God save our gracious Queen (King)

God save our gracious Queen/King (British National Anthem). The first recorded performance of this hymn was at Drury Lane theatre, 28 September 1745, during the reign of George II, in response to the threat posed by the Jacobite rebellion in Scotland. It began ‘God bless our noble King;/ God save great George our King;/ God save the King’, with music arranged by Thomas Arne (1710-1778), the director of music at the theatre. It had been published one year earlier, in Thesaurus Musicus (1744). There was also a Latin text, ‘O Deus optime’, dating from 1743 or 1744 (printed in the Musical Times, 1 June 1878). Words and tune became very popular, and the anthem was played on many occasions,...

If you have a valid subscription to Dictionary of Hymnology, please log in to view this content. If you require a subscription, please click here.

Cite this article