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Thomas Gray to Thomas Wharton, 3 January 1770

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To Thos. Wharton Esq. of Old Park near Darlington Durham

Journal continued.

3 Jan: 1770. Pemb: C:

Oct: 5. Wd N:E: Clouds & sunshine. Walk'd thro' the meadows & corn-fields to the Derwent & crossing it went up How-hill. it looks along Bassinthwaite -water & sees at the same time the course of the river & a part of the Upper-Lake with a full view of Skiddaw. then I took my way through Portingskall village to the Park, a hill so call'd cover'd entirely with wood: it is all a mass of crumbling slate. pass'd round its foot between the trees & the edge of the water, & came to a Peninsula that juts out into the lake & looks along it both ways. in front rises Walla-crag, & Castle-hill, the Town, the road to Penrith, Skiddaw & Saddleback. returning met a brisk and cold N: Eastern blast, that ruffled all the surface of ye lake and made it rise in little waves that broke at the foot of the wood. After dinner walked up the Penrith-road 2 miles or more & turning into a corn-field to the right, call'd Castle-Rigg, saw a Druid-Circle of large stones 108 feet in diameter, the biggest not 8 feet high, but most of them still erect: they are 50 in number. the valley of St John's appear'd in sight, & the summits of Catchidecam (called by Camden, Casticand) & Helvellyn, said to be as high as Skiddaw, & to rise from a much higher base. a shower came on, & I return'd.

Oct: 6. Wd E: Clouds & sun. went in a chaise 8 miles along the east-side of Bassingth: Water to Ouse-Bridge (pronounce Ews-bridge) the road in some part made & very good, the rest slippery & dangerous cart-road, or narrow rugged lanes but no precipices: it runs directly along the foot of Skiddaw. opposite to Widhope-Brows (cloth'd to the top with wood) a very beautiful view opens down the Lake, wch is narrower & longer than that of Keswick, less broken into bays & without islands. at the foot of it a few paces from the brink gently sloping upward stands Armathwate in a thick grove of Scotch firs, commanding a noble view directly up the lake. at a small distance behind the house is a large extent of wood, & still behind this a ridge of cultivated hills, on wch (according to the Keswick-proverb) the Sun always shines. the inhabitants here on the contrary call the vale of Derwent-water the Devil's Chamber-pot, & pronounce the name of Skiddaw-fell (wch terminates here) with a sort of terror & aversion. Armathwate-House is a modern fabrick, not large, & built of dark-red stone, belonging to Mr Spedding, whose Gr:father was Steward to old Sr Ja: Lowther, & bought this estate of the Himers. so you must look for Mr Michell in some other country. the sky was overcast & the wind cool, so after dining at a publick house, wch stands here near the bridge (that crosses the Derwent just where it issues from the lake) & sauntering a little by the water-side I came home again. the turnpike is finish'd from Cockermouth hither (5 miles) & is carrying on to Penrith. several little showers to-day. A Man came in, who said there was snow on Cross-fell this morning.

Oct: 7. Market-day here. Wd N:E: Clouds & Sunshine. little showers at intervals all day. yet walk'd in the morning to Crow-park, & in the evening up Penrith-road. the clouds came rolling up the mountains all round very [unpromising]; yet the moon shone at intervals. it was too damp to go towards the lake. tomorrow mean to bid farewell to Keswick.

Botany might be studied here to great advantage at another season because of the great variety of soils & elevations all lieing within a small compass. I observed nothing but several curious Lichens, & plenty of gale or Dutch myrtle perfuming the borders of ye lake. this year the Wadd mine had been open'd (which is done once in 5 years) it is taken out in lumps sometimes as big as a man's fist, & will undergo no preparation by fire, not being fusible. when it is pure soft, black, & close-grain'd, it is worth sometimes 30 shillings a pound. there are no Charr ever taken in these lakes, but plenty in Butter-mere-water, which lies a little way N: of Borrodale, about Martlemas, wch are potted here. they sow chiefly oats & bigg here, wch are now cutting, & still on the ground. the rains have done much hurt; yet observe, the soil is so thin & light, that no day has pass'd, in wch I could not walk out with ease, & you know, I am no lover of dirt. Fell-mutton is now in season for about six weeks; it grows fat on ye mountains, & nearly resembles venison: excellent Pike & Perch (here called Bass) trout is out of season. partridge in great plenty. Rec:t to dress Perch (for Mrs Wharton)

