Elizabeth R (1971–…): Season 1, Episode 5 - The Enterprise of England - full transcript

Father forgive me for I have sinned.

I have most grievously offended Thee
by the sin of envy.

Father forgive me for I have sinned.

I have most grievously offended Thee
by the sin of pride.

Father forgive me for I have sinned.

I have most grievously offended Thee
by the sin of anger.

Father forgive me for I have sinned.

I have most grievously offended Thee
by the sin of gluttony.


Father forgive me for I have sinned.

I have most grievously offended Thee
by the sin of avarice.

Father forgive me for I have sinned.

Is it true?
There was no word of it when I left Madrid.

You need not whisper.
The prince hears nothing when he's playing.

—There was no word when I left Madrid...
—Letters from Paris reached His Majesty last night.

The English have truly murdered her?

Your countrymen have truly murdered her.

—May God receive her innocent soul.

—And translate her to celestial bliss.

Now may she call upon us, his avenging servants.

Do you not agree?

Your pardon, Father Robert.
Idid not realise you had finished.

—Your prayer.

—Do you mock me, Idiaquez?

But why have you come?

Is it to tell the King of Spain that
he must avenge the Queen of Scots?

God's will demands it.

Though the King's exchequer
may not yet permit it.

There's no richer prince in Christendom.

You have forgotten the Pope, Father Robert.

His Holiness has many calls upon his purse.

But he will bless the armies
that destroy Elizabeth.

Has he not said that were she not a heretic,

she would be the most perfect
and accomplished prince in the world?

Now you mock the Holy Father.

You are a good man, Robert Parsons.

I would protect myself from
your dangerous simplicity, that is all.

You are a clerk and you are afraid of war.

So is my royal master.

Remember, he fears war
as a burnt child dreads the fire.

He'll not be long at the confessional.

Meanwhile, with your permission...

You carry your news on your face, Francis.

Oh, sweetJesus!

—Were Elizabeth only a man...
—We might all be headless by now.

But you have your commission at last?

Aye, but God preserve me
from another campaign like this one.

There were days when she granted me
an audience nine times before supper,

and then weeks when she looked through me
as if I was made of glass.

How far will the commission carry you?

She warned me against talking
to that rogue, Walsingham.

No doubt.

Since Mary Stuart was relieved of her head,
Burghley and I have both been rogues.

Well, I can be patient.

I'm accustomed to the burden
of the Queen's conscience.

What did you say to her?

What we've all been saying for three years now,

that Philip will send a fleet against us,
and there's much more.

We must now strangle the anti—Christ on his own
doorstep before he can take a pace beyond it.

Not that Drake's war against Spain
should become England's.

My war, as you call it,

has given your purse a golden lining,
as well as the Queen's.

Or your own, my friend.

But she's truly given you a warrant
for an assault on Philip's ships in their harbour?

I'll tell you the wording of it.

"To impeach the purpose of the Spanish fleet."

Now, how that may be done
is left to my taste, even to...

"distressing their ships within their havens."

Then I advise you
to set upon the venture without delay.

I leave Gravesend for Plymouth tonight.

Within a week, I'll be under sail for Cadiz.

Write to me from Plymouth.

And, Francis, I pray you earnestly, do not delay.

She'll not change her mind now.

As easily as she would a gown, you know that,

and persuade us that we are chameleons, not she.

-Get you gone, Francis.
-Oh, but I'd sup with you.

Godspeed you, but be gone now.

I'll bring you a golden hair from Philip's beard.

If I can find one I've not already turned grey.

I did not know you were
to have an audience, Father Robert,

—but you are welcome.
—Your Majesty, I have come...

I have not slept since I read the letters from Paris.

Call the physician to bleed me tonight.

Your countrymen are brutes, Father Robert.

No, Your Majesty, not all of them.

Many pray that you will free them from
the tyranny of that heretical bastard Elizabeth.

I would be grateful to hear that
they prayed less for my help

and more for the courage to free themselves.

Is it not true that English Catholics are among
those who seize my ships in the Indies

and fight my soldiers in the Netherlands?

If so, they are thereby deposed
and excommunicated.

But, sire, I have told you that the faithful...

You tell me what Dr Allen writes to you.

But neither of you is in England.
You are here and he is in Rome.

—I will write to Rome.

I will tell the curia that
I grieve for the Queen's death,

for she would have been
the most suitable instrument

to bring both Scotland and England
back to the church.

—Is that not so, Father Robert?
—Most assuredly, sire.

Although, having done so,
she would have made both the allies of France.

—Idiaquez, I will say nothing of that to Rome.
—I do not understand, Your Majesty.

I will tell the Curia that as God, in His wisdom,

ordained that Elizabeth
should take the life of Mary,

so will He raise up another
for the triumph of His church.


Then may we not leave it to Him, Father Robert?

What would you have me do?

Avenge her death.

Yet, if she is a saint, as we agree,

should I punish those
who have been God's instruments,

translating her immortal soul to heaven?

Your Majesty, I do not dispute God's purpose
in ordaining her murder,

but by that foul deed, He also reveals
the obscene heresy of the usurper Elizabeth.

Father Robert, are you saying that
God lags behind His Holiness the Pope,

who has already excommunicated her?

Majesty, I am saying that now is the time
for the enterprise of England.

I ask your pardon, Father Robert.

I see it is statecraft, not theology,
that you would debate with me.

Both church and state...

For 20 years, men have urged
this enterprise upon me,

yet I had no ships for the purpose
until I conquered Portugal.

That was a terrible war, Father Robert.

I am still at war in the Netherlands
and I cannot yet trust France

so how can I send an army and a fleet
against England?

Your Majesty, for four years
the Marquis of Santa Cruz

has been gathering your ships in Cadiz and Lisbon.

To protect the Indies
and to reinforce my armies in the Netherlands.

All men know that.


Pray, excuse me.

Majesty, what may I write to Dr Allen?

What comfort can we send
to the faithful in England?

Tell them I will be guided by God.

Majesty, there is need of haste.

Then we must walk with feet of lead,
lest we stumble.


Majesty, if it has been God's will
to take the soul of that murdered queen,

it is also His obvious design to bestow upon you

the crowns of England and Scotland.

Pray for me, Father Robert.

Your Majesty.

Rest you still, old man.

God's death, Burghley!
I command you, rest you still.

They did not tell me you were sick
until this morning.

Gout, madam, gout.

—I suffer more from your displeasure.
—So you should. You're a wicked wretch.

—As Your Majesty pleaseth.
—False dissembler...

Nay, madam, not that.

—...old and doting, and a traitor.
—Madam, I protest.

How is it with you, Walsingham?
Does the stone still plague you?

Aye, madam.

You swallow too much bad physic
and hang too many good physicians.

God's death, Walsingham.

I am almost your age and I can dance six galliards
of a morning and enjoy a healthful sweat.

Your Majesty's continuing good health
is a joy to her people.

I, too, am sometimes sick.

In another body, no great matter,
but much in a princess.

What says your physician?

That I'm close to three score year and ten
and they expect the flesh to weaken.

Old man, I fear I have used you grievously.

Since Your Majesty dismissed me
from the council...

Yet you tricked me, both of you.

I did not desire the death
of that wretched woman.

I know your impudent thoughts.

Would I wear these weeds a month
if I had desired her death?

Your Majesty's grief is a model to Europe.

The King of France is astonished
that you still weep for her.

Little good his astonishment will do me.

Not while you empty England's purse
into the greedy palms of his Huguenots.

Madam, I would have the Protestant cause
triumphant and you its greatest prince.

There is only one Jesus Christ, one faith.

All else is a dispute over titles.

—The King of Spain did not...
—I am not afraid of Philip.

God's death, I fear a mistake in my Latin
more than I do him.

Your Majesty's Latin is without fault.

How would you know? You have a poor hand for it.

You see, my lord, I am come in penitence
to you, my spirit,

and to you, my moor,
to ask you to sit in council again.

