Elizabeth R (1971–…): Season 1, Episode 6 - Sweet England's Pride - full transcript

It is 1600 and Elizabeth is now an old woman yet she is still a match for the young, handsome, and dashing Earl of Essex. The Irish troubles and crushing the rebellious Essex rob an aged and weary Queen of the will to live.

ELIZABETH: God's death, they give me bad advice.

See you give me no bad advice, miss.

My Lord Essex has imperilled the kingdom.

We have lost money and good men in Spain,
and all for nothing.

Well, I will have an end of it.
I will have no more wars, no more expeditions.

Are you finished?

—Yes, ma'am.
—Then give me the mirror.


I should never have listened.
Our proud men lead us to a fall.


Essex fights Raleigh harder than the Spaniard.
They squabble like small boys.

Well, I will give them
no more toys of war to play with.

Sir Robert, I trust you bring me better news?

Your Majesty, Lord Essex has landed
ahead of the fleet.

Hmph. Bearing a great cargo of excuses,
no doubt.

The whole court now knows of this failure,

but his faction argues further ventures,
more expeditions.

—And there is further trouble in Ireland...
-Oh, let the Irish hang themselves.

It troubles me more that I am advised
to costly wars that achieve nothing,

that my so—called counsellors behave
as if the policy of the realm

were in their personal charge.

They advise me for their own ends,
for their own glory,

and when they fail, it is I who must pay.

I serve no cause but yours, Your Majesty.

There is no one without self—interest,
no one in all this court.

Oh, I am tired of their sweet words.

I grow old.

Your Majesty's appearance gives no proof of that.

—Do I look well then?

—Your Majesty.
—Shall I leave?

This is state business, Mr Secretary.
You will take a good note.

We thought you still at sea, Robin.

In a race to your side,
no courier travels faster than I.

When couriers carry bad news,
it is best to be first.

I have brought the fleet safe home.

And your ships are like sieves
and your men dying of disease.

I will have no more of it.

I have been tricked into vain wars,
into expeditions I cannot afford!

Aye. And jealous men whisper in your ear.

Keep a good account, Mr Secretary.
Write how they defame me.

—My lord.
—Ha. His innocence is wonderful.

While we risk our necks, his armies of clerks
prepare to stab us in the back.

Diplomacy, my lord, may achieve what war cannot.

Diplomacy did not take Cadiz,
or burn the Spanish fleet!

Who laid a world's ransom at your feet?
Sir Walter?

My Lord Howard, who argued against me?

Lord Howard, I have this week created him
Earl of Nottingham in recognition of his services.

That old man is to walk in front of me
for a victory that was mine?

Is no one to share your glory?
Must it all be yours?

There is no one fights your cause more valiantly,
and the world knows it. Yes, the world.

The court may trick me
but the world speaks well of me.

Do you threaten me?

Your Majesty, I left England
as your good friend and servant.

I did all I could.

I'm sick and have ridden for two whole nights.
I am greatly wronged.

Wronged? Who is more wronged than I
who has to pay for these follies?

—May I take my leave?
—If it please you.


—just a fever. It is nothing.

You must forgive me.

I am overcome by unkindness,
where I was once conquered by beauty.


Good day, Sir Robert. Go fight your paper wars.

Sir Robert, we are still resolved.

Your Majesty, there is no doubt
that Lord Essex's view is popular.

You think I don't know that?

He is the sun in splendour, Sir Robert.
He is all our pride.

—There's no doubt she's sorry.
—Sorry is not enough.

—She has behaved abominably.
—Well, I think she wants to make it up.

—We are of royal blood, Southampton.

No, my son. We are dealing with the scion
of a Welsh butler.

She has the manners of a fishwife.


It is true, Mr Bacon.

She has never forgiven me
for stealing her lover from her.

She keeps me from court because she knows
I would look her in the eye...

And give her your tongue, Mother.

Well, I'm for holding out.

The country's with us and the Queen knows it.

You're a good man, Christopher.
My little friend at court tells me...

You have a little friend, Henry?

I have interests in all directions.

—She tells me that...
—A she? Ha. Can it be possible?


Lady Rich, it's not only possible, even practical.

What does your little friend say, Henry?

She tells me the Queen reads your letters
with apparent distaste.

-Her distaste...
—Lady Leicester, let me finish.

When she is alone, she takes them out again
and reads them with more pleasure.

Francis writes a good letter.

—Yes. You say nothing, Mr Bacon.
—It is not my place, my lady.

But we ask you.

It is a waste of time.
She listens to no one but his damn cousin Cecil.

She has given Howard precedence,
and she dotes on that peacock Raleigh.

No, she changes, you know.

Was there ever a time when she didn't?
Women are weathervanes, Henry.

And very vain, too.
I think she knows she's gone too far.

I think you should be generous
and return to court.

Generous? My son has been publicly insulted,
my lord.

He must be totally restored to favour.
Howard and Raleigh must be put in their place.

Raleigh takes what he can get, madam.
He's no danger.

It's these damned clerks and lawyers.

It's Cecil who holds the inner keep. Get rid of him.

Well, Mr Bacon, what do you say to that?

My cousin Robert serves the Queen as well as any.

Serves himself, you mean.

We all serve ourselves, sir.

We live in a time when each man
goes his own way.

And what way do you advise, Francis?

