The Virgin Queen Addresses Her Lords

Not long after ascending the throne of England the young Queen Elizabeth I addressed her Nobles for the first time:

My Lords the law of nature move me to sorrow for my sister, the burden which is fallen upon me make me amazed, and yet considering I am God’s creature, ordained to obey His appointment I will therefore yield, desiring from the bottom of my heart that I may have assistance of His grace to be the minister of His heavenly will in this office now committed to me, and as I am but one body naturally considered though by His permission a body politic to govern, so I shall desire you all my Lords (chiefly you of the Nobility every one in his degree and power) to be assistant to me; that I with my ruling and you with your service may make a good account to Almighty God, and leave some comfort to posterity in death.

 I mean to direct all my actions by good advise and counsel, and  therefore considering that divers you be of the Ancient Nobility, having your beginnings and estates of my progenitors Kings of the Realm, and thereby ought in honour to have the more natural care for maintaining of my estate and this commonwealth. Some others have been in long experience of governance and ennobled of my father of Noble memory, my brother and my late sister to bear office. The rest of you being upon special trust lately called to her service only and trust for your service considered and rewarded, my meaning is to require of you all, nothing more than faithful hearts in such service as from time to time will be in your powers to the preservation of me and this commonwealth, and for counsel and advise I shall accept you of my Nobility and such others of you the rest as in consultation I shall think, meet, and shortly appoint, to which also with their advise I will join to their aid of for ease of their burden others meet for my service; and they which I shall not appoint let them not think the same for any disability in them. But for that I do consider a multitude does make rather discord and confusion than good counsel. And of my goodwill you shall not doubt using yourselves as appertaining to good and loving subjects.

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