Wash, but neither scale, nor gut them. broil till enough; then pull out the fins, & open them along ye back, take out the bone & all the inwards without breaking them. put in a large lump of butter & salt, clap the sides together, till it melts, & serve very hot. it it excellent. the skin must not be eaten.

Oct: 8. Left Keswick & took the Ambleside-road in a gloomy morning. Wd E: & afterwds N:E:. about 2 m: from the Town mounted an eminence call'd Castle-rigg, & the sun breaking out discover'd the most enchanting view I have yet seen of the whole valley behind me, the two lakes, the river, the mountains all in their glory! had almost a mind to have gone back again. the road in some few parts is not compleated, but good country-road thro' sound, but narrow & stony lanes, very safe in broad day-light. this is the case about Causeway-foot & among Naddle-Fells to Lanewaite. the vale you go in has little breadth, the mountains are vast & rocky, the fields little & poor, & the inhabitants are now making hay, & see not the sun by two hours in a day so long as at Keswick. came to the foot of Helvellyn along wch runs an excellent road, looking down from a little height on Lee's-water (call'd also Thirl-meer, or Wiborn -water) & soon descending on its margin. the lake from its depth looks black (tho' really clear as glass) & from the gloom of the vast crags, that scowl over it: it is narrow & about 3 miles long, resembling a river in its course. little shining torrents hurry down the rocks to join it, with not a bush to overshadow them, or cover their march. all is rock & loose stones up to the very brow, wch lies so near your way, that not half the height of Helvellyn can be seen.. (to be continued, but now we have got franks)

Happy new year & many to you all. Hepatica & Mezereon now in flower! I saw Mrs Jonathan, who is much fallen away, & was all in tears for the loss of her Brother's child: she & Miss Wilson desired their compliments. your nephew is here & very well. so is Mr Brown, who presents his best wishes.

Past by the little Chappel of Wiborn, out of wch the Sunday-congregation were then issuing.

Past a beck near Dunmail-raise, & enter'd Westmoreland a second time. now begin to see Helm-Crag distinguish'd from its rugged neighbours not so much by its height, as by the strange broken outline of its top, like some gigantic building demolish'd, & the stones that composed it, flung cross each other in wild confusion. just beyond it opens one of the sweetest landscapes, that art ever attempted to imitate. (the bosom of ye mountains spreading here into a broad bason) discovers in the midst Grasmere-water. its margin is hollow'd into small bays with bold eminences some of rock, some of soft turf, that half conceal, and vary the figure of the little lake they command, from the shore a low promontory pushes itself far into the water, & on it stands a white village with the parish-church rising in the midst of it, hanging enclosures, corn-fields, & meadows green as an emerald with their trees & hedges & cattle fill up the whole space from the edge of the water & just opposite to you is a large farm-house at the bottom of a steep smooth lawn embosom'd in old woods, wch climb half way up the mountain's side, & discover above them a broken line of crags, that crown the scene. not a single red tile, no flaring Gentleman's house, or garden-walls, break in upon the repose of this little unsuspected paradise, but all is peace, rusticity, & happy poverty in its neatest most becoming attire.

The road winds here over Grasmere-hill, whose rocks soon conceal the water from your sight, yet it is continued along behind them, & contracting itself to a river communicates with Ridale-water, another small lake, but of inferior size & beauty. it seems shallow too, for large patches of reeds appear pretty far within it. into this vale the road descends. on the opposite banks large & ancient woods mount up the hills, & just to the left of our way stands Rydale-hall, the family-seat of Sr Mic: Fleming, but now a farm-house, a large old-fashion'd fabrick surrounded with wood & not much too good for its present destination. Sr Michael is now on his travels, & all this timber far & wide belongs to him. I tremble for it, when he returns. near the house rises a huge crag call'd Rydale-head, wch is said to command a full view of Wynander-mere, & I doubt it not, for within a mile that great Lake is visible even from the road. as to going up the crag one might as well go up Skiddaw.

