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The History used in Gloriana
(information guidelines for the visuals)
- Narrator (William Byrd 1543 – 1623)
Figure 1. A painting of William Byrd (Mcdowall, 2013)
William Byrd was one of Elizabeth’s most favourite court Composers, also a competent organist of the Chapel Royal, he is also a catholic, which would balance the perspectives very well and witnessed the 44 years of Elizabeth’s reign
- Elizabeth I (Main Character)
Figure 2. Elizabeth in her Coronation clothes (1558), (Rowse, 1953)
A highly intelligent women, similar to Henry VIII but ruled more cunningly
- Archbishop of Canterbury (Matthew Parker 1504 -1575)
Figure 3. Portrait of Matthew Parker, who crowned Elizabeth I (College, 1827)
- Crowd at Coronation
Figure 4. Example of what Elizabethan people look like, (Elizabethan England Life.com, 2016).
Video link: (Coronation of Queen Elizabeth I, 1998)
And support picture:
Figure 5. Elizabeth’s Carriage when on her way to be crowned (Royal Museum Greenwich, c.1601.)
The Carpet was blue according to some historical sources
As first song of the EP, it would make sense to apply the events of the Coronation of Elizabeth I and the new prayer book, as the project is meant to be about Elizabeth, and also for the coming events used in the other three songs. The new prayer book, is one of the passive antagonists as a symbolic object, due to the controversy it brought, although it was a compromise, some members of both religions did not want the compromise. (Tudor History, 2012)
Elizabeth’s Coronation was a significant event. As the third Queen and the sole ruler of Britain, there was a lot of fear, as the predeceasing queens being Lady Jane Grey (only for 9 days) and then Mary I (1553 – 1558), 8 years before Elizabeth to be crowned (Hanson, 2015), the public had mixed views of Elizabeth; some believed she was an illegitimate heir from being the offspring of Anne Boleyn, who the public saw as a mistress to her father Henry VIII. She was one of the most highly intelligent women of her time, from her vivid education, and her strong will, from the turmoil she had felt from the sexual abuse from Thomas Seymour, and the oppression under her half-sister, Mary’s reign as a protestant. (Neale, 2001)
The new prayer book is also important to include, previous events before Elizabeth as Queen of Britain. Britain had sharp changes to the nation’s religion, all which started from Henry VIII ‘break with Rome’ in order to marry Anne Boleyn. The extreme Protestant regime under Edward VI’s reign, than the extreme Catholic regime under Mary I, both had rebellions as a result. A new prayer book was made to compromise the two religions to be compatible, but importantly, to recognise Elizabeth as a queen rightfully and to be loyal to only her. (The Royal Household Crown, unknown)
The Prayer book was controversial, to the fanatics of both sides, which also lead to catholic foreign, super powers, such as Spain to believe that Catholics in Britain, were being severely mistreated (this was not the case at this moment in time until later) (Trueman, 2016).
- Audience member 1 (make up based on Elizabethan woman)
- Elizabeth I (1560s)
Figure 6. Elizabeth looked like in the 1560s (Royal Museum Greenwich, Anonymous)
Figure 7. 3d model of Elizabethan Yeomen (PhilC, 2002)
Figure 8. Another example of Royal guards (anneboleynsite, BBC, 2006)
- Mary Queen of Scots
Figure 9.Portrait of Mary Queen of Scots (1542-1587) on her arrival (Zucarro, 2016)
Figure 10. Windsor castle interior (Jordensen, 2015)
The 2nd track reflects on Elizabeth’s personal life. The issue of marriage, as being a queen was that she needed a husband who would provide a male heir to succeed her. Although there were consequences to which she could pick, Robert Dudley was a good suitor, English and a close friend, but would upset the Catholics, and there was evidence to suggest he killed his own wife, to be with Elizabeth. (Borman, 2016).
To marry a foreign king, would have caused even more dire consequences. He could make Britain a Protectorate, a puppet for a another country, even worse a highly religious catholic such as Philip II, evidenced by Mary I’s marriage to him, as the public did not like him, fearing Philip and Mary would impose extreme Catholicism on a freshly established Protestant country (Neale, 2001).
Elizabeth was made aware by a soldier, that Mary Queen of Scots had entered the country to seek refuge, and was captured. Narration hints that Mary is the biggest antagonist as it kicks off a series of large scale events. (Sharnette, 2016), (Whitelock, 2016).
- Audience member 2 (make up based on Elizabethan man)
- Mary Queen of Scots
Figure 11. Mary queen of Scots ascending platform (Elizabethi.org, 2016)
Figure 12. Portrait of an aged, ill Mary queen of Scots (Anonymous, 1578)
Figure 13. A woodcut depicting the execution of Mary Queen of Scots (Blackwood, 2016)
- Robert Beale
Figure 14. Not what Robert Beale actually looked like, but something to base on (Pourbus, 1591)
- Elizabeth I
Figure 15. A Black dress that Elizabeth wore, could be used on the day of Mary Stuart’s execution (Hilliards, c.1599)
- Guards (as before)
- Philip II
Figure 16. Jordi Molla from Elizabeth. The Golden Age, depicting as Philip II of Spain (Elizabeth I: The Golden Age, 2007)
Figure 17. Historical portrait of Philip II (YiannisGabriel.com, 2016)
Figure 18. A Dutch depictions of the scene of the execution (Anonymous, 1613)
Windsor castle interior as before
Overview of history
3rd track covers the biggest upset of the whole story, the execution of Mary Queen of Scots. The Narration will state, that Elizabeth did not want Mary to be executed, so for 19 years, Mary was to be prisoner to Elizabeth for her fear for Mary is intended to cause uprisings. Elizabeth’s hand was forced, the extrinsic events like the Black Death blighting Britain, as well as Crop failures and the need to expand control in the Netherlands proved costly. The situation was desperate, and the final nail in the coffin, came from the Babington plot with evidence to suggest that Mary was involved (eyewitnesstohistory, 2005).
