Sir Francis Walsingham
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Quotes for
Sir Francis Walsingham (Character)
from Elizabeth (1998)

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Elizabeth (1998)
Sir Francis Walsingham: All Norfolk need do is sign this paper and treason will have been committed.
Elizabeth: Then let him sign it, and let it all be done.

Norfolk: So cut off my head, and make me a martyr. The people will always remember it.
Walsingham: No... they will forget.

Walsingham: You were the most powerful man in England. And you could have been greater still, but you had not the courage to be loyal, only the conviction of your own vanity.

Sir Francis Walsingham: There is so little beauty in this world, and so much suffering. Do you suppose that is what God had in mind? That is to say if there is a god at all. Perhaps there is nothing in this universe but ourselves. And our thoughts.

[speaking to a priest he is having tortured]
Sir Francis Walsingham: Tell me, what is God to you? Has he abandoned you? Is he such a worldly god that he must play at politics in the filth of conspiracy? Is he not divine? Tell me the truth, as if you were face to face with him now. I'm a patient man, Father.

Walsingham: All men need something greater than themselves to look up to and worship. They must be able to touch the divine here on earth.

[on the Virgin Mary]
Elizabeth: She had such power over men's hearts. They died for her.
Sir Francis Walsingham: They have found nothing to replace her.

Sir Francis Walsingham: Madam, if I may. A prince should never flinch from being blamed for acts of ruthlessness which are necessary for safeguarding the state and their own person. You must take these things so much to heart that you do not fear to strike. Even the very nearest that you have if they be implicated.

Sir Francis Walsingham: [referring to Elizabeth] Her Majesty rules with the heart... not with the head.
Mary of Guise: [smiles] Hm, I understand. It is hard for a woman to forget her heart.

Sir Francis Walsingham: [how a wise man would change allegiance] There are but two choices: he would get into bed with either Spain or France.
Mary of Guise: [laughs, then smiles wickedly] And... whose bed would you prefer?

Sir Francis Walsingham: Your Grace is arrested. You must go with these men to the Tower.
Norfolk: I must do nothing by your orders. I am Norfolk!
Sir Francis Walsingham: You were Norfolk.
Sir Francis Walsingham: [shows him his own signature on the treasonous letter from Rome]
Sir Francis Walsingham: The dead have no titles.

Bishop Gardiner: [Walsingham comes down the stairs into the holding area where the Catholic bishops are being held] Walsingham! I would know by what authority you have kept us locked up here!
Sir Francis Walsingham: Your Graces must forgive me, but you are now free to go.
Bishop Gardiner: I am sure this infernal work has not saved your bastard queen.
Sir Francis Walsingham: Her Majesty has won the argument.
Bishop Gardiner: By what count?
Sir Francis Walsingham: By five, Your Grace.
[Looks up at the six bishops standing behind Gardiner]
Sir Francis Walsingham: Five.
[turns to leave]
Bishop Gardiner: You will be damned for this! And I pray God your wretched soul will burn in hell!


Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007)
Sir Francis Walsingham: Forgive me, Your Majesty, I have failed you.
Queen Elizabeth I: How have you failed me? What am I to forgive you for?
Sir Francis Walsingham: Phillip of Spain is a God-fearing man who cannot declare war without a just cause. I intercepted every letter Mary Stuart secretly dispatched, but failed to see Spain knew I was reading them. They waited for her to write the words that in my eyes would confirm her treason.
Sir Francis Walsingham: [ashamed] Forgive me. I am trapped in my own web.
Queen Elizabeth I: And I ordered Mary's execution. I murdered God's anointed Queen. And now God's most dutiful son makes Holy War to punish me.

Queen Elizabeth I: [during a briefing with Walsingham and Bess] We shall have to look out a husband for you soon, Bess.
Elizabeth Throckmorton: Not too soon, my lady.
Sir Francis Walsingham: There are husbands to be had.
Queen Elizabeth I: [to Bess] Don't you want to be married?
Elizabeth Throckmorton: I'll want the marriage if I want the man.

Sir Francis Walsingham: Mary Stuart must die!
Queen Elizabeth I: MUST? Mary Stuart must die? Where is written? Who says so? Have I ordered it?
Sir Francis Walsingham: Majesty, this is no time for mercy.
Queen Elizabeth I: [shouting] Don't preach at me, old man!

Sir Christopher Hatton: [the Archduke Charles of Austria's portrait is presented as a possible suitor] An Austrian alliance would keep France quiet.
Sir Francis Walsingham: And put Philip on a leash.
Queen Elizabeth I: I've become almost enthusiastic. Send for him.

Queen Elizabeth I: How much longer do you think I can play this game, Francis?
Sir Francis Walsingham: Virginity is an asset that holds its value well.


"Elizabeth R: Horrible Conspiracies (#1.4)" (1971)
Queen Elizabeth I: You are recovered,then, Sir Francis?
Walsingham: Thank you, madam. The pain is less severe.
Queen Elizabeth I: And the deed is done. Your work is accomplished. The dog died, did you know? The terrier? It refused food, grew thin and died. The dog and its mistress, both dead.
Walsingham: There was no other path, Majesty. You acted with great wisdom.
Queen Elizabeth I: You think there is great wisdom in killing a queen?
Walsingham: She is at rest,madam. And with God's good grace, she will find eternal peace.
Queen Elizabeth I: Peace. You are much mistaken, Sir Francis. There is no peace for the dead. This is a busy time for my royal cousin. Already the creatures are at work, crawling between her lips, entering her nose, burrowing beneath her eyes. Worms cluster in her belly, competing with foul maggots for the tastiest morsel. Even now she is being invaded by a legion of grey flesh-eaters. Even now the body writhes and moves with the activities of countless parasites. There is no peace for my cousin, Sir Francis, and will be none till she is consumed and rotten. Only then will her white bones be at rest. This is our common end, old Moor, picked clean by worms, flesh curdling with corruption, stinking like a blocked midden. So do not talk to me of God's good grace. Dying is a fearful process. I have known death since I was a child. I have stared long into his white, unseeing eyes. I know his dread cruelty. When you are lying on your last bed remember my words. Cry out for mercy. Bite deep intoyour lips, and recall how you plotted my cousin's most terrible end.