Her Majesty mellows towards you.

She misses your company
and she's sorry you've been so ill.

—I say go to her.

The Queen must not be forced into a corner.

If you challenge her, she will have the last word.

It is not safe to be too proud.

Not safe to be proud?
I have heard enough. Come, ladies.

—Good night, Mother.


Stay, Christopher.

Some more wine.


Ah, ah, ah.

Leave us. Leave us.

—I must go to her.

I have no choice.

You could go to Plymouth, raise up
the men of the fleet, then march on London.

—Save the Queen from her enemies.
—Treason, Chris, treason.

And those who win are not called traitors.

—Call out your men of the fleet.

—Because I couldn't even pay for their breakfast.

-But you've got control of the horse, estates...
—I am a poor man with rich tastes, Christopher.

—...the wine tax!
—If the Azores had gone well...

But I'm nearly bankrupt.

All I have is a name.

-But we live like kings.
—Like kings, yes.

—Now Mr Bacon advises me to eat humble pie.
—That clerk.

Now, don't mock him,
because he's leaving my service.

I cannot pay him.

So...you must go to her.


Like a small boy needing pocket money,
I must say "please" and "thank you"

and wash my face and comb my hair.

And what is worse, I also love her.

Then you're trapped.

Is he coming back?

—She must give him more proof.
—Does he think he's God?

—Yes, I think he does sometimes.
—You'd do better elsewhere, Cousin.

I shall have to. He needs money.

—How much?
—A great deal.

Then I must see that he gets it. Oh, yes.

Poor men with rich ideas are dangerous.

This business now may take me to France.
I'm grateful to you, Cousin.

Oh, Francis,
touching upon poor men with rich ideas,

we should find you new employment.

—And she's thinking of sending Cecil to France.
—Better and better.

Nothing but total power for me, Henry.
The world's at our feet.

—I'd prefer it in our grasp.
—All of her court.

We do not crawl. We command.
We are Tamburlaine.

—What's the matter?

—You are so swiftly changed, Robert.

—I am the same as ever.
-But only last week you were saying...

I know nothing of last week. I was ill.
Do not speak of it again.

Oh, she needs us again, Henry!

The hunchback shall be outwitted.

Raleigh's not going to like
your going back to court.

No? We bear no grudges, Henry.

We are generous, open-hearted, gay.
We are the sun shining on a dark court.

She must have had such a miserable time.

—Welcome, my lord.
—Your Majesty.

—You look well. Is he well?
—I have been Your Majesty's good nurse.

—Fit and well for any service?
—If service is what Your Majesty demands.

We have an arduous office in mind.

It has been vacant many years,
but we think it time to fill it.

We are still threatened by Spain.

The defence of the realm
must be placed in strong hands.

We have decided to appoint you Earl Marshal,
my lord.

Your Majesty.

Oh, it is good to see you all.
I have danced these poor creatures off their feet.

My Lord Nottingham, let us see you
show the love we have for both of you.

—My lord, your servant.
—And I yours, my lord.

—Sir Walter.
—It is good to see you, my lord.

It is good to be back at court.

Come, my good people, I bid you all be merry.

Age must lead the way, my lord.

COURTIER: Elizabeth!

—My lord.
—Sir Robert.

—I hear you go to France.

And who is to mind England while you are away?

—The Earl Marshal, of course.
—You put the beggar in charge of the bank.

Yes. There's a cargo of cochineal newly arrived
and at the Queen's disposal.

She has agreed to my proposal
that you should have it for £50,000.

—That's 18 shillings a pound.
—It's worth twice that.


I've also suggested that you should
have 7,000 pounds' worth as a gift.

That's extraordinarily kind of you.

—Frances, do you hear, my love?

I trust the country will want
to dye itself red for our advantage.

Better dye than blood, my lady.

—I am much indebted to you.
—I am glad for that.

I have been much maligned.
In a high place, one has few friends.

Friends? Friends are always few.

If she ever finds out,
she'll have both of you in the Tower.

Her ladies—in—waiting are very precious,
and Elizabeth Vernon is cousin to my Lord Essex.

—Do you think I don't know that?
—You're a fool, my lad.

—I've seen bigger men than you go down.

Has he really forgiven me?

He's a man of bright morning.
He forgets the dark nights as quickly as he can.

—And you?
—I take things as they come.

Be careful how they come.

Thank you, my lord.

But now, I think we feast and make merry.

Oh, yes, my lord, for a week perhaps, for a month.

In the shade of the axe, my lord.



—The game.
—ALL: The game.

Ladies, away.



-Oh, we dance as well as ever.
—In step with the time.

—Time! Oh, I must sit.
—It is a pavane.

Fast or slow, I am tired.
I am not the athlete I once was.

—You dance superbly.
—You had little time to notice.

Beauty is looked away that is looked on too often.

I must go to Burghley.

No, no, no, no, my spirit.

Oh, it is good of you to come.
Are you in much pain?

—It is always less in your good company.
—Yes, we have been good company.

And it is good to see the young dance.

Yes, we may watch,
but we can never own what they enjoy.

—He has too much promise, my lady.
—He has ambition.

Ambition is a fiery stallion
that can throw those who ride it.

I can still ride, my spirit.

You'll need the curved bit and a strong snaffle.

—I've seen many proud men.
—And will see many more.