—Madam, my legs are weak. I have...
—It's your good head I need, not your bad legs.

Have your servants carry you if they must.

But mark me, both of you.

I have not forgotten
you contrived the death of that woman.

Walsingham, you have received letters from Drake.

Aye, madam, from the Elizabeth Bonaventure
which he boarded at Plymouth last week.


He said that the wind commanded him away
with six of your ships and four of his own.

Recall him.

Madam, it is too late. He is at sea.

And upon Your Majesty's commission.

To work what malice he could
upon the Spanish ships at Cadiz and Lisbon.

That was not my commission.

Am I not to be obeyed?

Jesu! My father would have had your heads.

Madam, the King of Spain is resolved

to set his enterprise against us this year.

The only way to bridle his ambition
is to strike at his ships before they sail.

Recall Francis Drake, I command you.

Madam, Your Majesty knows I have ever been
your servant in your desire for peace,

but the King of Spain must now come against us.

He has been talking of his enterprise for 20 years.

Crowing cocks lay no eggs. Nothing is changed.

Madam, the death of the Queen of Scots
has changed all.

Your Majesty, she bequeathed her crown
to the King of Spain,

and her false claim to yours.

Recall Francis Drake.

Once at sea, Your Majesty,
he respects no orders but his own.

Then I'll hang the rogue above his own deck.

If he sets foot on Spain,
we shall most assuredly have war.

Your Majesty's soldiers have been fighting
in the Spanish Netherlands for two years.

Aye. It costs me £100,000 a year
to maintain Leicester's army there.

With that, I must also stomach

his impudent title of governor over them,
but no more.

I am determined upon a truce with Parma
and peace in the Netherlands.

The Duke of Parma is a great captain, madam.

And the Spanish cause prospers from his victories
in the Low Countries.

It's not his nature to think of peace
when he's winning.

Nor will he agree to anything that his uncle,
the King of Spain, does not sanction.

Then you are confounded, master spy.

He has agreed to meet my emissaries
at Bourbourg.

He plays you for a dupe.

-Guard your tongue, sirrah.
—Madam, will you abandon the Dutch?

They will meet Parma's emissaries with mine.
I will give them peace.

And send them good English cloth
instead of soldiers.

My lord, come soon to my council.

Your Majesty, I fear Walsingham is right.
They will deceive you if they can.

If we treat honestly with them,
their deception will soon be exposed.

Be my friend again.

God keep me to serve, Your Majesty.

Amen to that.

Touching the matter of Francis Drake,

I know that even my command
will not bring him back,

but charge him upon his life.

He is to enter no port of Spain
nor land a man upon it.

Yet, if at sea,
he should chance upon an Indies fleet,

I would have him spill as little blood
as the venture permits.

The boy is pleased with your gift, Santa Cruz.

Nothing else has so occupied his mind.


Now, I want 150 great ships. No more.

It is not enough, sire.

With as many auxiliaries, dispatch boats,
picket boats, zabras and fregatas.

Your Majesty, I could have
such a fleet at sea within a month,

but it would be ill—manned
and ill—supplied and too little.

It may yet be too much for my purse.

Two years ago, sire,

when I proposed that Your Majesty's ships
should invade England immediately...


...I received no reply from Your Majesty.

You asked for...

"500 ships and 200 barges,

"100,000 soldiers and seamen,
two million pounds of cheese,

"70,000 bushels of beans and rice,
five million gallons of wine," et cetera et cetera.

Well, I was perhaps struck dumb
by the magnitude of your proposal, Don Alvaro.

And do you remember the cost?

—Four million ducats, Your Majesty.
—It was impossible.

Yes, and since the cost may now
be twice that sum,

and for half the force then stated,

may I beg that
Your Majesty abandons the enterprise?

Don Alvaro, I do not think you are a coward,
but you have been ill.

A fever of no consequence, Your Majesty.

Do you wish to resign your commission
as my Captain General?

Your Majesty knows that if he so ordered, I would
sail against England with a single galleass.

Oh, Santa Cruz, do not debase yourself
with such foolish bravado.

And be of good heart.
I have accepted your proposal,

with some modifications, of course.

Yes, sire.

My nephew Parma
was of the same cautious mind as yourself,

but I have persuaded him to take an army
of 30,000 men from the Netherlands to Kent,

supported by your fleet.

And since we may thus send
less soldiers from Spain,

—we shall need no barges and fewer transports.
—Please, Your Majesty...

We may also count upon the armed assistance of
those English Catholics who are sympathetic to...

—Your Majesty...
—Do not interrupt me, Idiaquez.

Dr Allen tells me that one third, if not more,
of Elizabeth's subjects will rise against her.

We may expect them to supply us
with provisions as well as men,

and we may reduce our own supplies accordingly
from eight months to three.

Your Majesty is wrong.

—Wrong, Don Alvaro?
—Mistaken, sire.

Your Majesty cannot understand the great risks,

the many difficulties attending a rendezvous
between a land force and a fleet in enemy seas.

A contrary wind, sire, one day lost...

Yet you once proposed such a rendezvous
with the French army.

Why not now with Parma?

I asked for 500 great vessels, sire,
and a seaborne army that could make...

Have I not shown you
that 150 vessels will suffice?

Of course I have. When may they sail?

After so many years of indecision,
Your Majesty's present impatience...

God is impatient, Don Alvaro,
and we may not be his laggard servants.

I've told the Pope I shall be master of England
by the end of October.

—As Your Majesty pleases.
—Go, then.

Write to me daily.

Count me ever your friend, Don Alvaro,
but be gentle with my purse.

God guard the Catholic person of Your Majesty.


IDIAQUEZ: Your Majesty.

No, no. It is nothing but the affliction in my eye.

You'll call the physician to bleed and purge me
again this evening.


do you know my father warned me
never to lose the friendship of England?

So you have told me, sir.

My son.

Because of the love I owed my father,

I have patiently endured the insults
and heresies of that island.

I was once its king.

I've always been its friend
and have suffered its unkindness with humility.

I've always deserved the gratitude of Elizabeth.

But for me, her sister would have taken her life.

When I was urged to destroy her, I refused.

Yet I may not boast of my tolerance.

Christ has asked no less of me.

—Sire, may I fetch the physician to you now?
—No, no, no.

His bleeding weakens me
and his purges cloud my mind.

I must not waste the rest of the day upon my bed.

You wished to speak when Santa Cruz was here.

Upon the matter of the English Catholics, sire.

His Holiness always writes of her with admiration,

even as he urges her death upon me.

He sends me a million crowns
to drag her from her throne,

yet calls her one of the greatest princes
in Christendom.

He speaks of her courage and my timidity,

of her wit and my dull piety.

We three are yoked together in love and hate,
and my neck is galled with sores.

Your Majesty must put no trust in the advice
given you by Dr Allen and Father Robert.

I, too, have been dazzled by her brilliance,

and have scourged myself in penance
for the sin of envy.

There can be no substantial help
from the English Catholics.

God has scaled my poor eye with this affliction,

yet He has revealed my duty
and put an end to my cowardly patience.

You are wrong, Idiaquez.

Your Majesty knows how abhorrent
an alien government is to the English.

It unites all men in opposition,
whatever their faith.

Idiaquez, we must look to God for favour
in an enterprise so entirely His own.

Then we should acknowledge that favour,
Your Majesty, where it is most evident.

It is my opinion that it would be better
to suspend the invasion of England

and deploy both the fleets and the army
in the reduction of the Netherlands.

But it is not the Dutch who rob my treasure ships.

—Your Majesty!
—Don Alvaro.

From Cadiz. Drake.


God's blood, here was a Don
who departed in haste.

What is this place, Master Francis?

You were at the council, Tregannon.

It's the Castle of Sagres
on the lee side of the cave.

I know. There was more.

Aye, it was once a school of seamanship.

Founded by old Henry the Navigator.

Your feet are on holy ground, friend john.

