm, thinking her too calm for the situation. He leaves.
Part IV.XI. Mary's Death.
Davison comes in to have Elizabeth sign papers, including the execution papers. She tells Davison to send Amyas to her. Before he leaves, she tells him: "And Davison, I wish to hear no more of this matter until it is quite finished." Davison leaves.
Amyas arrives. Elizabeth tells him that there will still be another delay. The death warrant will now go to the Council. There will be argument and discussion about the matter. Then she gets very personal with Amyas. She says that he tells her he loves his Queen, but he doesn't really. He did nothing. That is, he didn't do anything to shorten this process with Mary. He surely knows how painful all this has been for his Queen. So why didn't he take it on his own initiative and handle the matter without involving the Queen? She says: "Do it privily!" The message received by Amyas is that he is to end the business without delay and that there is to be no word about it until after Mary's head is off.
Mary gets ready for her execution. Her servants take her outer garment off. She takes her rings and necklace off and gives them to the executioner. It takes the executioner three strokes with the ax to finish the job.
Part IV.XII. To Kill a Queen.
Elizabeth is furious with her staff! She wants to know who dispatched the warrant of execution? It was William Davison. Amyas tells Elizabeth that the warrant was already signed by her. She says yes, but only for safety reasons. She tells her guard to put Davison in the Tower! She then turns against everyone in the room and says: "You all have acted against my most earnest desires! I am innocent of her death as God Himself may judge!"
Amyas describes the execution in detail. Elizabeth listens but seems very pained at having to do so. After Mary's head was off, the lips moved for a full fifteen minutes. Her terrier dog came out from under her skirt and laid down by the head.
Elizabeth speaks with Walsingham. She tells him that the terrier has died. He wouldn't eat, grew thin and died. Walsingham says that Mary will be at peace in death, but this only sets Elizabeth off on a rant. She describes the work of the worm and the flesh eaters. Elizabeth says there is no peace for her cousin until she is completely consumed. She goes on to say that dying is a fearful process. And she turns her wrath on Walsingham once again. She tells him to think: ". . .about how you plotted my cousin's most terrible end." Walsingham takes it and then leaves the room.
Alone Elizabeth cries.
Episode V. The Enterprise of England.
Part V.I. Drake’s War against Spain.
King Philip II of Spain knows that the English have "murdered" the Catholic Mary, Queen of Scots. He speaks with Father Robert and his secretary Idiaquez about the matter.
There is a big difference between Walsingham and Elizabeth on issues of defense. Walsingham is much more worried about war with Spain and much more willing to make a pre-emptive attack on the Spanish. His ally in this cause is none other than the esteemed Captain Francis Drake. They speak with Elizabeth together to work on her. Drake gets his commission to put to sea against the Spanish. Walsingham and Drake believe that Philip will send a fleet against them soon and they want to hit the port at Cadiz in southwest Spain before this happens.
Part V.II. Walk with Feet of Lead.
Philip is very old know with extremely white hair that is very disheveled. He tells Father Robert that his countrymen are brutes. Speaking of Mary, Father Robert tells the King: "Avenge her death!" Now is the time for the enterprise of England. Philip says he has been planning such an attack for some twenty years. He was delayed by the fights to capture Portugal.
Admiral Santa Cruz has been gathering Spanish ship in Cadiz and Lisbon. "We must walk with feet of lead so that we do not stumble."
Part V.III. A Penitent Queen.
Elizabeth asks Burghley about his health. He suffers from gout. Elizabeth says that she is beginning to regret sending Francis Drake to Cadiz. She tells Burghley to recall him from the attack. She says that Philip has been blustering about an invasion of England for twenty years. She thinks he’s just bluffing again.
Walsingham, of course, is upset with this decision. He says that the Duke of Parma is laughing at her. Elizabeth says she wants peace in the Netherlands. Walsingham says the Duke of Parma has been very successful in the Netherlands and that King Philip plays her for a dupe. Elizabeth tells Walsingham: "Guard your tongue!" Burghley, however, agrees with Walsingham.
Part V.IV. The King’s Plan.