Oh, my dance is nearly over,
and there's only one partner awaits me now.

But I have need of you.

Your Majesty can command much, but not that.

Besides, you have my son.
I have trained him well.


You have no wine.

No, no, no.

The good time they keep is my drink
and my meat.

I pray God that you have their measure.

(Chuckling) I have their measure, my lord.

O'Neill of Tyrone has risen.

He is backed by Spanish gold. If we make peace
with Spain, that money will cease.

The Irish will fight
whether they have Spanish gold or not.

You propose another war?

Sir Robert, you make too much of it.
War or no war, we have no Lord Deputy in Ireland.

I have been giving this matter some thought.
I have a mind to send Lord Mountjoy.

What is wrong with Lord Mountjoy?
I thought he was your friend.

—He has little experience.
—And friends are best at court.

Enough of this sniping.
There must be a Lord Deputy. Sir William Knollys.

—My uncle.
—Yes, your uncle. Is he not old enough?

—Your Majesty, my uncle does good service here.
—To whom? To you or to me?

—Every name you reject.
—I have told you. I favour Sir George Carew.

—Sir George cannot be spared.
—Well, somebody will have to go.

Thank you, my Lord Keeper.
As you so rightly say, someone must be sent.

No one wishes their friends
to take this high office.

I am no fool. I know the reason.

Well, I have decided. The new Lord Deputy
shall be Sir William Knollys.

—Go to the devil!
—This is an outrage that I will not put up with.

I would not have put up with that
from your father.

—Please go.
-But she does nothing.

—What is in her mind?
—Well, I don't know. Please.

Elizabeth, Essex waits any sign.

Burghley is dying. She's pitiful.

"My spirit" she calls him, "my poor spirit".
If you could see her.

She goes to feed that old man.


Well, she's had more from that old man
than she ever had from my Lord Essex.

I see.

Oh, Henry. Henry, no. Please.

He's been a long time at her side.

When he dies, the old will feel a great gap,
as if an age was over.

—She can think of nothing.
-But does she not spare a thought for...

...for our friend?

Yours, not mine.
Never whisper he's a friend of mine.

All she has said...

"He has played me long enough.

"Now I shall play with him,
and I value myself as high as he."

Well, she could not say less. Tell me more.

Burghley is dying and she will be with him.
I must go.


I love you.

There is only one thing you can do.
You must beg her forgiveness.

But I have given no cause.

My lord, duty, policy, religion compel you to yield.

Between you and your sovereign,
there can be no proportion of duty.

I owe Her Majesty allegiance.
In that, I do not fail.

But I have no duty to attend to the court.

My lord, your pride has driven you to great things.

Suppress it now, and Her Majesty will be gracious.

Your friends will do well,
and you yourself reap further honour.

I do my friends no harm.
It is she who's done the harm.

—That is not for you to say.
—Why? Does God say it?

Cannot princes be wrong?
Is earthly power infinite?

—You ask frightening questions.
—That is as may be.

But I've had a wrong done to me.
She struck me, my lord!

—She is the Queen.
—Aye, and should behave so.

I am of the blood of kings, my lord. Kings!

I can offer nothing.

Princes are best served
by those who do not hide their injuries.

You chart a dangerous course.

Does the country say so?
The city of London is with me.

The University of Cambridge
makes me their Chancellor.

Tell the Queen I am a Devereux.
We are not mocked without cost.

He is adamant.

I stand more from him than from any man.

It cannot go on, Your Majesty.

I have not sent Knollys to Ireland.
I have not answered the Dutch.

—I have not, since he left, nothing.
—Sir Robert Cecil says...

Oh, Sir Robert plays with paper houses.

We must play with fire.

The wind is out there in the streets
and it whispers "Essex".

Your Majesty?

Princes rule best by seeming to surrender.

Oh, I know I have said
he must come to me on his knees,

but we do not train thoroughbreds
to pull dray carts.

But to capitulate?

I do not think you understand me, sir.
I give nothing.

But for the peace of the kingdom,
he must seem to be forgiven.

I am not Gloriana without the magic of his mirror.

It needs a pretext.

Tyrone has taken a fort upon the Blackwater.

This is Earl Marshal's business.
See to it word is sent to him.

—Then who is to go to Ireland?
—That is why we meet.

Whoever goes is lost.

You stayed there some time on your estates
and survived.

I had not the management of the country.

No one who has that survives.

With a sufficient army,
the Lord Deputy could win a great victory.

—How big an army?
—Fifteen, twenty thousand.

That is a big bait for a commander.

Will Mountjoy take it?

He is proposed, but he is also opposed.

The office must be taken, I think,
by a man of stature and military reputation.

You start before we begin, my lord.
Sir Robert, Sir Walter. My lords.

The Lord Deputy. This appointment
can wait no longer.

My Lord Essex, you had started.
Will you say again?

Your Majesty, the Lord Deputy must speak
with authority and presence.

He must be a commander of known reputation,

so that the very news of his appointment
shall make the Irish shudder.

But military prowess alone is not enough.
He must have nobility.

—Very well, then who, my lord?
—I have defined the attributes required.

Yes. Leaving us with only one name.

We see that you who write the requirements
are the only one who fulfils them.

I'm sorry. You confuse me with this great honour.

I have been so keen
to have the post properly filled,

I never thought of it for myself. Never.