I'd rather they stood on the streets of Cadiz.

Man, would you have me take
four galleons in among 100?

And I get shore batteries to boot.

Jacob, get you below.
Tell Master Platt to burn all that will burn.

Tregannon, here.

—You set a torch to those storehouses?
—Aye, when we'd overcome the Dons.

—And what was in them?
—Meal. Wine.

Barrel staves, the most part.

They're piled as high as my main truck.

—And yonder?
—Great hall of books.

Prince Henry's library.

I'd as leave save that.

No matter.

We've taught them more than they'd ever learn
from the old man's books.

They fought like lions
to keep us from the barrel staves.

Without casks for water and biscuits,
the greatest fleet is nothing.

You know that, Tregannon.

I know we had the Dons by the throat at Cadiz.

We had set but one ship's company ashore.

Nay, john. If the wind had dropped,
we'd have been hares in a gin.

You expect too much from the hand of God.

In two days off the harbour mouth, we sank
or burnt 40 of the ships they sent out against us,

including their flagship.

I expect the hand of God to have more gold in it.

You're a pirate, Tregannon.

Then there's two of us in this room, Admiral.

—If you're writing to our noble...
—To Walsingham.

Oh, that knave.

He's my friend, Master Tregannon.

God keep him, then.

But tell him john Tregannon says
we've lit a great lantern in Her Majesty's name

—and scotched the Dons forever.
—Not yet.

But we've made a happy beginning.

Albeit one with more hard knocks than treasure.

We can expect little gratitude from the Queen
if we bring her no gold.

We've made her kingdom safe for her
this summer season.

She'll thank us for that.

My Lord of Leicester,
are you afraid to show me your face?

Only that I may be blinded by yours, madam.

Here's a bold liar.

—Madam, your modesty does not permit...
—Don't try to cut in me, sir.

What do you know of modesty, Your Excellency?

I refused greater titles than governor
which the Dutch would have thrust upon me.

And you'll strip yourself of that you accepted.

—Madam, I may not.
—I command you!

Madam, do not shame me so
before these gentlemen.

Burghley, and you, too, Walsingham.

How fares it with your mother?

—Your lady wife is well.
—Commend me to her.

—The Queen honours you, boy.
—Upon your charity, my lord.

You could not have favoured me more
had I been your own son.


That rogue Drake
has placed this kingdom in jeopardy.

Your Majesty, he did not receive
your countermand before he attacked Cadiz.

Well, I swore I would hang the rogue
and so I shall.

Walsingham, you will write to Parma
and tell him that upon my life,

Drake acted without my authority
and against my wishes.

Madam, if the Duke of Parma
is as desirous of peace as Your Majesty,

and if he believes you to be as honest
in intent as you hold him,

he will acquit you of blame in this matter.

You stepped through that answer
like a barefoot child among nettles, Burghley.

Tell me plainly.

Your Majesty, Parma will say and do
what the King of Spain proposes.

That hermit. That tortured monk.

Your Majesty, by the island of St Michael
in the Azores,

Drake came upon a great ship from the Indies,
The San Felipe.

Her treasure, which he brings you,

is worth twice the cost of the fleet
he took to Cadiz.

Then I'll hang him with a silken rope
instead of hemp.

—He also sends Your Majesty a warning.
—He warns me?

That he has but halted
the monstrous power of Spain,

that we should build ships
and look to the coast of Sussex.

When I rode out to my coronation,

an old man cried out from the crowd
at the Watergate.

He said he remembered King Harry VIII.

It lifted my heart.

Who will be happy to remember me
if I challenge Philip and lose?

The challenge has been made by Spain, madam.

Who will remember England if you ignore it?

-Are the Dutchmen here?
—Your Majesty.

We have read your petition against our desire

to reach a truce with the Duke of Parma.

Also your impertinent demand

that we confirm the Earl of Leicester
in his title of governor over you.

What next? Will you make the fellow your prince?

Our country is a sovereign state, madam,

and may surely choose to honour those
who serve it well.

Your country, sir, is a sieve

into which mine has poured much gold
and sifted little good.

Will Your Majesty now surrender us to Spain?

Good man, your people
are as dear to me as my own.

If I can give them both peace,
will you have us fight more bloody battles?

Your Majesty's emissaries have assured Parma's
that should he agree to a truce,

we will admit to the authority of Rome.

Our saviour, Christ,
paid his tribute to the Romans.

And was delivered by them to the cross.

Do princes now take instruction
from common men?

You are less than honest with me, sir.

You have issued a proclamation in your provinces,
aye, I know of it,

ordering no man to speak of peace with Spain.

Will you so order me? Is this your gratitude?

Madam, such gratitude has two edges.

For we contest the Spaniards,
they may not cross the sea to you.

You are a bold petitioner, sir.

And I will be bolder, madam.

Within a year, you may regret the time you waste.

Parma laughs at you.

God's death!

You need a prince to teach you manners!

—Go to, did I frighten you?

Get you gone.
Speak your business to my Lord Burghley.

But if I am to see you again, remember,
I am to be treated with honour.

Burghley, dismiss them all. I would be alone.

Leicester, stay.


Be off, you impudent boy.

Get up, greybeard.

Sirrah, get up!

Sweet Robin, I entreat you.

Your Excellency must stand before me
as an equal.

Since that title sticks in your throat, madam,

you should know that I accepted it for love of you.

For love of yourself
and to blind your eyes to your wretched failures.

Had you sent me the men I needed
and the money I asked for, I should not have...

Will you dip your hand into my treasury
whenever you choose?

I paid your soldiers for a year
from my own revenue.

Which you received from me.

You've whined for money.
You make widows and orphans.

Your Majesty has forgotten that I saw
my nephew Philip Sidney die at Zutphen.

Oh, Robin, Robin.

Though all the world forsook me,
I thought you would be true.

—I would die at your feet.
—What's that to do with it? Get up.

It's a hard bargain, my lord,
when both parties are losers.

Though I part with your love,

you will make open and public resignation
of the title given you by the Dutch.

I am determined upon it.

I cannot treat honestly with Parma
while I sustain you in that office.

For God, if that's all.

The man's deluding you.

—Send me back against him and I'll teach him...
—I'm sending you to Bath.

—To take the waters, you have been ill.

A fever and the gout, but nothing to...

I will draw up a diet to reduce that sagging flesh.

Two ounces of meat a day, no more,
though the quality I leave to your judgement.

On festival days, the shoulder of a wren at noon
with the leg for supper.

Madam, I beseech you.

Assemble your forces and your ships here in
England and send me back to the Low Countries.

On Sundays, you may drink
the 20th part of a pint of wine.

On ordinary days, nothing but the healing waters.

—Before God, madam, you try my patience.
—You will not go back to Flanders.

I will accept banishment to an Irish bog
if you so ordered it

but as I love you, do not trust Philip or Parma.

If I desire Walsingham's advice,
I will hear it from his lips, not yours.

—I have not deserved this contempt.
—Nor I your blustering.

You will do as I command.
Leave me to govern this kingdom.

How, madam?
By playing cards with my pretty stepson?


Do as I command you, my lord.
Get you well. Your life is dear to me.

And you destroy it by abandoning me.

Oh, Robin. Much is past. You and I are old.

You are Gloriana. You're ageless.

We are mortal.

Look in your glass, my lord.

—You may go.

Twenty—four great vessels, the town of Lagos
and the Castle of Sagres.

Your Majesty, Drake boasted
he had destroyed 40 ships.

—Am I to be grateful for the difference?
—No, sire.

—Or the loss of 200,000 ducats?
—Your Majesty, we pursued him to the Azores.

—Yes, where he took the San Felipe.
—The crew was sick...

But the daring of the English, Don Alvaro.
Their daring!

And that remarkable woman.

Idiaquez, surely in all heretics
there must be a dread of heaven's displeasure,

for that is the substance of all belief.

They are English heretics, sire,
with a church and heaven of their own creation.

