During the French Revolution, England expected an invasion from a France ruled by revolutionary tyrants. To supplement her army, the militia was called up and volunteer corps were raised. One was the Royal Edinburgh Volunteer Dragoons. Walter Scott was Quartermaster and also wrote their war song.
"The following War-Song was written during the apprehension of an invasion. the corps of volunteers to which it was addressed, was raised in 1797, consisting of gentlemen, mounted and armed at their own expense. It still subsists, as the Right Troop of the Royal Mid-Lothian Light Cavalry, commanded by the Honourable Lieutenant Colonel Dundas. The noble and constitutional measure of arming freemen in defence of their own rights, was nowhere more successful than in Edinburgh, which furnished a force of 3,000 armed and disciplined volunteers, including a regiment of cavalry, from the city and county, and two corps of artillery, each capable of serving twelve guns. To such a force, above all others, might, in similar circumstances, be applied the exhortation of our ancient Galgacus: "Proinde ituri in aciem, et majores vestros et posteros cogitate.""--pg. 147, Poetical Works of Sir Walter Scott