My lords, we appoint the Earl of Essex
Lord Deputy in Ireland.

I am honoured and most grateful.

The matter is settled, my lords.

—I wish you luck, my lord.

—I would have gone myself.
—And chain yourself to his destiny?

You're a sly fellow, Robert.

It's mine, Henry. Mine.

—I am Lord Deputy.
—Good God.

I can make you a general, Henry.
Ireland's at our feet.

And you said the court was the centre of all.

I'm better with soldiers than with courtiers.

This kind of world is for small, hunchback
creatures, for scratchy clerks!

We have a campaign, my boy.

—My God, you should have seen their faces.
—What did Cecil say?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

—He looked as if he'd swallowed a sour apple.


—Essex goes to Ireland.

—He wants me to go, too.
—And will you?

Well, the war could be fun,
but I gather Ireland's rather dull.

No theatres, my love.


—I'm pregnant.

I'm certain.

—Then we must marry.
—And she, she might...

No, we must marry in secret.

Oh, yes. Yes, and the child is born
and you are safe in Ireland.

We are safe now. Essex will see to it.

-But first, we must marry.
—I am so afraid.

—When the Queen finds out...
—Look, she's a woman, too.

Oh, yes. Yes.
One that never had a child and never will.

And probably never could.

—I must go.
—I'll talk to you soon.

God, send me a good actor for a priest.

What is she doing all these months?

Essex has not yet left for Ireland.
Has he got his commission?

On one day, yes. On the next, no.

A book has come into her hands.

—Why does she want to see me?
—It's a history of Henry IV.

—It's dedicated to my Lord Essex.
—I know nothing of this.

You're a scholar, Francis.
She wants an expert opinion.

Oh, Francis, she's translating Ars Poetica.
She's been at it for weeks. It's very good.

Oh. Yes.


Ah, Mr Bacon. My work goes well.

Sir Robert told me.

My Latin has never left me.
I find it a great relaxation. This book...

History ofHenry [I/ Printer, john Hayward.
Dedication, my Lord Essex.

This book contains a detailed description
of the deposition of Richard II.

Read the preface. Bottom of the page.

"Most illustrious Earl, with your name
adorning the front of our Henry,

"he may go forth to the public happier and safer."

—Meaning, Mr Bacon?
—That the book may be well received.

It could also mean that had Henry IV
had the names and titles of my Lord Essex,

his right to the throne
would have been better recognised.

—This book is treason.
—It is history, Your Majesty.

—King Richard was deposed.
—Of all the history in England,

they choose this one incident?
The idea behind it is treason.

—It would be hard to prove.
—Then it must be forced from him.

—He must be charged with treason.

The printer, Hayward.

Charge him with theft, not treason, Your Majesty.


He has stolen so much from other authors.

Very pretty.

All writers are thieves.

—I'm sorry, Your Majesty. I thought...

Done should be your word, my Lady Tart!

—Your Majesty...
-Get out.

She has used these rooms for a brothel,
Mr Bacon.

See how she swells
with the profit of her fornication?

God's death, get out!

I wish that book suppressed.
You will find me a legal cause.

—Your Majesty...
—Good day, Mr Bacon.

-But when, man, when?
—It is here now.

It is not signed. Till it is signed,
I'm Lord Deputy of nothing.

—She will sign it, my lord.
—Today? Next month? Next year?

It's taken five months already.

It is not well to rush these things.

I can arrange nothing until it is settled.
I must appoint a council and officers.

Until I have it signed, I can...

You will have it now, my lord.

—Give me the commission.
—Your Majesty.

Pen, sir.

There is your commission, my lord. Read it well.

Ireland was never easy.
She has buried many reputations,

but you will crush these rebellions utterly,

—and I will see O'Neill's head on London Bridge.
—Your humble servant, Your Majesty.

There is more. You will not appoint
Sir Christopher Blount to your council.

—Your Majesty, Sir Christopher is a good...
—Nor the Earl of Southampton.

He is a lecher, my lord.

-But these are good men.

—I trust them.
—It is my trust that matters.

—I thought I had that trust.
—I look on you as myself.

I have not changed.

My lord, you must not return unless we so order it.

You tie me hand and foot.
Am I your servant or your slave?

My slave.

It is the time, my lord,
and it is our duty that we must serve.

If I could choose, it would be other.

—I see you wear the ring.
—Always, sweet lady.

Sweet Robin, God go with you in Ireland.

—He took it well.
—Took. He always takes.

They say he is the world's wide wonder.
They are right, Mr Secretary. Right.


Thousands there were.
A week, and they'd still be passing.

And Achilles himself? The world's wide wonder.

Well, now, I never saw the Earl.

—He was sick, they said.
—Aye, and he'll be sicker yet.

—Jesus! We could take them easy, so we could.
—Easy, you say?

The Battle offlown, Gilbride, how does it go now?

# Unequal they engaged in battle

# Foreigners and the Gael of Tara

# Fine linen shirts on the race of Conn,

# The English in one mass of iron #

Now them in iron and us in fine linen.

So we'll have no more gay abandon
frontal attacks.

We'll play it our own good way.

Yes, but...could we not tickle them for a bit?

Aye. Aye, so we could.
They think us all here in the south.

Well, let them think it.
There's enough here to give them sport.


Aye, that's how they see us.
So much good game to be hunted down.