Not all. Not all.

How can Elizabeth defy the church when
one third of her people must rise against her?

If Your Majesty were to appeal
to the English Catholics,

urge them to defend the church,
not to overthrow Elizabeth.

But it is illogical to assume
one does not involve the other.

Your Majesty, the English are
by definition illogical.

No, you do not know them as I do.

Elizabeth is afraid of her people's displeasure.

No, Parma will beguile her with talk of peace.

And meanwhile, he urges me
to dispatch your fleet at once, Don Alvaro.

Impossible, Your Majesty.
The damage done by Drake...

We have no seasoned wood for barrel staves.

My nephew says it'll be enough if you hold
to the channel while his army crosses to Kent.

As things now stand, sire,
your fleet may not risk a long voyage.

I have told the Pope you will be in the channel
by the first day of December.

In winter, Your Majesty?

You've said you cannot sail at once and I agree.

Even so, sire.

Your Majesty underestimates
the great damage done by Drake.

Now we must take 14 galleons
from the Indies treasure fleet

and 10 more from the Portuguese.

We are buying merchantmen
in Italy and the Baltic

which we shall convert to warships.

Has Your Majesty some scheme
for the rapid seasoning of the wood

we shall need for new barrels?

Don Alvaro, I recall
you once urged haste upon me.

And with the same devotion to Your Majesty,
I now implore caution.

You are, perhaps, ill.

I wish I were in better health
to serve Your Majesty.

But were I 30 years younger,
I would still advise against a winter sailing.

Parma will land 40,000 men in Kent

to be supported by a rising of Scots
and English Catholics.

You wanted to close the mouth of the Thames
and land an army there.

I could do so, sire, in the spring.

But Your Majesty must allow me
to carry more soldiers.

My nephew says it will be enough
if you hold the Isle of Wight and await his orders.

With 100 miles and the English fleet between us?

There is no English fleet.

Or are you thinking of the handful of ships
that Drake brought to Cadiz?

Your poor health distresses me, Don Alvaro.

I'll send my physician to you.

ELIZABETH: Are you keeping secrets
from me, old man?

The dispatch, sir. Where is the dispatch?

—What news?

Have you ships at sea?

A pinnace off the Azores, another by Coruna,
but these November gales...

What are these rogues doing at Ostend?
They have been there since midsummer.

Walsingham, how long does it take
honest men to agree?

If all parties are of one mind, Your Majesty,
an afternoon would be enough.

The Duke of Parma and I are of one mind.
Is that not enough?

Unless he mocks Your Majesty.

God's death!
I'll suffer no one to mock this poor old woman.

—Nor I.
—I thought I'd hanged you, sir.

Your Majesty's repeated assurances to the Dutch
perplex the Duke of Parma.

—He asks for time to consider...
—Does he expect me to abandon them entirely?

God's death! I will stand by them as long as
I have a man left in my kingdom to fight for me.

Bold words from a peacemaker.

I can hear your quarterdeck whisper.

—Will Your Majesty hear more?
—I did not command you hither.

I came upon the Lord Admiral's order.

Is the Armada at sea?
Has Philip come to devour us?

Will Your Majesty wait until he does?

Put me to sea again, madam, and let me burn out
their rat holes while their masts are still bare.

Madam, Sir Francis gives good advice.

If we are forced to meet the Armada at sea,
it must be at great hazard to this kingdom.

We should prevent the Spanish from sailing.

And so says Raleigh and Hawkins and Frobisher.

Only my good spirit here encourages me
in my honest concern for peace.

Madam, there never was
since England was England

such a trick to deceive us as this talk of peace.

I pray God we don't curse
a white head and grey beard

for the mischief it may yet do us.

Take care, cousin, my people do not curse you
for a war that destroys them.

Better that than follow a Judas goat to slaughter.

Master pirate.

I can distinguish between those
who advise me in love and loyalty

and those who follow other fancies.

No man who loves you, madam,
may keep silence while your ships are unrigged,

the guns in the Tower,
the seamen cutting throats for a crust!

Aye, and no man would so order it.

I know you would, as leave, have a man
upon my throne, but God gave it to me.

I am anointed by Him
and am answerable to none but Him.

My councillors depend upon me, not I upon them.

You are dust that I have moulded.
You are empty breath without my voice.

I am not deceived by Spain.

There are men like you who would
have Philip set his power against us,

but he and I are princes both, not common men.

We know that we are bound by the will of God
to preserve the peace of our kingdoms.

Do not think you can trick me!

I have such cunning that if I were turned out
of my kingdom in my petticoat,

I would prosper anywhere in Christendom!

God's mercy! We need more than a petticoat.

Is the woman bewitched?

If not, we may so contrive it, Francis.

Send me word if your watching pinnace
sights so much as a Spanish fishing boat.

Who's there?

Don Idiaquez.

How fares it with Your Excellency?

All is well.

I am dying.

I'm sorry to hear that.

Has spring come?

It's not yet Christmas.

Then I am not in London.

His Majesty sent me to tell you
that his love is constant.

One thing this day,

another the next.

Yet his love is constant.

You are his greatest captain.

Of a fleet I cannot get to sea.

His Majesty understands
that your sickness has prevented...

The enterprise is sick.

It is doomed with me.

Do not disturb yourself, Excellency.

He instructs me

as if I were a cabin boy.

He is distressed that
the fleet has not sailed as he ordered.




Green staves.

His contractors cheat him.

His officers are thieves.

And...they take the pay of the deserters.

When Your Excellency has recovered,
no doubt you'll...

Are you a physician?

What may I say to the King?

You're a clerk.


—So it pleases men to tell me.
—For winter's sailing...

His Majesty's further instructions
upon the storing of supplies

and the proper conduct
of your Christian observance when you are at sea.

At sea?

His Majesty now takes the sacrament
four times daily

in confidence that you will depart
before the spring.

What may I tell him?

Tell him

I have never been more eager

to depart.

Who was that black raven?

Her Majesty's astrologer.

We've been waiting upon him?

I've seen the fellow somewhere before.
A sennight ago at your lodging.

The divinations of Regiomontanas,
the mathematician,

forecast the fall of empires in the coming year.

And Her Majesty is naturally concerned.

—Did you not hear the tumult in London?

A mob shouted at me as I passed,

asked me why I wasn't at sea
when the Spanish were coming.

—Is this your doing?
—Tell me again.

What report did your captain send?

Little enough.

A galley out of Lisbon watching him like a boy
over an orchard wall.

Will you make an Armada out of that?

Parma has withdrawn his commissioners
from Ostend

upon some dispute over procedure.

I had not counted on that happy accident
and I'm obliged to him.

Well, I'll not pretend to understand what you're at

but what must I do?

When we see the Queen,
you must say "aye" and "nay" in support of me.

No more, but...

most solemnly.


Remember, Francis...

—most solemnly.
-Oh, aye.

Your Majesty.

Tell me bluntly, is it true?

Your Majesty, my information is no better
than the men who send it to me,

but since they do so at risk of their own lives...

What men? Where?

In Brussels and Paris.

As to the men, Your Majesty must understand...

—The Armada is to sail at Christmas.
—If it is not already at sea.

One of Drake's ships has sighted
vessels under sail from Lisbon.

Aye, madam.

What was your captain doing there?

Your Majesty has heard that Parma
has withdrawn his commissioners from Ostend?

Could the fellow have been mistaken?

—No, madam.
—They were recalled to receive his instructions.

Aye, madam, but what instructions?

Your Majesty is aware that since the victory
of the Huguenots at Coutras, the French...

Walsingham, are you saying that
France is also sending an army against us?

I believe the Duke of Guise
will obey his paymaster, the King of Spain.



The prophecy is cryptic nonsense.

Upon which ambitious princes
may justify their designs.

When can the fleet be mobilised?

Well, john Hawkins could have the ships
at sea within 14 days, madam.

Men—of-war that is, but as for provisioning...