Admiral Alvaro Santa Cruz comes to speak with King Philip. He tells the King that for the invasion of England they will need an Armada of 500 ships. But there are only some 150 vessels available. Therefore, Santa Cruz thinks the enterprise should be abandoned. Philip foolishly believes that one-third of the English will rise against Elizabeth. Don Alvaro says that Philip is wrong, but Philip keeps saying that he promised the Pope that they will be master of England by October, 1588. Idiaquez also advises Philip to suspend the Armada and just concentrate on subduing the Netherlands.
Part V.V. Raid of Cadiz.
Drake is in Cadiz with John Tregannon. They sank or burned forty Spanish ships. Drake writes a report to Walsingham.
Elizabeth says: "That rogue Drake has placed this kingdom in jeopardy." She tells Walsingham to write to the Duke of Parma and tell him that Drake acted against her wishes. Drake comes to Elizabeth with the great treasure from the Spanish ship San Filipe. He urges Her Majesty to build more ships.
Elizabeth is not at all happy about the battles in the Netherlands and she chews Robin out. He starts to leave, but Elizabeth tells him to stay. She speaks of his failures on the battlefield. Robin says he did not have enough men to fight effectively in the Netherlands. He also thinks that the Duke of Parma is deluding her. Elizabeth tells Robin that he will not go back to Flanders, but Robin really wants to go. The Queen is hurt by this, but begrudgingly decides to let him go. She says: "You abandon me."
Part V.VI. Courting Peace.
Don Alvaro reports to King Philip that twenty-four vessels have been lost to the English. Philip speaks of the daring of the English. One bright spot is that Parma will beguile Elizabeth with talk of peace. Santa Cruz pleads for caution. Philip is buoyed by the thought of 40,000 troops landing at Kent, England. He also says there is no real English fleet.
Drake speaks with urgency to Elizabeth saying that she must allow him to put to sea again. They must prevent the Spanish fleet from sailing. Elizabeth is not favorable to the idea. The frustrated Drake tells her that a man would not make this decision! Elizabeth becomes very angry about the mention of her sex. She says: "I am not deceived by Spain!" But Elizabeth’s opponents wonder if the woman is bewitched.
Part V.VII. War Preparations.
Idiaquez goes to visit the sick admiral, who says that he is dying. The secretary says that the admiral is the King’s greatest captain. He adds that the King is distressed that the fleet has not sailed. The admiral replies: "Tell the King I have never been more eager to depart."
Walsingham and Drake confer. Walsingham says that the Duke of Parma has withdrawn his commissioners from Ostende. He tells Drake that he is very obliged to the Duke for this move. Now when they speak to Elizabeth, it’s a different story. She asks when the English fleet can be mobilized? Drake answers that Hawkins can get it ready in fourteen days.
Elizabeth talks with the Speaker of the House of Commons saying that she desperately needs money. He tells her that the Commons must debate the matter. Elizabeth becomes very irate and goes off on a rant against the speaker and the Commons. When she finally calms down, the speaker is able to tell her that he didn’t say they wouldn’t give her the necessary monies, but only that the Commons will have to discuss the matter. Elizabeth is a bit apologetic now to the speaker.
Leicester will be Lt. General in command of the English forces. Alone with Drake, Walsingham says they should pray the Spanish actually come this time, because they won’t be able to cry wolf again to Elizabeth.
Part V.VIII. The Orange Grower.
Admiral Santa Cruz has died. Motivated primarily by his religious concerns, Philip now selects the Duke of Medina Sidonia as the admiral. Medina Sidonia, however, is aghast at the suggestion. He pleads with the King saying he is just a soldier, not a sailor. It almost seems like the fellow is crying when he tells the King that there are many that are more qualified than he for he has no experience of the sea. Philip replies: "Don Alonzo, you will take this commission!" He knows that Medina Sidonia is a good, religious man who he can rely on and that’s enough for the King.
Medina Sidonia, when out of earshot of the King, says: "Why couldn’t he have left me to my orange groves?" He is always sea-sick and catches cold at sea!