Until Ireland fights war her own way,
she will not be free.

Now, their way is to make a killing ground
and lead us to it,

so we avoid all grand battles

and pray that the rain rusts their mass of iron.

We parlay and know it wastes another
of their days, and we pray for rain, boys.

Rain, God's gift to Ireland.


To our sovereign lady,
Queen of England, France, and Ireland.

—The Queen!
—ALL: The Queen!

And now, gentlemen, to matters of state.
Henry, Chris.

My good mayor has not been idle, gentlemen.
The strategic issues are clear to me.

The south is full of rebels, small, isolated bands.

To the west, rebellion is poorly organised,
and O'Neill hides away somewhere in the north.

I want your opinions. My Lord Mayor.

We, that is to say, my colleagues in office,

we feel you should go south.


If you go north first, striking his main force,

you'll have these smaller forces at your back.

Troops will have to be left here to defend Dublin.

And why would O'Neill do nothing
if we attacked the south?

If he fights, he fights on his own ground.

You've good towns in the south,
towns now threatened, which are loyal.

But O'Neill. O'Neill's in the north.
O'Neill's what we're here for.

Henry, these people live here.

Our task is to pacify the country.

My Lord Mayor, you say the forces
in the south are small.

Yes, I'm not a military man,

but I would say it wouldn't take
more than a week or two.

It takes time to move 20,000 men.

I think you've only to march,
and the rebellion will be crushed.

These country people are easily frightened.

—A parade of our strength?

He's right, Chris. We march south.

ELIZABETH: "You march south
while Tyrone is in the north.

"Why, my lord? Why?
You have made knights against my orders.

"You harbour the Earl of Southampton
against my express command.

"My armies are wasted, and you achieve nothing.

"I command you return to Dublin.

"You shall not come to England
without my express warrant "


ELIZABETH: "My lord, we pay you £7,000
a day to go on progress.

"You send nothing but complaint.

"You give us no victories,
wander the roads of Ireland.

"You march south while Tyrone is in the north.

"Why, my lord? Why?
You have made knights against my orders.

"You harbour the Earl of Southampton
against my express command.

"My armies are wasted, and you achieve nothing.

"I command you return to Dublin.

"You shall not come to England
without my express warrant.

"You have only one duty, to crush the rebellion.

"Send me no more complaints,
no more tales of your hurt pride.

"With three quarters of your men in garrisons,
you have no power to take Tyrone."

—How does she know?
—We've been spied upon from the first.

The truth is worse. I have not more than 4,000.

-We're done for, then.
—No! She will not live forever.

We cannot take Tyrone.
But we could take England.

King James of Scotland will give us his support.

We are in Dublin, Chris, and I am sick.

We are all sick, Robert!

But we do not whimper in a corner.

You have only to stand up and give the call
and England will come running.

There still remains Tyrone.

—Parley with him.

As Lord Deputy, you can pardon treason.
You've done so.

—And who pardons me?
—No one.

You'll not need a pardon. Not then.

She sends me nothing but abuse and rancour.
She wrings me with spite.

—Then send word to Tyrone!
—She must see she does me wrong!

I must go straight to England.


I should have liked to have seen Tyrone just once,
before I face the gallows.

Why, then, you shall.

-You'll parley?

And then?

We must see what bargain can be struck.

With Ireland safe, I am her prince alone.


—It's a trick.


Lord Essex.

The High Lord Hugh O'Neill is waiting.

Tell him that I wait, too.

He bids you meet him at the standard.

Alone. No man with you.

I don't like it.

I risk nothing.

I agree to that.

No arms, no swords, no small daggers.

—He looks like a prince.
—He is a prince.

Come on!

She calls him a most famous rebel.

Which one?

Steady, Henry.

Whoa. Whoa.

Whoa. Whoa.

It is ungracious, but I feared a trap.

—It is better that we talk here.
—We can speak more freely, too.

That doesn't sound like a man
who would have my neck.

—I need peace only.
—Now, don't we all?

Don't the English always want peace,
their kind of peace?

They can never see that they could have it,
if they left us alone.

—You have no cause with Spain?
—War is a great inconvenience. It costs money.

Now, I would take money
from the Emperor of China if he had it to give.

You don't think a grown man
enjoys this kind of thing, do you?

It's putting years on me.

Now, I have 7—8,000 men back there.

—Did you not know how many?

Ah, well, no.

The year creeps on.

You have a mind to go to England, I hear.
Something with King James.

—You hear strange tales.
-Never mind. Supposing Ido?

Now, you need an assurance
of my good behaviour.

I'm sorry I can't oblige with my head on a platter.

—For me, that was never sought.
—Good soul.

Now, if I could have Ireland
and yourself the other place,

now, that would be a brave condition.

I am the Queen's Lord Deputy.


You must forgive me for dreaming.

But to be practical, though, I'll give you this
for nothing: a six—week truce.

Six weeks?

Renewable, though, indefinitely.
No trouble for six weeks, another truce.

As far as you're concerned, it would be indefinite.

To you in England, in good stead, indefinite.

—The Queen would not accept it.
—The Queen?

Who's talking about the Queen, man?
She's as good as dead.

—That is not true.
—So that's the way of it.

—What do you mean?
—I thought you were free of her.

No, wait!

—I will take the truce.
—That's better.

Can we seal a treaty?

