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Thomas Gray/Thomas Wharton to William Mason, 26 August 1769

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To The Revd Mr Mason at Hartlepool

Dear Mason

I received last night your letter big with another a week older than itself. you might as well have wrote to me from the deserts of Arabia, & desired me to step over & drink a dish of tea with you. this morning I sent to Aukland for a chaise: the Man's answer is, that he had a chaise with four horses return'd yesterday from Hartlepool, that the road was next to impassable, & so dangerous, that he does not think of sending out any other that way, unless the season should change to a long drought. I would have gone by Durham, but am assured, that road is rather worse. what can I do? you speak so jauntily, & enter so little into any detail of your own journey, that I conclude you came on horseback from Stockton (wch road however is little better for carriages) if so, we hope you will ride over to Old-Park with Mr Alderston: there is room for you both, & hearty welcome. the Doctor even talks of coming (for he can ride) to invite you on Monday. I wonder how you are accommodated, where you are; & what you are doing with Gen: Carey: I would give my ears to get thither, but all depends on the sun.


It is twenty miles to Old-Park, & the way is by Hart, over Sherraton-moor & through Trimden there is no village else that has a name. pray, write a line by the bearer. we have a confirmation of the above accou[n]t of the state of the roads from other evidences–nevertheless I shall certainly come on horseback on Monday to inquire after your proceedings and designs and to preveil upon You and Mr Aldeston to return with me to Old Park–a rainy morning perhaps may stop me a few hours but when it clears up I shall set forward. Adieu–accept all our Complimts.

Yrs ever
T. W.
Letter ID: letters.0562 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writers: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771 and
Wharton, Thomas, 1717-1794
Writers's age: 52 and 52[?]
Addressee: Mason, William, 1724-1797
Addressee's age: 45


Date of composition: 26 August 1769
Date (on letter): Aug: 26. 1769. Saturday
Calendar: Gregorian


Place of composition: Durham, United Kingdom
Address (on letter): Old-Park

Physical description

Addressed: To The Revd Mr Mason at Hartlepool


Language: English
Incipit: I received last night your letter big with another a week older than itself....
Mentioned: Alderson, Christopher, Rev., 1738-1814
Bishop Auckland
Old Park

Holding Institution

Henry W. And Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature, Humanities and Social Sciences Library, New York Public Library , New York, NY, USA <>
Availability: The original letter is extant and usually available for academic research purposes

Print Versions

  • The Correspondence of Thomas Gray and William Mason, with Letters to the Rev. James Brown, D.D. Ed. by the Rev. John Mitford. London: Richard Bentley, 1853, letter CXXV, 430-431
  • The Letters of Thomas Gray, including the correspondence of Gray and Mason, 3 vols. Ed. by Duncan C. Tovey. London: George Bell and Sons, 1900-12, letter no. CCCL, vol. iii, 230-231
  • Correspondence of Thomas Gray, 3 vols. Ed. by the late Paget Toynbee and Leonard Whibley, with corrections and additions by H. W. Starr. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971 [1st ed. 1935], letter no. 503, vol. iii, 1073-1074