The execution scene, presents a defiant Mary, embracing death, while her servants wept, she tells them to rejoice, not to cry. While sat on a stool, Mary sat emotionless as the sermon was readout by Robert Beale (the man who arranges her execution). However, Mary interrupts by praying loudly, this scene gets tenser with the audience joining to take sides, but Mary slips from her stool from when the climax peaks but then continues. Beale orders Mary to repent, but she reprimands clearly to him that she is not going to renounce her faith in Catholicism; a cowed Beale announces “so be it”. Her servants start disrobing her, whom the executioner lends a hand in also, the executioner suddenly ask for forgiveness, which she accepts. Once disrobed suitably, the audience were shocked at seeing how pale her skin was; she stood up for one last speech. Smiling she thanked her servants, wanted to wish her son well and hopefully be converted to Catholicism, and wanted Elizabeth to have a prosperous and long reign serving god and her people to the fullest (Robertson, 1813, pp. 49 – 50).
Once finished, she placed her head on the block proudly with one of the maids wrapping her handkerchief around her eyes, the executioner got ready while Mary prays. He then strikes with his axe, hits the knot. surprisingly, Mary did not scream in pain, a second chop came, but not fully clean cut, from a third slice from the axe, the head is fully severed is raised to the audience, executioner says “god save the queen!”. With nearly everyone weeping, it truly reflected a sad point in the story. Elizabeth is in her room, upset. Beale enters, confirms the execution has happened, Elizabeth is in rage saying, “You carried out the death warrant without my consent, you will be taken to the tower!” (Robertson, 1813, p. 51).
The narrator states that Elizabeth knew there were dire consequences ahead. As a result, Spain made a declaration of war with Elizabeth after hearing the news of Mary’s execution, Philip was upset when writing the declaration, as it was forced upon him to act (eyewitnesstohistory, 2005), (Trueman, 2015) .
- Audience member 3 (make up based on Elizabethan woman/man)
- Elizabeth I
Figure 19. Triumphant, mature Elizabeth embellished with lots of symbolism to celebrate the victory against the Spanish (Gower, Circa 1588)
- Philip II
Figure 20. Philip in religious attire. (Anguissola, 2012)
- Francis Drake/English naval soldiers
Figure 21. War attire worn by the English, the character in focus is Francis Drake (Heritage History, 2013-2015)
- English ships
Figure 22. An Illustration of the Royal Ark, the flagship of Lord Howard, who was the leader of British navy to defeat the Spanish Armada (Britishbattles.com, 2002-2016)
Figure 23. British ‘Racer-ships’ which war key to the British success thanks to their manoeuvrability (Britishbattles.com, 2002-2016)
Figure 24. British fire-ships used to disperse the Spanish armada’s crescent formation (Dfiles, Anonymous).
- Spanish ships
Figure 25. Can be used as a typical Spanish ship in the Spanish armada, this is a depiction of the Portuguese Galleon ‘Sao Martinho’ (Lusitani, 2006)
- Spanish sailors/soldiers
Figure 26. Spanish Soldiers (which were number3 to 1) compared to sailors that were part of the Spanish armada (Atlantic Ship Model Co., 2003-2004)
- Narrator (unchanged)
Figure 27. Battle scenes of the English ships fighting four Galleons and some other Spanish ships (Johnson, 2016)
Overview of history
The final song is based on the initial prelude to the Spanish Armada and aims to condense the many skirmishes that took place, under a single battle. Initially, before the battle begins, Elizabeth’s presents a speech to her navy:
My loving people,
We have been persuaded by some that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we commit ourselves to armed multitudes, for fear of treachery; but I assure you I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful and loving people. Let tyrants fear. I have always so behaved myself that, under God, I have placed my chiefest strength and safeguard in the loyal hearts and good-will of my subjects; and therefore I am come amongst you, as you see, at this time, not for my recreation and disport, but being resolved, in the midst and heat of the battle, to live and die amongst you all; to lay down for my God, and for my kingdom, and my people, my honour and my blood, even in the dust.
I know I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too, and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realm: to which rather than any dishonour shall grow by me, I myself will take up arms, I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field.
I know already, for your forwardness you have deserved rewards and crowns; and We do assure you in the word of a prince, they shall be duly paid you. In the mean time, my lieutenant general shall be in my stead, than whom never prince commanded a more noble or worthy subject; not doubting but by your obedience to my general, by your concord in the camp, and your valour in the field, we shall shortly have a famous victory over those enemies of my God, of my kingdom, and of my people.
Queen Elizabeth I (British Library, 1588)
The skirmish that will be used would be the battle of Gravelines, at midnight 28th July 1588, the British send fireships charging towards the Armada’s docked in its crescent formation docked off Calais. This dislodges the Armada’s battle formation, allowing the British ships to attack one on one more easily. The British ships focus fire more on the four Spanish Galleons more at close range, with more cannon firepower capacities to attack, and were smaller, therefore, faster to out manoeuvre the larger ships the Spanish had. The Spanish ships were more suited to boarding warfare. This contrast of fighting styles lead to Spanish having significant loses in men and damage to the ships. With the Armada being cut off from going back to Spain, they decide to retreat as a result. The narration talks about the aftermath of the battle, the fate of the Spanish ships, and overview of Elizabeth’s final years as Queen until her death in 1603. The narrator concludes by saying “I’m off to perform for Shakespeare now… Good bye!” (Britishbattles.com, 2002-2016)