I'm a terrible lazy man with a pen, my lord.

—Then your hand.

I would give that any day
to the conqueror of Cadiz.

—We should be better acquainted, my lord.
—Maybe we shall.

You will keep the truce?

If you remove the army,
there'll be nobody to fight.


Look, I have a great feast prepared.
Will you not come over?

Thank you, no. I have not much time.

I like you, my lord.

No horseman would leave my camp
ahead of yours.

I must get to England.

So the tales I heard were not so strange.

—Good day, my lord.
—Good day to you.

And as we say in Ireland,
may the path be straight that's in front of you.

My lord.

Your Majesty, I had forgot the time.

I see you learn Irish manners.


My lord, you are so cold.

I have won peace, wanted with my own lips...

I'm deeply sorry.

Make more if it, and you make it worse.

When I am dressed, I shall hear it all.

Thank God I find such sweet calm at home.

He burst into her room.
God knows where the guards were.

Taking their ease. I had word that he was coming.

You play with such fire.

She expressly told him to stay in Ireland.

—Now this.
—Now this.

Why hate him so much?

That man would rule us all.

The crowds who hail him as a hero
would be first to suffer.

He would grow mighty at every man's expense.

She did not send him away.
She told him to come back.

He has been at some devilment with the Scots.

—Does the Queen know?

She's unguarded. This is madness.

You do not see how weak he is.

How fatherless.

How eager to lay a trophy at her feet.

—Supposing she falls for the trophy?
—No, she's wiser than that.

Besides, I have only to whisper "Scotland".

But in the end, it must be King James.

Perhaps. I say nothing to that.

The mention of his name is a sentence of death.

The man who speaks it
points a dagger at her heart.

Pray God we all survive these times.

In the time of heroes and tyrants,
the true heroes are the small men.

These garrisons, then, reduced your force?

The loyal towns required them.
Our men were hostages to their loyalty.

But could you not have marched with a full army
against Tyrone and brought him down?

No. They don't observe the common rules of war.

Ireland is not France or Spain.

By day, we'd scarce see them at all.
Their main attacks were always at night.

And the rain, oh, God, the rain.


—So what have you achieved?

O'Neill is disarmed, then?

He has accepted my conditions of truce.

You were not sent for truce, my lord,
but to crush O'Neill.

—He assures me of his loyalty.
—To me, my lord?

I would not have left
if I had any doubt of his word.

You have given knighthoods.

—They were honours given in the field.
—I expressly forbade it.

You would've done the same.

You and I are not the same, my lord.
I am the Queen.

—And I do nothing but serve you, Your Majesty.
—Your return.

I admit the fault.

But my aim was to report success.
I wanted to be first to tell you.

If you wish me to return to Ireland, I will leave...

No. You are here. You shall stay here.

You are most gracious.

We must consider how to treat your achievement.

—EGERTON: What is it, my lord?

—My lord.
—Thank God.

—It's locked. I can't get out.
—On Her Majesty's orders.

Don't play the fool, man. Open this door.

You are detained, my lord.

Detained? On what count?

—I'm sorry. I have no further orders.



He's gone.

She can't mean it.

Oh, God!

What am I to do, Mr Bacon?

The mob brays his name.
He puts himself above me.

Who gave him leave to return so soon?

He must be tried for his disobedience.

—By what court?
—The Star Chamber.

It would be difficult, Your Majesty.

The case would be hard to prove,

unless you submit your policies
to a public scrutiny.

And he is popular, especially here in London.

He has openly disobeyed my orders.

He has not crushed the rebellion,
but has made some gross intrigue with O'Neill.

He can no longer be Lord Deputy.

He must leave my council, and the people
must know of his insolence and incompetence.

Who is the monarch here?

There must be some device to cut him down.

A trial might be ill—advised. Besides, he is too ill.

He is always ill when he is out of favour.

I will not again play guilty parent to his hurt child.

It shall go to the Star Chamber.

A statement could be read to the Chamber

in his absence.

A statement of iniquities. Not a charge.

I don't think he would challenge it,
and the burden of proof would thus be avoided.

I take your advice, Mr Bacon.

—There shall be no hearing.
—Simply a statement.

I would have made a fine lawyer.

And a good judge, Your Majesty.

Have a care!

Sir Robert, what madness is this?

Madness, Sir Walter? I see none but yours.

He goes scot—free.

You had him pinned to the wall
and you let him go.

—The Queen has done it, not I.
—Who tells the Queen?

No, it comes from her, and my cousin Francis.

—He worked for Essex!

—Maybe still does.
—His life has been threatened.

And more, too, while my Lord High and Mighty
goes free with his merry band of cut—throats.

He is done. He is very sick.

The malice in that man is constant!

No sickness or remedy can purge it.

You have all distrusted me,
thinking me driven by jealousy,

but I know enemies long before
they show their colours.

I had his measure.

The Queen is mad to let him go.

He has been deprived of all office.
He is without any status.

Do you think that will stop him?
He needs four thick walls.

Sir Walter, I'm obliged for your advice.


It's no use!

It's all no use.

Mountjoy has agreed to bring the army...

What Mountjoy said before he took Ireland
is neither here nor there.

He has Ireland now.

King James still believes us.
He's convinced Cecil plots against him.

—So then?
—So we still invite his support.