Let them sail with empty bellies if they must.

—Now God be thanked.
—Is the speaker here?


Master speaker,
will the Commons vote me supplies?

Madam, they must decide that in debate.
I am not in...

They'll waste no time in idle debate,

but vote me the supplies
I need to defend this realm.

Madam, may they have no liberty of speech?

None that allows every man to release
whatever vapour may come into his brain.

-None, madam?
—No, sir.

Their liberty of speech goes no further
than the freedom to say "yea" or "nay".

Your Majesty, a bill...

I have the power to dissolve Parliament, sir!

Madam, would you coerce them?

God's death! Will they coerce me?


Teach this malapert fellow his duty.

Your Majesty's Commons are her loyal servants.

Nay, arrogant and presumptuous.

Hark ye, sir, though you know it well enough,
I am in parlous debt.

I have but £2 50,000 a year from my revenues

with which to maintain
my dignity and my servants,

to support my government and play purse holder
to Protestant Europe.

Any a German prince has more.

I have a sovereign's right
to call upon you for taxation.

Your Majesty knows that
such taxation may be levied

for her household charges only.

Dear man, all England is my household.

Madam, until today we have been set upon peace
and to your Commons' joy,

but the speaker cannot say
how matters will go now that we may have war.

Good master speaker,

the Spaniards are come against this country
and against our religion.

It is not of my choosing.

But if the Commons will not support me,

then I will go out alone, sword in hand,
to meet my enemies.

Madam, I did but say
the Commons must debate the matter,

not that they would refuse you.

Then I am content, my friend.

See to it, my lord.

Send word to Leicester.
He is to come to London as my lieutenant general.

A little magicking with the stars,
an obedient mob,

a careful threat, and a bold lie.

I'm your humble admirer.

Pray the Spanish come, Francis.
For if they don't this time,

I doubt we can cry wolf again.

Your Majesty, the Duke of Medina Sidonia, sire.

May God protect
the Catholic person of Your Majesty.

You've heard that Santa Cruz is dead.

A great loss to Your Majesty and to Spain.

God is merciful.

Always more time.

More money. More ships.

Don Alonzo, you will now become
my Captain General of the ocean and the sea.

—Has the physician been called?
—Yes, sire.

—I, Your Majesty?

—Why, are you surprised?
—I am your Captain General of Andalusia, sire.

I am a soldier.

You're not ambitious,
neither headstrong nor quarrelsome...

But most unfit.

You've led a blameless life.
No man will think you take the office for profit.

Sire, there are many, many men
much better qualified than I.

You are a devout son of the church
and your house is the oldest in Castile.

—So who can take offence?
—Majesty, hear me first.

As you wi ll.


my health would not be equal to the voyage.

One of my physicians will accompany you.

And though I am a soldier, sire,

I have fought no battles.

I have no experience of the sea.

God will direct you to victory,
Don Alonzo, for this is a crusade in his name.

And as for the sea, it is but
a wider road than we travel on land.

Sire, I know nothing
of what Santa Cruz has decided.

I am the architect of the victory.
I shall instruct you.

Majesty, I have not a real of my own
to spend in Your Majesty's service.

My family is burdened down with debt.
900,000 ducats.

I am not appointing a money lender.

The Lord Ando Mayor of Castile
is a much better soldier, sire.

—And a good Christian, too, I swear.
—Your modesty confirms my judgement.

An arrogant commander would provoke
jealous officers to spiteful indiscipline.

And your lack of conceit persuades me
that you will obey me implicitly.

Sire, as your Captain General of Andalusia,
I was unable to prevent Drake landing...

That was the fault of Santa Cruz.

You will take this commission,
Don Alonzo, and for love of me.

Idiaquez, bid the physician make haste.

And tell Father Diego I shall take
the sacrament again at noon.

Your Excellency may care to begin with
these reports from Lisbon and Cadiz...

Why could he not have
left me to my orange groves?

His Majesty wishes the Armada to sail
by midsummer at the latest.

—The Duke of Parma believes...
—I am always seasick.

I always catch cold

at sea.

Ah, you have come at last, sir.

—Immediately, madam, upon your summons.
—Which I sent 10 days ago.

—I have been in the country, Your Majesty...
-Are they conquered?

Are the Spanish in London? You duped me, sir.

—No, madam. Upon my honour.
—A plague upon your honour, sir.

You have not enough to cover a flea.

Two months ago upon your information,
I mobilised the fleet and the militia.

I ordered ship money from my ports
and supplies from the Commons.

My chested treasure is all but empty
and idle soldiers bully my honest citizens.

You have been too clever this time, master spy.

—If Your Majesty will listen...
—Listen to what?

More lying tales about a fleet that is
still in harbour and God knows may never sail?

It will sail, madam.

Under a dead commander
or his successor, that orange grower

—who I believe is more dead than alive.

I will school you in simple truths, sir.

My merchant—adventurers want to use
the ports of the New World.

My clothiers and weavers want
the markets of the Rhine.

I am not only a queen, Walsingham,

I am a tanner and a tinsmith,
a collier and shepherd.

How will my trades prosper
if you have your war with Spain?

Burghley, the fleet is to be dismissed.

Howard may watch with four ships if he wishes,
but no more. The rest will lie up.

Their guns will be removed to
the Tower and their wasteful crews

dismissed from my charge.

—Madam, I must warn you...
—No, sir, you must not.

You must guard your rattling tongue,
lest I have my hangman pluck it out.

—Burghley, you have written to Parma?
—Aye, ma'am.

I've prepared your instructions for
new commissioners to meet his agents.

—Will he agree?
—I'm confident of it, ma'am.

As I now believe we may
trust his good intentions...

—My lord...
—Sir Francis.

A cool head best serves Her Majesty at this time.

And none is cooler than mine,
for it's chilled by fears for her safety.

Madam, Philip grasps at your crown.

All else he proposes is a game of hoodman-blind.

I will believe that, sir, when I have
proof of his malice toward my person.

So far, you have discovered none.

What is the title of Dr Allen's book?

Oh, yes. Of course he's a cardinal now.

Yes, Your Majesty. He has entitled the work

An Admonition of
the Nobility and People of England.

—Will they be permitted to read it?
—It was printed in Antwerp, Your Majesty.

It is already circulating privately in England.

And its apologia?

That His Holiness has confirmed the declaration
of Pius V in respect to Elizabeth's bastardy

and has reissued the sentence
of excommunication upon her

—as a usurper and abominable heretic.
—Ah, you hear, Idiaquez?

—Go on, Father Robert, for what is his argument?
—Most cogent, sire.

The deposition of Elizabeth will be right
in natural law because she is a tyrant

—and in divine law because she is a heretic.
—Good. And then?

It sets forth the instructions of His Holiness

that no Englishman need obey or
defend her but must be ready to join

with Your Majesty's forces in deposing her
and restoring the Catholic Church.

Only thus can they save their own
and their children's souls.

—Good. Have you read it, Idiaquez?
—I have, Your Majesty.

I would not dispute its arguments
nor its theology,

but by its gutter vituperation
of Elizabeth's person,

it may have a contrary effect
to that which His Eminence intends.

No, you are wrong, Idiaquez.
You are always wrong about the English.

Father Robert, tell His Eminence
I am pleased with what he has written

and that I wish this to be known in England.

-Her Majesty has seen this scurrilous work?
—She's reading it now.

—ELIZABETH: God's death!
—As you can hear.

It's a work of poor scholarship.

I thought better of William Allen.

ELIZABETH: jesu, the rogue!

Are there many copies at large?

Allen's priests carry them like rats transport fleas.

To God I were at home today.

First the news that Parma has abandoned
all thought of the treaty and now this. This!

My lord, a cool head will best serve
your inflamed choler.

Enough. God's death!

Give it to me.

Unjust usurper, am I? Depraved and accursed.

God be praised. I had not hoped for such passion.

ELIZABETH: Spawn of an infamous courtesan?