Came to Ambleside, 18 m: from Keswick meaning to lie there, but on looking into the best bed-chamber dark & damp as a cellar grew delicate, gave up Winandermere in despair & resolved I would go on to Kendal directly, 14 m: farther. the road in general fine turnpike, but some parts (about 3 m: in all) not made, yet without danger.

Unexpectedly was well-rewarded for my determination. the afternoon was fine, & the road for full 5 m: runs along the side of Winder-mere with delicious views across it & almost from one end to the other. it is ten miles in length, & at most a mile over, resembling the course of some vast & magnificent river, but no flat marshy grounds, no osier-beds, or patches of scrubby plantation on its banks. at the head two vallies open among the mountains, one that by wch we came down, the other Langsledale, in wch Wreenose & Hard-Knot, two great mountains, rise above the rest. from thence the fells visibly sink & soften along its sides, sometimes they run into it (but with a gentle declivity) in their own dark & natural complexion, oftener they are green & cultivated with farms interspersed & round eminences on the border cover'd with trees: towards the South it seem'd to break into larger bays with several islands & a wider extent of cultivation. the way rises continually till at a place call'd Orrest-head it turns to S:E: losing sight of the water.

Pass'd by Ings-Chappel, & Staveley, but I can say no farther, for the dusk of evening coming on I enter'd Kendal almost in the dark, & could distinguish only a shadow of the Castle on a hill, & tenter-grounds spread far & wide round the Town, wch I mistook for houses. my inn promised sadly having two wooden galleries (like Scotland) in front of it. it was indeed an old ill-contrived house, but kept by civil sensible people, so I stay'd two nights with them & fared & slept very comfortably.

Oct: 9. Wd N:W: clouds & sun. air mild as summer. all corn off the ground, sky-larks singing aloud (by the way I saw not one at Keswick, perhaps because the place abounds in birds of prey). went up the Castle-hill. the Town consists chiefly of three nearly parallel streets almost a mile long. except these all the other houses seem as if they had been dancing a country-dance & were out: there they stand back to back, corner to corner, some up hill, some down without intent or meaning. along by their side runs a fine brisk stream, over which are 3 stone-bridges. the buildings (a few comfortable houses excepted) are mean, of stone & cover'd with a bad rough-cast. near the end of the Town stands a handsome house of Col: Wilson's, & adjoining to it the Church, a very large Gothick fabrick with a square Tower. it has no particular ornaments but double isles, & at the east-end 4 chappels, or choirs. one of the Pars, another of the Stricklands, the 3d is the proper choir of ye church, & the 4th of ye Bellingcams, a family now extinct. is an altar-tomb of one of them dated 1577 with a flat brass, arms & quarterings. & in the window their arms alone, Arg: a hunting-horn, sab: strung Gules. in the Strickland's chappel several modern monuments, & another old altar-tomb, not belonging to the family: on the side of it, a Fess dancetty between 10 Billets (Deincourt?) in the Parr-chappel is a third altar-tomb in the corner, no fig: or inscription, but on the side cut in stone an escutcheon of Roos of Kendal (3 Water-Budgets) quartering Parr (2 bars in a bordure engrail'd). 2dly an escutcheon, Vaire, a Fess (for Marmion). 3dly. an escutcheon. three Chevronels braced & a Chief (wch I take for Fitzhugh) at the foot is an escutcheon surrounded with the Garter, bearing Roos & Parr quarterly, quartering the other two beforemention'd. I have no books to look in, therefore can not say, whether this is the Ld Parr of Kendal (Queen Catharine's Father) or her Brother, the Marquis of Northampton. it is a Cenotaph for the latter, who was buried at Warwick in 1571. the remains of the Castle are seated on a fine hill on the side of the river opposite to the Town. almost the whole enclosure of walls remains with 4 towers, 2 square & 2 or 3 round, but their upper part & embattlements are demolished. it is of rough stone & cement, without any ornament or arms, round enclosing a court of like form & surrounded by a mote, nor ever could have been larger than it is, for there are no traces of outworks. there is a good view of the town & river with a fertile open valley, thro wch it winds.