We can manage without the army from Ireland.
Men gather by the hundred every day.

All say that Cecil has
sold the succession to the Spaniards.

They say that?

Since I whispered it abroad, yes.

We talk, Chris, we talk
but we haven't the means to action.

—We have great support.
-But no money!

Damn it, Henry! Will you never understand?

I have but one source of income
and I stand to lose it.

The monopoly on the sale of wines
was the last thing...

—Afterwards you can have anything you want.
-But I need it now.

So he has once again written
one of his sweet, pleading letters.

"Haste paper to that happy presence
whence only unhappy I am banished."

I hope she pays you by the line.

Let me write, Chris.

—Another sweet piece of invective?


We must work out a concerted plan.

Oh, damn! Damn her!

I rode in triumph before her.

I laid the ashes of Cadiz at her feet.

I pumped new blood into her old veins.

She said nothing then.

Well, I have created all, and she takes all.

Write, man.

To our Sovereign Lord,

King James...

the Sixth of Scotland...

—They grow stronger every day.
—He must be contained for his own good.

For the country's good, man.

I tell you, if I could have 10 men,
I'd kill him with my own hands.

He is strong in men, weak in money.

Without his monopolies,
the income from his sweet wines, he has nothing.

What does that matter if he has
the city at his feet?

—We are lost if he is not taken.

Disarmed, and under close escort
lodged in the Tower.

We dare not risk it.

We cannot act in haste, Sir Walter.

If we do not act, we are lost.

We? We? Who is for me?

—We revoke his monopolies all.
—And arrest?


I fear it will provoke him to raise the city.

For his sake, Sir Robert, I pray God it will not.

I play no Richard II to his Bolingbroke.

Here, cousin. Seize the crown.

Here, cousin.
On this side my hand and on that side thine.

Now is this golden crown like a deep well
that holds two buckets filling one another,

the emptier ever dancing in the air.

The other down, unseen and full of water.

The bucket down and full of tears am I,

drinking my griefs,
whilst you mount up on high.

—Is this it now?
—Listen to King Richard.

I thought you had been willing to resign.

My crown, I am. But still my griefs are mine.

You may my glories and my state depose,
but not my griefs,“

still am I king of those.

Very good.

Part of your cares you give me with your crown.

Your cares set up do not pluck my cares down.

My care is loss of care by old care done.

Your care is gain of care by new care won.

The cares I give I have, though given away.
They tend the crown.

Yet still with me they stay.

Ah, yes.

Are you contented to resign the crown?



No, aye, for I must nothing be,“

therefore no, no, for I resign to thee.

Now mark me how I will undo myself:

I give this heavy weight from off my head

and this unwieldy sceptre from my hand

and pride of kingly sway...from out my heart.

(Stuttering) With mine own tears I...


Well done.

You must forgive us, my lord.
We have not done the play for some time.

Fashions change. My good Henry.

—Thank you, my noble kings.
—Thank you, my lord.


We have much to do.

—She has cut me off from her exchequer.
—All she sends you are conditions.

The men of the city are waiting for our signal.
They are with us.

Her conditions are as crooked as her carcass.

"As crooked as her carcass"?


It was like this, my lords, when my brother died,
waiting for the knock on the door.


He is lost, ma'am.

He tried to raise the city,
but no one would answer his call.

—Where is he now?
—At his house.

About 300 of them entered the city,

my lord Essex shouting,
"We were sold to the Spanish infanta!"

But the men in the city had no faith in him.

And when he turned
and they planned to come here,

they were stopped at Ludgate,
Blount was wounded,

and they scurried back to his house.

It is over, then.

—Shall I take him?
—No, Sir Walter. Your place is here.

My Lord Keeper, take with you
some men of the guard

and the Lord Chief Justice.

Take Knollys, too. His own kin must arrest him.

Where shall we take him?

The Tower, my lord. The Tower.

Sir Robert.

Is there news from the Tower?

No, Your Majesty.

No special plea? No supplication?


I cannot pardon him.

He would become the focus of starving,
discontented beggars.

A ragged Robin inspiring another ill—starred revolt.

It is not mercy to keep mad dogs in kennels!

It must be done.

But the axe is enough. No quarterings.
They shall not butcher that body.

Tell me when it is done.

Oh, Sir Robert, the Earl of Southampton.

He is a young fool with a fondness for the theatre,
but he has no place in this dramatic spectacle.

We pardon him to life imprisonment.

—Your Majesty shows great mercy.
-Oh, well.

He has the child by that silly girl Elizabeth.

Go tell him of his good fortune.

As for the other, nothing.

He is much changed, Your Majesty.


We are all changed.

Tell him...




My lords.

I have more confessions.

Get up.

Others are as guilty. You have not arrested them.

They are greater traitors.

They deceived me and lured me into this.

—Your own guilt is enough.
—No. They must go with me.

Sir Charles Davis and Cuff. Henry Cuff.

Come, Sir Robert, write them down.
They mustn't escape.

Cuff is more guilty than all.

Mountjoy, too, he was in it,
and my sister, Lady Rich. Yes, she is guilty.

She too has a proud spirit. Take my sister.

She has been as false to me as to the Queen.

—Southampton will tell you.
—The Earl does not go to the scaffold.

Well, I am to be alone?

The only victim?

(Sobbing) My lords, I beg you!

It cannot be public. I shall not be able.