Elizabeth tells Walsingham that he duped her!. Two months ago she had the fleet prepare for war, but no Spanish fleet has come at them. She scolds: "You have been too clever this time!" Walsingham counters that he feels he must warn Her Majesty, but she cuts him off by yelling at him: "No, sir! Your must not!" She is furious with the man. Now she issues orders that the fleet is to be dismissed. She tells Burghley to send out new peace commissioners to Parma.
Part V.IX. Prayers for Victory.
A Dr. Allen has written a book highly critical of Queen Elizabeth. Father Robert tells the King that the meaning of the book is that no Englishman need obey or defend Elizabeth. Instead, they should join with King Philip in opposing the Queen of England. Philip wants this book distributed far and wide.
Elizabeth reads parts of Allen’s book. Walsingham is encouraged by the fact that Parma has abandoned all thought of a peace treaty with England. He can hear the furious Queen ranting against the book. She shouts: "Enough! Unjust usurper am I?! . . . Spawn of an infamous courtesan!" She tells Walsingham that they have played her false, but now her eyes are open and with God’s help she will strike those "blackguards" down. She now tells Walsingham to arrest those suspected of treason, but there are to be no hangings. Elizabeth calls up the fleet again. Alone she prays.
Philip also is praying. Don Alonso says they will sail within the week with 130 vessels, 2,500 guns and 30,000 soldiers and seamen. The very religious Philip asks how many clergy are aboard. The answer is 200 holy friars.
A man called Don Luis brings a message from the Duke of Parma. He warns that the enemy knows Philip’s intentions. Forty English vessels lie off the Low Lands. There is shoal water in front of Dunkirk where Parma has his forces. He is afraid that shallow English vessels can enter the shoal water and may well get between the Spanish fleet and his army. Therefore, he urges that Philip abandon the scheme. Philip, of course, will not.
Chapter V.X. The Armada’s Assault.
Elizabeth, Drake and others discuss the coming confrontation. She says the orange grower (Don Alonso) does not know the sea. Drake says as soon as the English ships sight the Spanish vessels, the battle will begin immediately.
Philip calculates the rate of progress of his fleet and concludes that tomorrow "God’s work" will be done.
John Tregannon comes to report to Elizabeth about some early engagements with the Spanish fleet. The fellow is so exited and rambles so much (and uses so many naval terms) that it is difficult for Elizabeth and Walsingham to discern what the sailor is telling them. He says that the Spanish guns fired over their vessels and the English broke the Spanish crescents. Tregannon says the Spaniards "screamed so" during the battle.
Elizabeth tires of all his rambling and asks directly: "Is the Armada defeated?" No. Nevertheless, they did win a big victory. But Elizabeth says he has brought her sad news. She had wanted the whole Armada defeated, but Tregannon says the Armada is just too large to accomplish this in one engagement.
Elizabeth announces that she will go to Tilbury to speak to her army. She tells Tregannon to tell Howard, who is head of the navy, to send him (Tregannon) back to her as soon as he has any news.
Chapter V.XI. Camped at Tilbury.
Elizabeth speaks to the army. Two guards at her tent listen intently and the older man is certainly impressed by her eloquence. They young fellow with him doesn’t seem very patriotic to him and the old man criticizes him for it.
The Armada is at Calais, France and Parma is behind the shoals of Dunkirk. They are expected to join together and head for Kent.
Elizabeth greets Robin. She says it pains her to see him looking so ill. She tells him that when the country is at peace again, she will send him to the country for a nice rest. Elizabeth tells him to sit and dine with her and they will recall gay times. But Robin is too tired and worn out to want to dine with her. He wants to get back to his troops. Elizabeth tells him: "God, you look so old." She talks about his step-son being a "pretty boy". Robin is just not interested. She gets exasperated and tells him to go.
Tregannon brings news again. He says that they sent fire ships into the Spanish fleet. Elizabeth gets all excited, but Tregannon then tells her that the fire ships were not effective. The Queen is again exasperated with the too fast talking, too detail telling man. He says that many of the Armada avoided a confrontation with the English ships, but forty of them waited for the English to draw close to them. Soon the English were offering them quarter. It was not accepted. They fired so much that they ran out of powder. But, to make a long story short, the enemy fleet was soon running northeast, chased by serious gales.
