Both the music and words were composed by Dr. Henry Carey in
1740. However, in Antwerp cathedral is a MS. copy of it which affirms
that the words and music were by Dr. John Bull; adding that it was
composed on the occasion of the discovery of Gunpowder Plot, to which
the words “frustrate their knavish tricks” especially allude.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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