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Famous Freemason - Thomas Arne

"Your Beef shall be well pickled before I have done"

Bro. Thomas Arne was born on March 12 1710 in Covent Garden.

He was so keen on music that he smuggled a spinet into his room and, damping the sounds with his handkerchief, would secretly practice during the night while the rest of the family slept. He also dressed up as a liveryman to gain access to the gallery of the Italian Opera.

Upon leaving school, Bro. Arne was articled to a solicitor for three years. However, Arne's father discovered his son leading a group of musicians. Following this disclosure he was persuaded to allow the young Arne to give up his legal career and to pursue music as a living.

Bro. Arne was the leading British theater composer of the 18th Century. He is probably best known for the patriotic song ‘Rule, Britannia!’ (1740) but he also wrote a version of ‘God Save the King’ (1775), that was to become the British national anthem and the second national anthem of New Zealand. In 1777, Arne also penned the song ‘A-Hunting We Will Go’.

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