Paul Revere, an American revolutionary, is commonly credited with saying the words "the British are coming." His warning was made famous in a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere."
Paul Revere rode his horse on the evening of April 18, 1775 to warn patriot leaders and surrounding townspeople that there was an impending British invasion in the town of Lexington, Massachusetts. According to history, it is unlikely that he actually shouted the specific words "the British are coming." Discretion was very important during his ride, due to the existence of hidden British soldiers throughout the countryside.