Scotlands History

'Rebellious Scots to crush'

Our modern day national anthem has its roots back in 1745. ‘A song set for two voices, as sung in both playhouses’ appeared in print for the first time in 1745 and was published in ‘The Gentleman’s Magazine. It was set to a tune by Thomas Arne. It became popular in London theatres in that year. The three verses that were published at that time are virtually the same as those which exist today.

For a short period in late 1745 some opinion suggests an additional verse was sung. This was at the time of Marshal Wade’s endeavours to find and fight the Jacobite insurgence into England. It did not at any point form part of the formal national anthem.

The words of the offending verse are:

Lord, grant that Marshal Wade
May by thy mighty aid
Victory bring.
May he sedition hush and like a torrent rush,
Rebellious Scots to crush.
God save the King.

  • Detail of painting showing three clansmen in tartan weilding swords and spears
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