After dinner went along the Milthrop -turnpike 4 m: to see the falls (or force) of the river Kent. came to Siserge (pronounce Siser) & turn'd down a lane to the left. Siser, the seat of the Stricklands an old Catholick family, is an ancient Hall-house, with a very large tower embattled: the rest of the buildings added to this are of later date, but all is white & seen to advantage on a back ground of old trees: there is a small park also well-wooded. opposite to this turn'd to the left & soon came to the river. it works its way in a narrow & deep rocky channel o'erhung with trees. the calmness & brightness of ye evening, the roar of the waters, & the thumping of huge hammers at an iron-forge not far distant made it a singular walk, but as to the falls (for there are two) they are not 4 feet high. I went on down to the forge & saw the Dæmons at work by the light of their own fires: the iron is brought in pigs to Milthrop by sea from Scotland &c. & is here beat into bars & plates. two miles farther at Levens is the seat of Ld Suffolk, where he sometimes passes the summer. it was a favourite place of his late Countess: but this I did not see.

Oct: 10. went by Burton to Lancaster. Wd N:W: clouds & sun. 22 m: very good country well enclosed & wooded with some common interspersed. pass'd at the foot of Farlton-Knot, a high fell. 4 m: N: of Lancaster on a rising ground call'd Bolton (pron: Bouton)-Wait had a full view of Cartmell-sands with here and there a Passenger riding over them (it being low water) the points of Furness shooting far into the sea, & lofty mountains partly cover'd with clouds extending North of them. Lancaster also appear'd very conspicuous & fine, for its most distinguish'd features the Castle & Church, mounted on a green eminence, were all, that could be seen. woe is me! when I got thither, it was the second day of their fair. the Inn (in the principal street) was a great old gloomy house full of people, but I found tolerable quarters, & even slept two nights in peace.

Ascended the Castle-hill in a fine afternoon. it takes up the higher top of the eminence on wch it stands, & is irregularly round, encompassed with a deep mote. in front towards the Town is a magnificent Gothick Gateway, lofty & huge, the overhanging battlements are supported by a triple range of corbels, the intervals pierced thro' & shewing the day from above. on its top rise light watchtowers of small height. it opens below with a grand pointed arch: over this is a wrought tabernacle, doubtless once containing the Founders figure, on one side a shield of France semy quarter'd with England, on the other the same with a label ermine for John of Gant D: of Lancaster. this opens to a court within, wch I did not much care to enter, being the County Gaol & full of Prisoners, both Criminals & Debtors. from this gateway the walls continue & join it to a vast square tower of great height, the lower part at least of remote antiquity, for it has small round-headed lights with plain short pillars on each side of them, there is a third tower also square & of less dimensions. this is all the castle, near it & but little lower stands the Church, a large & plain Gothic fabrick, the high square Tower at the West-end has been rebuilt of late years, but nearly in the same style. there are no ornaments of arms, &c: any where to be seen. within it is lightsome & spacious, but not one monument of antiquity, or piece of painted glass is left. from the Church-yard there is an extensive sea-view (for now the tide had almost cover'd the sands, & fill'd the river) & besides greatest part of Furness I could distinguish Peel-Castle on the isle of Fowdrey, wch lies off its southern extremity. the Town is built on the slope & at the feet of the Castle-hill more than twice the bigness of Aukland with many neat buildings of white stone, but a little disorderly in their position ad libitum like Kendal. many also extend below on the keys by the river-side, where a number of ships were moor'd, some of them three-mast vessels deck'd out with their colours in honor of the Fair. here is a good bridge of 4 arches over the Lune, wch runs (when the tide is out) in two streams divided by a bed of gravel, wch is not cover'd but in spring-tides. below the town it widens to near the breadth of ye Thames at London, & meets the sea at 5 or 6 m: distance to S:W:

