Established 1976  


Gallery: Catalog: Details List 106-12

[Music] Roberts, Rule Britannia Set by Mr. Arne. London, 1762. Two leaves in one mat of engraved music, each 8 x 4 including a large vignette at top of page. BW. VG. From Henry Roberts' collection of popular works, Clio and Euterpe or British Harmony... Sold

Rule Britannia was composed in 1741 by Thomas Arne for his masque, Alfred, with lyrics by poet James Thomson. The first vignette illustrates the opening verse where Britannia rises from the sea by "heaven's command" (Jupiter, in this case), accompanied by guardian angels singing the refrain. In the second vignette Britannia confronts the King of Spain and a cowering friar. This patriotic anthem achieved instant popularity and was so familiar that Handel borrowed the opening for his Occasional Oratorio (1746).

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