Part V.XII. Victory and Grief.
Don Alonso reports to King Philip. He says that they had terrible gales and tempests lasting a month. Of the 30,000 men sent to war, not 5,000 will return. And now men cry out for the taking of the life of Don Alonso.
Philip resigns himself to defeat. He says it is God’s will. He relieves Don Alonso of his commission. He tells him to go home to his orange groves, but "go by night, go secretly".
Howard tells Her Majesty that they only lost around 100 men, but now thousands are dying from want, from hunger and diseases. Elizabeth tells Howard that the fleet is dismissed and the army disbanded. Tell everyone to go home. The disappointed Howard asks permission to leave. Elizabeth tells him to leave because she is sick of his sour puss. She is still ecstatic over the English victory.
Elizabeth looks at her trusted Burghley and notices that he has a sour puss too. He tells her the bad news. Leicester is dead. Elizabeth says: "You lie!" Burghley says he died at Cornbury of a fever. Elizabeth is devastated by the news. Alone she reads his last letter. She folds it up, writes "his last letter" on it and locks it in her desk drawer.
Her reverie is broken by the arrival of Robin’s step-son. He is just way too happy on what should be a sad occasion for him too. Elizabeth asks him if he knows the news of Leicester’s death? Yes, he knows that Robin is dead. Elizabeth now flies at the step-son in a great fury screaming "Ingrate! Ingrate!" at him. He has to flee from the room in self-defense. Elizabeth sits back down and cries.
Episode VI. Sweet England’s Pride.
Part I. The Sun in Splendor.
Elizabeth says that Essex has imperiled the kingdom. They have lost men and money in Spain all for nothing. And Essex and Raleigh squabble like spoiled boys.
Sir Robert Cecil (son of Sir William Cecil) comes in. He tells Elizabeth that Lord Essex has landed ahead of the fleet. He also says there are troubles in Ireland.
Essex arrives. Elizabeth says that she has been tricked into expeditions. And Lord Howard is now Earl of Nottingham. Essex asks: "That old man will walk in front of me?" He protests to Elizabeth that he did all that he could have. He adds: "I am greatly wronged.." He leaves.
Elizabeth says in spite of all the problems with Essex he ". . is the sun and the splendor, Robert. He is all our pride."
Part VI.II. Too Poor for Pride.
At the home of Essex there is a lot of talk about Elizabeth’s treatment of him. Lady Essex, of course, does not care for Elizabeth anyway, since she married Robin from under Elizabeth’s nose. Henry Southampton says that Elizabeth is sorry for what she said to Essex. She knows she has gone too far. Southampton thinks it’s time for Essex to go back to court. Lady Essex says that Howard and Raleigh should be put in their places. Southampton says that Raleigh is no danger to them, but they should get rid of that Robert Cecil. They ask Francis Bacon his opinion. He says Elizabeth misses Essex and he should go back. "It’s not safe to be too proud."
Essex talks to a man named Chris at his home. He has decided that he must go to see Elizabeth. Essex also says that he and his family are nearly bankrupt. Bacon is leaving his service. He can’t afford to pay the man.
Part VI.III. Return to Court.
Bacon and Cecil are cousins. Cecil is to go to France. Southampton says Raleigh won’t like it. Essex comes in and Elizabeth warmly welcomes him. She has just decided to put him in charge of the Defense of the Realm. He will be Earl Marshal. Sir Robert offers Essex a way to make some money. He has a huge cargo of goods that they will sell to him at half price. There are 50,000 pounds of the goods and 7,000 of these pounds will be given as a gift to Essex. Essex is very pleased with the offer.
Raleigh speaks with Southampton. He warns him about his flirting with Elizabeth’s lady-in-waiting known also as Elizabeth. He tells him to be careful because he is in the shadow of the ax.
Essex and Elizabeth dance together. Frances dances with Raleigh. Later Elizabeth talks with Burghley and tells him: "I have need of you."
Part VI.IV. Lord Deputy of Ireland.