Oh, my lord, forgive me.

In my rage at this billingsgate,
I had forgot your wretched grief.

Your gentle daughter Anne, a sweet lady.
Her death so aggrieved me, my spirit.

—No, old man, get up.

All are equal in sorrow.


Well, Walsingham, I have the proof
which I defied you to discover.

Jesu, it could not have been more
damnably done had you contrived it yourself.

They have played me false, Parma and Philip.

But now my eyes are open and with God's help
I will strike those braggarts down.

And with ours.

Are there truly men
who will obey the Pope in this?

Your Majesty, you have a list
of those you may suspect.

Pick up the leaders, hang a few
and set others in the Tower...

Madam, it will be hard for
a loyal Englishman to face your enemies

if he fears his house may be
burnt behind his back.

No, madam. Confine some to their houses
if you wish, and deprive them of horses...

Your Majesty, now is the time for a lesson.

Your Majesty, that billingsgate,
as you so rightly name it,

could work well in your favour.

While Catholic Englishmen
may oppose our church,

they would not exchange you for Spanish rule.

Tread softly, Your Majesty. You'll travel well.

I'll tread between the pair of you.

Walsingham, take up those
you suspect most, but no hangings.

Let men know what cruelties the Spanish work

and let them see if I fall,
they come down with me and England.

Madam, how shall we fight?

I must tell you?

Madam, it is opinion of your commanders
that you should permit them

—to take the fleet to the coast of Spain.
—And leave England defenceless.

Oh, for God, against whom? The enemy is there.

—And in Flanders?

—Your Majesty has been listening to landsmen.
—I have been listening to men

who love me as dearly as you, Francis Drake,
and make less noise about their valour.

I will not be churlish. Fight where you will,
though it is against my judgement.

Cousin Howard,

you and your officers
were born for the preservation of your country.

Set my ships and armies in good order.
See to it, my lords.

I acknowledge, O my King,

that without Thee my throne is unsteady,

my kingdom weak and my life uncertain.

Create therefore in me, O God,
a new heart and so renew my spirit.

Defend me and my people from all my enemies

who are enemies of truth
and vaunt themselves against Thy Christ...

...in whose blood and passion
Thy children are saved.

Scourge this sinner for his envious heart,

his cowardly spirit and miserable frailty.

Give that triumph to my ships and armies

which may preserve Thy true church
and glorify Thy name.

Comfort me with Thy protection
and strengthen me with Thy grace.

Through the love of Thy only son,
our saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.


Don Alonzo. Don Luis.

Your Majesty, in the two months since
I have accepted Your Majesty's commission

I have come to terms with my conscience.

You answer to God for your conscience,
Don Alonzo, and to me for my fleet.

—When will it sail?
—Within the week, as Your Majesty commanded.

130 Vessels, 2,500 guns,

30,000 soldiers and seamen.

Two thirds of whom are Portuguese and Italian...

Yes, I know the listing, Don Alonzo.

Unfortunately, Your Majesty,
many of the seaman are merely

farmers and craftsman
impressed into Your Majesty's service...

I have chosen the squadron commanders
for their skill and experience. It is enough.

Yes, Your Majesty. And for my own part

I may say that I have learnt much about the sea...

From the highest to the lowest, you are
to understand the holiness of your mission.

I charge you, all men are to
abstain from profane oaths.

No common whores are to board the vessels.

Each day at sunrise, the ships' boys will sing
Good Morrow at the foot of the main mast,

and at sunset, Ave Maria.

Remember to keep each holy day

and the watchwords appointed for each day,
Jesus, the Holy Ghost, and so on.

—How many holy friars have you aboard?
—Two hundred, Your Majesty.

Though the seamen are complaining...

Now the English will
endeavour to engage you at a distance

because they have the better gunners.

So, for love of me, if you must meet with them,
do so in a close engagement.

If you fall in with Drake
near to my coasts, ignore him.

Your Majesty told me that I should...

Sail straight to Cape Margate
and thence to the mouth of the Thames,

and there hold yourself in
readiness for the arrival of the Duke of Parma.

In your orders last week, Your Majesty
told me that I should seek an anchorage

off the Flanders coast and then escort the Duke...

—One moment, Cordoba.

-Are you confused, Don Alonzo?
—Indeed, Your Majesty.

-Perhaps my wits are a little...

—I must speak...

Don Alonzo,
should the Duke of Parma be unable to attack,

you may land upon the Isle of Wight.

But Your Majesty expressly
forbade me to attack that island.

On the eastward run, but if at
Cape Margate you learn that Parma may not come,

return from thence to Wight. Idiaquez.

Those are your sailing instructions.
Mark them well.

The fleet is to sail
in six squadrons under the titles of

Portugal, Castile, Andalusia and so on,
but when you engage,

they are to draw into
the formations I have devised.

Trust in your squadron commanders
Don Pedro de Valdez and Don Juan de Recalde,

who are devout and honest men.

—There will be a high mass

in the cathedral at Lisbon
and the Archbishop will bless your ships...

—Majesty, touching these orders...
-Are they not clear?


After 20 years, can I have made
some mistake, Don Alonzo?

Majesty, I am Your Majesty's servant in all things.

Then go quickly to Lisbon, my good friend.
God is with you.


What says my nephew?

Your Majesty,

the Duke of Parma wishes you to know
that the enemy is aware of your intentions.

Of course.

And earnestly advises Your Majesty
to make the Armada strong enough

to secure landing without his assistance,
should that be difficult.

And why should that be difficult, young man?

Sir, 40 English vessels lie off the Low Countries.

Don Alonzo has instructions to
disperse them if necessary

—and meet with my nephew at Dunkirk.

In my opinion, sire.

Be good enough to tell me why
I should consider your opinion.

—Shoal water, sire.
—Shoal water?

—Several leagues of it in front of Dunkirk.

The Armada galleons draw 25 or 30 feet.

And they'll not get far enough
inshore to protect the barges.

—It's not marked.
—Yet it's there.

Curb your insolent spirit, Don Luis.

The Armada will lie off these shoals
until the barges come out.

Or be driven aground by false winds,
Your Majesty,

or watch English ships of shallow draught
get between them and the shore.

I cannot change the instructions
I have given to Don Alonzo.

Then since the junction between
the Duke's barges and the Armada

is the whole point of the enterprise,
and since such a meeting is impossible,

Your Majesty should abandon
the scheme now and save money and lives.

Is that your opinion, too,
or is it my nephew's advice?

Sire, the Duke of Parma instructed me
to speak boldly to Your Majesty.

And so you have done.

Young man,

do you know what Don Juan de Recalde replied
when asked if the Armada would triumph?

No, sire.

That however cunning
and expert the English might be

and however great their advantage,
God is our strength.

Therefore he would sail
in the confident hope of a miracle.

Your Majesty, Don Juan is renowned for his wit.

Tom Fleming's at sea with the tide
in the Golden Hind.

I've known better weather
at Plymouth for a sailing.

How far have you ordered his ship?

As far south as the wind will take him.

He'll put about as soon as he sights their topsails.

They're long in coming. Six weeks.
God's hand is against them.

And it's not for us, either.
The same foul gales that hold them back

keep us from attacking them on their own shore.

We match their strength in numbers,
Francis, though we're grievous small in size.

I've seen puny English hounds pull
down a Spanish bull by the nose.

And this orange grower, their commander,

he'd never set foot in a ship of war.

Nor did I, sir, until the Queen gave me this office.

You say...

That's true.

Well, my lord, what shall we do?

What would you do if I did not leave
so much to you and Hawkins?

Well, my lord. For love of England,
I might well pluck you from that chair.

Oh, but that's a treasonable thought.

If they come before the wind, Francis,
will they not have the advantage of us?

You're learning seamanship, my lord.

Well, here's more.

We'll weather it out to sea at dusk, God willing.

Come to windward of them at dawn.

Hold them up on a lee shore, albeit our own.

