The Earl of Essex’s speech

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This genuine historical resource from the National Archive is part of a speech made by the Earl of Essex at a joust in 1595. It is written in a formal poetic style to honour and flatter Queen Elizabeth I. Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, was a favourite courtier of the Queen as well as a military hero, who fell from favour and was executed for treason in 1601.


Shared learning and teaching

Before reading

  • Establish what the class know about Queen Elizabeth I.
  • Discuss how documents would have been presented in Tudor times. Explain that many have been preserved in the National Archive.
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