Cecil, Elizabeth and others meet together. The Irish Earl of Tyrone, O’Neill, has risen backed by the Spanish. Elizabeth wants to appoint Lord Montjoy as Deputy of Ireland. Essex immediately objects. Then another man is mentioned and Essex objects to him also. Elizabeth and Essex clash and Essex gets so angry at her that he starts to draw his sword. The other men stop him.
Southampton tells Essex that Elizabeth is very mad at him and she says that he has played her long enough. Now she will play him. The other news is that Burghley is dying. Howard tells Essex that he must beg for Her Majesty’s forgiveness. He urges Essex to suppress his pride. But Essex sees himself as the aggrieved party. He says that she struck him and he and his family doesn’t tolerate that. Howard says to him: "You chart a dangerous course."
Howard speaks with Elizabeth telling her that Essex is adamant and that it cannot go on much longer. Elizabeth and Howard both agree that Essex must seem as to be forgiven. It needs a pretext. Tyrone has taken a fort along the Blackwater. Tell Essex to do something about it.
Elizabeth and her Council are all back again. Essex is appointed Deputy of Ireland. When Essex sees Southampton he tells him how excited he is that Ireland is his. The lady-in-waiting Elizabeth tells Henry that she is pregnant. Henry says that they must marry. Elizabeth is very afraid that the Queen might find out about her pregnancy.
Part VI.V. Treason or Theft.
A book has been written about the history of the reign of Henry IV. Elizabeth wants Francis Bacon’s opinion of the book. Elizabeth tells Bacon that the book is treason. It talks too much about the rebellion against Henry. Bacon protests that it’s just history and not a political message.
Elizabeth is very mad at the other Elizabeth. She says that she has used the rooms of the palace as a brothel. She also says that she wants that book on Henry suppressed. She demands that a legal cause for suppression be uncovered.
Elizabeth signs Essex’s commission. Elizabeth tells Essex that Ireland is never easy. It has ruined the reputation of many a brave man. Nevertheless, she is determined to see O’Neill’s head on London Bridge. She also tells Essex that he definitely cannot take with him Blount or Southampton. Furthermore, Essex is not to return unless he has Her Majesty’s permission.
A group of Irish talk about how to fight the British. They say they will avoid all grand battles. And they pray for rain to help bog the British down.
Essex tells his staff that O’Neill hides in the north. The Lord Mayor of Dublin advices Essex to go south. Essex decides they march south!
Part VI.VI. Irish Rebels.
A forward group of Essex’s men are caught in an ambush by Irish men using cross-bows. All the English are killed. The men take all the weapons and the horses of the dead men.
Elizabeth writes a letter to Essex asking him why is he heading south when O’Neill is in the north? She orders that Essex return to Dublin.
Another group of English soldiers is ambushed, this time using the weapons taken from the men killed in the previous ambush.
Essex decides that he must go to England first. But before that, Hugh O’Neill wants to speak to Essex. On horseback they meet alone unarmed in the middle of a stream. O’Neill says that he has from seven to eight thousand men under him. He wants to call a truce of six weeks, to be renewed if all goes well. He says it will help Essex with the Queen of England. Essex decides to accept the truce. Again he repeats that he must go to England.
Part VI.VII. Treasonous Return.
Essex rushes into see Elizabeth. She doesn’t even have her wig on and looks terribly old. Surprisingly, she does not chew him out.
Howard says it’s shocking that Essex just burst into the Queen’s room. Robert Cecil says that he knew Essex was coming. The feeling is that Essex would rule them all. Cecil says Essex has been up to some devilment with the Scots. Howard says in the end it will be King James VI of Scotland. Cecil cautions him that the mere mention of the name of James is a sentence of death. Howard comments: "Pray God we al survive these times."
Elizabeth and Essex talk. He tries to defend his poor record against the Irish. He says the Irish always attack at night. Elizabeth reprimands him for granting knighthoods which she had strictly forbidden. He says that he is locked in on Her Majesty’s orders.
Elizabeth asks advice from Francis Bacon. She says Essex puts himself above her and he returned to England without her consent. She thinks he must be tried by the star chamber. Bacon advises against this. It would be a hard case to prove. The Queen says that Essex has made some gross intrigue with O’Neill. Bacon tells her that instead of a trial, she should use a statement of iniquities against Essex.