But, my lord, as soon as we sight them

—we must fight, and all the way.
—I've no other wish.

Now God be thanked
the Queen has such a kinsman.

Oh, Don Alonzo writes an abominable hand.
Where was it written?

—At Coruna, sire.
—This month? July?

—Yes, sir.
—So long, why is he still there?

He was driven back by gales, Your Majesty.
He may not sail until fairer weather.

—Well, has it come?
—The day I left Coruna, sire, the 22nd.

The wind changed and from the hills
I saw the first squadron underway.

Good. Is Don Alonzo in good heart?

—There are many sick.
-Queasy stomachs, no more.

—And supplies are...
—Always supplies.

They're better than he'd hoped, sire.

Oh. Well, is that all?

"Your Majesty has embarked
all your resources in this expedition.

"I can see no way of redressing
any disaster which may befall it."

The man makes too many excuses.

But he is a chivalrous man
and battle will strengthen his heart.

The 22nd, you say?
How long will it take them to reach the Channel?

Your Majesty, I'm no seaman.

—You were eloquent enough about shoal water.
—Seven days, Your Majesty.


But today is the 29th,

then tonight or tomorrow, Idiaquez.

God's work has begun.

Is this the fellow from Howard?

John Tregannon, noble Queen.
Master of the loyal prince of Falmouth.

—What news of my ships?
-Oh, God bless them, they're most worthy.

They're like hounds about
that great beast of Spain.

I'd rather kept my loyal prince
in the fight, but my lord told me

that bringing word to you was
greater honour than grappling with the Dons.

—Said I...
—Fellow, fellow, good Master Tregannon,

have pity on me.

God bless you, noble lady.
You stand in no need of pity, I swear...

Your news, sir.

Aye. You'll find it here.

That's in Lord Howard's hand.

With more from Master Francis
and John Hawkins.

And now, by your leave, madam,
I will return to my ship.

Stay, good Master Tregannon.
Tell me what you can.

Why, madam, it's all...

Well, on the 29th, that's when Thomas Fleming
brought the news to Plymouth.

The tide was against us,
and the Dons were to windward.

But that night, we were got out of harbour.

Fifty—four sailed. Fifty—four.

But then by noon, when my mast top man
sighted the first Spaniard,

the wind fell away to nigh on calm
and fog came down...

Be brief, Master Tregannon.

Oh, aye. Aye.

Briefer it will be telling, madam.

At moonrise, the wind came up
on the starboard quarter.

Yet still not light enough, for there was cloud,

and Spanish voices coming out the darkness.

And high up. God, their ships are tall.

No poopcastle and forecastle is high on my truck.

But we closed and their great guns,
they spat clear over us.

And then you could see the Dons in plate armour

—leaning down and cursing us.
—Master Tregannon.

Aye, aye. Be brief.
We fired five rounds to their one.

And into their great bellies. Well, we had
them windward, they had the lee shore.

We galled them when we would,
by Dodman Point and by Plymouth.

Then they rounded Torbay,
but we had at them again west of Portland Bill,

broke their crescent,
and as they tacked towards Wight,

we belaboured them again by the Needles.

Oh God. God save me, I never thought
I'd hear men scream so.

As they lay upon their decks
their blood ran down the sides

of those handsome vessels.

Such deeds in your name, noble lady.
I saw Drake go aboard a great galleon

and take her master's sword,

with Hawkins laying off her quarter
and shouting that

Master Francis was gone a—pirating again.

—What of Lord Howard?
-Oh, there's the miracle of it.

The old gentlemen,
he proved himself a great captain.

He took the Ark Royal alongside
the Don's chief galleon and mauled her prettily.

Well, until she escaped.

But being to windward now, you understand,
where she had been to leeward, my lordship...

Master Tregannon, is the Armada defeated?

Oh, no, sir, it is not.

Then a plague upon your
busky humour, sir, and tell me the truth.

When I came ashore, we'd fought them
again off Catherine's Point on Wight.

At dawn, I saw as them I rode by the Sussex
shore. They're making for Dunkirk, I'd warrant.


Master Tregannon,
you have brought me sad news.

Sweet lady, all the world never saw
such a force as theirs.

Have no shame for your seamen.

I shall go to Tilbury.

—Nay, madam. You'll be...

I shall join the Earl of Leicester
and my soldiers at Tilbury.

You, good Master Tregannon,
get you back to your ship.

Aye, madam. That I will.

Tell Lord Howard to send you
to me again as soon as he has news.


Rye is a slow crop. To ripen, I mean.

But hardy.

That's rye bread, well, wheaten rye.

—Brown as hazelnut.
—Bread's bread.

The soldier should eat what he can, when he can.

Rye for bread, barley for beer.



There she is, lad.

My loving people,

we have been persuaded

by those who are careful for our safety

to take heed how we commit ourselves

to armed multitudes

for fear of treachery.

Let tyrants fear.

Under God, I place my chief strength

and safeguard in the loyal hearts...

—Bravely said. By heaven, I recall her father.
—...and goodwill of my people...

—I may yet why, if she talks less of dying.
—...and I am, therefore, resolved...

—Why, the Dons will do the dying.
—...in the midst and heat of battle

to live or die

amongst you all,

to lay down for my God and for my kingdom

and for my people,

my honour and my blood,

even in the dust.

I know I have the body
of a weak and feeble woman...

Now she comes to it. Now she cogs the guise.

...but I have the heart and stomach of a king.

And a king of England, too.

And I think foul scorn

that Parma or Spain

or any prince of Europe

should dare to invade the borders

of our realm.

God's death, she breedeth courage in a man.

What I feel in my stomach is not courage.

Stand at my flank, my boy,

and I'll show you how we
fought the dons at Zutphen.

...I myself will be your general,
judge and rewarder

of every one of your virtues in the field.

We know already for your forwardness,

you deserve rewards and crowns.

And we do assure you, on the word of a prince,

they shall be duly paid you.


There. You have her earnest word on it.

Fight bravely and she swears you'll get your pay.

I'm glad to hear it. For I've had none
since I was dragged from my plough.

-Are you a coward, boy?
—You know, I truly believe I am.

Then you'll be no comrade of mine.
May you rot first.

Old man, by your temper and your age,
I say you'll rot long before I.

Here she comes.

Oh, God's death!
I'm all but choked by this steel collar.

Unstrap me, girl, before I die for want of breath.

Get up, my lord.
Your aged stepfather is envious of your agility.

Madam, today youth triumphs over age.

—You are eternal spring.
—God save you, boy.

We've done with playacting now.
I'm all but choked by that fancy collar

and winded by shouting
against the ears of 30,000 men.

I thank God I'm alive today,
for England will never see...

Your pardon, my lord. I have fresh news.

Madam, two days ago,
the Armada anchored by Calais.

It got the worst of the fighting in the Channel
but it is still a mighty threat.

—Parma is not at Calais?
—No, madam.

His barges are eight leagues to the east,
behind the shoals of Dunkirk.

It is Howard's opinion that they'll come
out on the first favourable tide,

join with the Armada
and fall upon Kent and this Essex shore.

Heaven be praised. We'll give them a welcome.

Madam, your army here
is all that you may rely upon

for your camp in Kent
musters no more than broken seamen.

Should the Spaniards land at Margate,

then I can cross the bridge of boats
to Gravesend and engage...

Your Majesty, return to London.

The streets are barred with chains

and the citizens say they'll fight
like the people of Antwerp.


I'm confident Your Majesty will stay with us.

—By my soul, she'll not.
—Go to your tent, sir, I pray you.

You, too, girl. Leave us.

It pains me to see you look so ill.

God will preserve me

—until this work is done.
—And longer still.

No, madam. He must make an end of me soon.

What will Howard do?

He has little powder and shot and less food.

He will fall upon the Armada, if he may,
before it joins with Parma's flotilla,

-but I fear he will have a hard...
—My lord, do not put yourself into such a pother.

Come sit by me.