It is to be done here at the Tower.

Then I thank God my confessions
have not been in vain.

Sir Robert, I beg your forgiveness.

—You have it, my lord.

I seem far off, like a great elm tree,

taller than any oak.

Elms grow a rotten centre.

They fall, my lords, suddenly.

I'm frightened, my lords, I'm frightened.

I will send a priest to console you.

Remember my sister. Don't let her get away.

—Yes, my lord?

This ring, take it and see it reaches the Queen.

—I don't know about...
—It is hers. She gave it to me.

It's getting late.

Late? Aye, very late.

Find any way you can. Please, man, I beg you.

—I'll do what I can.
—Good. Good.

I'm still her servant.

I've been misled. She must see that.

—Well, she is to blame, too.
—My lord.

You must compose yourself.

Compose? How?

I had so little hand in my own making.

I was shaped by...by the time.

Yes, by the time.

There is nothing of me to compose.

I am pieces.




—Sir Walter.
—Sir Robert.

Will you stand so close?

I am captain of the guard, Sir Robert.

Besides, he may wish to speak to me.

But it looks to some as if you...gloat.

Surely, we're past that.

Yes, but it would be better
if you were not so prominent.

As you wish.

My guard knows what to do.

—No word?
-None, my lord.

She has forsaken me.

It seems so, my lord.

It is not far.

I have spent 33 years on this earth.

I've spent my time in lust and wantonness

and unclean acts.

I have been puffed up with pride and vanity
and love of this world's pleasure.

My sins are numberless,
more in number than the hairs on my head.

I beseech my Saviour to pardon these, my sins,

and especially this last, most heinous sin,

which has offended my sovereign and the world,

and pray still for the welfare of Her Majesty

whose death I protest I did not seek.

I die neither atheist nor papist,

and in that faith to which I was born,
I bid you all to pray for me.

I shall be ready when I stretch out my hands.


into thy hands I commend my spirit.

—What have you there?
—You would not find them good reading.


No. They petition against the giving of favours,
against the monopolies at the Queen's disposal.

—They're hers by right.
—These petitions come from Parliament.

Are shopkeepers to tell the Queen what to do?

It is feared that the favours enjoyed
by the late Lord Essex will soon fall to others.

It is the Queen's right to bestow
favours upon those who are loyal.

On those who are loyal, yes.
You must excuse us. Her Majesty waits.

She'll do more than wait
when she knows your errand.

I wish you well.

The fault has been mine.

—It's Your Majesty's right.
—No, Sir Robert.

I have nourished proud men
at the expense of my people.

They are right to ask for
the ending of monopolies.

I think Parliament fears that the honours
of Lord Essex

will pass directly to Sir Walter.

We can afford no more hollow heroes.

The Commons will be much relieved.

This is not my father's time.

When we sit, we are nearer the ground.

—I will write a letter to Mr Speaker.
—No, Sir Robert, I will speak to the Parliament.

We perceive your coming is to present
thanks to us.

Know I accept them with no less joy

than your loves can have desired
to offer such a present,

and do more esteem it than any treasure or riches,

for those we know how to prize.

But loyalty, love, and thanks,

I count them invaluable.

And though God has raised me high,

yet this I account the glory of my crown,

that I have reigned with your loves.

Stand up. I have more to say.

Touching upon monopolies, Mr Speaker,
you must tell the Parliament from me

that I take it exceeding grateful
that the knowledge of these things

has come unto me from them.

Of myself, I must say this,
I was never a greedy, scraping grasper

nor strict, fast-holding prince, nor yet a waster.

To be a king and wear a crown

is a thing more glorious to them that see it,

than it is pleasant to them that bear it.

And for my own part,

I would be willing to resign the place
I hold to any other,

glad to be free of the glory with the labour,

for it is not my desire to live nor to reign

longer than my life
and reign shall be for your good.

And though you have had and may have

many mightier and wiser princes
sitting in this seat,

you never had nor shall have
any who loves you better.

She is magnificent.

Before it goes out, the candle always flares.

Has she spoken of the succession?

Audio et Taceo. Her motto. I see but say nothing.

—She must have an heir.
—We must have an heir, Cousin.

He is prepared.

Have you written to Scotland?

The horsemen are ready.
They will ride on her last breath.

Then we shall have to hold our breath, Cousin.

No doctors. I wish to die in peace.

I am not well.

Your Majesty, to content the people,

you must go to bed.

Little man,

the word "must" is not used to princes.

I will stand. Help me.

All the fabric of my reign, little by little,
is beginning to fall.

Leave us, my little snail.

ELIZABETH: For it is not my desire
to live nor to reign

longer than my life
and reign shall be for your good.

Imagination, death,

it's all the same.

Awake, my boys, you come too soon.

She always preferred the music to the Mass.

I told you, speak to no one.

—Is she dead?

—What keeps her so long?
—Keep your voice down.

She's hardly likely to recover now, is she?

While she breathes, you can be sure of nothing.

She's been standing for 14 hours.


I am tied.

I am tied, and the case is altered with me.

Not so fast, my lord.

How long is it now?

Four days, Your Majesty.

I take good time.

—Do the people love me?
—Yes, Your Majesty.

They have been good company.

Your Majesty, the succession...

if it tires you to speak, will you give a sign?

Is it to be the King of Scotland?