Raleigh complains to Cecil about Essex saying: "The Queen is mad to let him go. . . . He needs four thick walls." Essex is with Southampton and Chris. He says that they have no money and he will lose his only source of income, a monopoly on the sales of wine, soon. Concerning Elizabeth, he says: "Damn. Damn her!" Essex writes a letter to "our sovereign Lord King James VI of Scotland."
Cecil tells Elizabeth that Essex is strong in men, but weak in money. The Queen says: "Revoke his monopolies!" The men in the city of London are waiting for word from Essex to move.
Part VI.VIII. We are All Changed.
Word is brought to Elizabeth that Essex is lost! He tried to raise the city but no one would answer his call. At Ludgate he was turned back. Elizabeth tells Howard to arrest Essex and take him to the Tower of London.
Cecil tells Elizabeth that there is no special word from Essex in the tower. The Queen says: "I cannot pardon him! It must be done" As for Southampton, Elizabeth gives him life in prison. She tells Cecil to tell Essex nothing.
Cecil and Howard visit Essex in his prison cell. He grovels at their feet saying that he has more confessions for them. He wants to be given leniency in return for fingering all others in on his conspiracy. Cecil tells him that Southampton will not be put to death. Essex asks: "Am I to be alone?"
The execution will be done here at the Tower. Essex cries and begs the forgiveness of the Lords. Howard tells Essex that he has his forgiveness. Essex adds: "I am frightened my Lords." Cecil tells him: "I will send a priest to console you."
Essex says to his jailer that he is still the Queen’s servant and that he has been terribly misled by others. The jailer says: "My Lord, you must compose yourself." Essex asks how can he do that? He is a reflection of others and there are just pieces of himself. He faints.
Part VI.IX. A Traitor’s Death.
Essex comes out for his execution. He asks the jailer if there has been any word? None, says the jailer. Essex gives a decent death statement. He says for 33 years he has led a life of lust and wantonness and he has been puffed up with pride and vanity. Essex asks God to pardon his sins. He bids them all to pray for him. And off goes his head.
Part VI.X. The Candle Flares.
The Commons has taken the stance that Elizabeth’s powers to grant monopolies to her favorites should be restricted. Elizabeth says the fault has been hers. " I have nourished proud men." The Commons fear that the powers of Essex will fall to Raleigh now.
Elizabeth speaks to representatives from the Commons. She does not mind having her powers of monopolies restricted. In her favor she says: For you, though you have had and may have many mightier and wiser princes sitting in this seat, you’ve never had nor shall have any who love you better."
Bacon comments to Cecil: "She is magnificent." Cecil says that before a candle goes out, it always flares.
Part VI.XI. To Die in Peace.
Cecil speaks with Elizabeth. She tells him that she does not want to see any doctors. She wants to die in peace. She explains to Cecil simply that she is not well and she will stand. She just stands there with her eyes closed and with one of her fingers in her mouth.
Part VI.XII. The Sun Settles at Last.
Cecil comments to the master of horse that Elizabeth has been standing up now for fourteen hours. She is heard to say: "I am tied and the case is altered with me."
She sits on her throne with her eyes closed and with her finger in her mouth. It’s been four days like this. They try to take her finger from her mouth, but she objects, saying not yet. She asks: "Do the people love me?" They assure her that she is loved. They ask her who will be her successor? Will it be the King of Scotland? Elizabeth shakes her head no, but then shakes it yes.
A little while later, they take her finger from her mouth. Now she is dead.
Very good series for history buffs. Lots of detailed information on some of the most important issues facing Elizabeth I of England. And the series talks about those early traumatic events in her life that deeply affected her and scared her so much that she never wanted to allow a man to have the power over whether she lived or died, as her father had over her mother. She was petrified of marriage and I can't say I blame her. I feel I have a better understanding of Elizabeth's motivations now. Elizabeth faced death many times amidst all the power moves regarding the successions to the English throne. She was so greatly relieved when her half-sister Mary died, making Elizabeth the Queen. Glenda Jackson was wonderful as Elizabeth. I also didn't know Elizabeth had such a bad temper.
Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.
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