Oh, Robin.

Were we once so young?

How can you bear to look at me now?

You are the most sacred and dainty
thing I have in this world to love.

Bold Robert Dudley, lusty Robin,
the treacherous Earl of Leicester.

—Drink your wine, old man.
—I've no taste for it.

—Because you are angry with me.
—Madam, I am your loyal...

Loyal and faithful. You have always betrayed me.

Then take my head, madam.
You've always had my heart.

Why do you always provoke me to cruel words
even when I love you most?

Get up. Sit again.

Are you taking the physic I sent you?
Is it better than the other?

It will preserve me till God and Your Majesty
have no further need for me.

Then I am content
for He knows I will always have need of you.

Oh, when this kingdom is safe,
I am sending you to the country for a cure.

—No diets, I pray you.
—No diet, I swear.

And you will dine with me here now.

Robin, let us sit like two old folk
and recall gay times.

Sweet Robin, let us remember the past.

If Your Majesty so orders it.

What kind of dalliance flourishes upon orders?

I am Your Majesty's Lieutenant General.

Have you some paramour in your sergeant's tent?

I have an army, madam.
Should I neglect it, I neglect you.

—I command you to stay.
—As Your Majesty wishes.

God, you look so old, so sick.

Your stepson is a pretty boy, is he not?

There was a time when that would
have had you reaching for your sword

and blustering like a bully.

Madam, I would not. I would have left you.

Then go now.


Oh, God keep you, God love you, sweet Robin.

—GUARD: Halt! Halt, I say.
—Stand aside, fellow!

My lords.

—And you, sir, what news?
—Now, God bless Your Majesty.

Great news, madam.

Is it truly so? Up, Master Tregannon.
Tell me what has befallen my fleet.

Nothing but good, madam.

Oh, that's brevity, I warrant.

—Nothing but good.
—Thank you, sir. Now I will have more.

Well, come Sunday night, we had
the Dons between us and the Calais shore.

With a west wind behind us
and a flying tide against them.

So close were we, they and us,
our flag boats were within gunshot of each other.

But daren't fire, lest we wasted precious powder.

Then we sent in fire ships.

Eight of them, at midnight,
dismasted merchantmen

stuffed with tar and cordage.

Their guns shotted to explode
as soon as the flames touched the primer.

We took them in under low clouds
while the moon was becalmed.

—Am I too brief for you, madam?
-Get on, sir.

Well, the Dons were herded like sheep in a pen,
close by the shoals.

We towed those fire ships in until the Spaniards
could've touched them with a pike end.

And we lit the fires and left it
to God's will and the wind.

You burnt them all.

Nay, madam. Even hell could not burn them all.

We heard their trumpets and drums,
their voices calling upon their saints.

I'll not lie to you, madam.
We burnt none of their ships.

—Then, God's death, what was the truth?
—They brushed against a galleon or two,

they lit a candle in the canvas.

The real damage was
done by the Dons themselves

colliding with each other in their fears.

Yards and rigging meshed like a maiden's snood.

At dawn, we saw most of them
scattered to the north and we followed.

They escaped. Do you tell me that they escaped?

Someone among them knew his seamanship.

They left the galleasses on the shoals
and cut the cables of the galleons.

But north of Gravelines, 40 of them turned into
the wind and waited for us to come on.

God be thanked I saw that fight.

Five squadrons of Your Majesty's ships

passing and passing again in light ahead,

firing broadside into the Dons as we came.

And so close. Their foolish boarders

they swung from their yards into our rigging.

Now, we offered them quarter
but none of their commanders would take it.

And you could see their priests,
they were kneeling in the blood.

Brave men, madam, though they are papists.

And now you destroyed them all?

No, madam, we all but sank one galley,
we drove two more onto the banks of Flushing.

We were out of powder now.

No water for our wounded,
and the weather turning against us.

Where are the Spaniards now?
Will they come against us here?

Nay, madam, they are running northeast.
The Lord Howard is after them.

Though I warrant his empty powder casks
will bring him back before long.

You can safely leave the rest to God, madam.

—I would not leave...
-Leave it to the Almighty, madam,

for He's sending such a wind,
I swear they can do no more than run before it.

North about these islands.
Such wrecks they'll all be.

And wild Scots and Irish to cut the throats
of those who come ashore.

God's blood, I...


Your Majesty.

Your Majesty...

Your Majesty, such gales and tempests.

For a month, Your Majesty.

I have 11 ships. More will come, Your Majesty,

but I fear that 40 have been...

Don Juan de Recalde has died, Your Majesty,

of grief, two days ago.

And Don Miguel de Oquendo,

also of grief.

Your Majesty, I fear...

that of the 30,000 men
you entrusted to my command, not...

5,000 will come.

Your Majesty, do not reproach me.

Must I then reproach God?

Your Majesty.

Of the 60 of my own household,
only two have survived.

—Men cry out for my life.
—They will have someone's life.

You and Don Pedro de Valdez
are the only admirals to survive.

—If Your Majesty wishes...
—Don Pedro has been arrested. Let that suffice.


Send clothes and medicine
for the sick and the wounded.

Let them know I do not blame them.

—Every widow and orphan will be paid what is...
—Has Your Majesty the funds for such...

I sent my ships and soldiers against men,

not against winds and hurricanes.

It is God's will.

How have we sinned

that He should so punish us?

Don Alonzo, I relieve you of your commission.

Go home to your oranges.

Go by night. Go secretly, yes?

Idiaquez, send for my confessor.

Since the enterprise of England

was most solemnly dedicated
to God and to His holy church,

the result of it must
surely be most advantageous to Him.

For we are nothing.


Madam, your seamen are dying
for want of food and medicine.

Will you neglect them?

I have told you, my lord, they may
depart gloriously for their own homes.

I am no tyrant who will hold them in service
when their duty is done.

Your Majesty, 100, little more,
of your sailors were killed in the fighting

which made your kingdom secure.

But thousands now die in diseases and hunger.

Madam, they lie crying most pitiably

in the streets of Dover and Plymouth.

Cousin, is my purse bottomless?

The fleet is to be dismissed and
the army disbanded. Is that unwisdom, Burghley?

—Gentle doter, grasp hold of your wits.

Shall I spend money on idle seamen and soldiers?
Tell Howard, is that wisdom?

To spend in time of need, my lord, is wisdom.

To continue spending without that need
brings bitter repentance.

Thank you, my lord.

I'll carry that reassurance
to Her Majesty's servants.

Good cousin, I will have no sad faces
about me when all should be rejoicing.

Tell your captains to bring their captured banners
to St Paul's this Sunday.

There will be a day of thanksgiving
and joy throughout the kingdom.

Madam, may I have leave to return
to my poor sailors in Plymouth?


—We will strike a medal.
—Aye, ma'am.

Aye, we will record our thanks to God
for the mighty wind that scattered our enemies.

What say you, Howard?

That God also gave us better ships
and better guns, ma'am,

before he sent us a tempest.

—May I have your leave?
—Do as you please, sir.

I am sick of your sour face.

Burghley, I want an accounting of the booty...

Jesu, your face is as sour as vinegar, too.
What is it?

—Dear man, what can spoil my joy?

—Gracious Majesty...
—"Madam", "Gracious Majesty", what is it?

Get to the point.

The Earl of Leicester is dead.

You lie.

Two days since, ma'am, at Cornbury,

of a continual fever.

Leicester dead?

Sweet Robin, dead?

Aye, ma'am.

LEICESTER: I must humbly beseech Your Majesty

to pardon your poor old servant to be thus bold

in thus sending to know
how my gracious lady doeth.

Being the ohiefest thing in this world I do pray for,

for her to have good health and long life.

For my own poor case,
I continue still your medicine

and find it an7ends much better
than any other thing that hath been given me.



Your court cannot be gay without you.

Do you know that the Earl of Leicester is dead?

Aye, madam.
So I've been told by my mother, his wife.


Get out! Get out!