Oct: 11. Wd S:W: clouds & sun. warm & a fine dappled sky. cross'd the river & walk'd over a peninsula 3 miles to the village of Pooton wch stands on the beach. an old Fisherman mending his nets (while I enquired about the danger of passing those sands) told me in his dialect a moving story, how a brother of the trade, a Cockler (as he styled him) driving a little cart with two daughters (women grown) in it, & his Wife on horseback following, set out one day to pass the 7 mile sands, as they had frequently been used to do, for nobody in the village knew them better than the old Man did. when they were about half way over, a thick fog rose, & as they advanced, they found the water much deeper than they expected. the old man was puzzled, he stop'd, & said he would go a little way to find some mark he was acquainted with. they staid a little while for him, but in vain. they call'd aloud, but no reply. at last the young women press'd their mother to think, where they were, & go on. she would not leave the place, she wander'd about forlorn & amazed, she would not quit her horse, & get into the cart with them. they determined after much time wasted to turn back, & give themselves up to the guidance of their horses. the old Woman was soon wash'd off and perish'd. the poor Girls clung close to their cart, & the horse sometimes wading & sometimes swimming brought them back to land alive, but senseless with terror & distress & unable for many days to give any account of themselves. the bodies of their parents were found soon after; that of the Father a very few paces distant from the spot, where he had left them.

In the afternoon wander'd about the town & by the key till it grew dark. a little rain fell.

Oct: 11 [12] Wd N:E: sky gloomy, then gleams of sunshine. set out for Settle by a fine turnpike road, 29 miles.

Rich & beautiful enclosed country diversified with frequent villages & churches, very unequal ground, & on the left the river Lune winding in a deep valley, its hanging banks clothed with fine woods, thro' wch you catch long reaches of the water, as the road winds about at a considerable height above it. pass'd the Park (Hon: Mr Clifford's, a catholick) in the most picturesque part of the way. the grounds between him & the river are indeed charming: the house is ordinary, & the park nothing but a rocky fell scatter'd over with ancient hawthorns. came to Hornby a little Town on the river Wanning, over wch a handsome bridge is now in building. the Castle in a lordly situation attracted me, so I walkd up the hill to it. first presents itself a large but ordinary white Gentleman's house sash'd. behind it rises the ancient Keep built by Edward Stanley, Lord Mounteagle (inscribed Helas et quand?) he died about 1524 in Henry the 8th's time. it is now a shell only, tho' rafters are laid within it as for flooring. I went up a winding stone-staircase in one corner to the leads, & at the angle is a single hexagon watch-tower rising some feet higher, fitted up in the tast of a modern Toot with sash-windows in gilt frames, & a stucco cupola, & on the top a vast gilt eagle by Mr Charteris, the present Possessor. but he has not lived here since the year 1745, when the people of Lancaster insulted him, threw stones into his coach, & almost made his Wife (Lady Katherine Gordon) miscarry. since that he has built a great ugly house of red stone (thank God it is not in England) near Haddington, wch I remember to have pass'd by. he is the 2d Son of the Earl of Wemyss, & brother to the Ld Elcho, Grandson to Col: Charteris, whose name he bears.

From the leads of the Tower there is a fine view of the country round, & much wood near the castle. Ingleborough, wch I had seen before distinctly at Lancaster to N:E: was now compleatly wrap'd in clouds all but its summit, wch might have been easily mistaken for a long black cloud too, fraught with an approaching storm. now our road begun gradually to mount towards the Apennine, the trees growing less, and thinner of leaves, till we came to Ingleton 18 m: it is a pretty village situated very high & yet in a valley at the foot of that huge creature of God Ingleborough. two torrents cross it with great stones roll'd along their bed instead of water: over them are two handsome arches flung. here at a little ale-house were Sr Bellingcam Graham & Mr Parker, Ld of ye Manour (one of them 6 feet ½ high, & the other as much in breadth) come to dine.

The nipping air (tho' the afternoon was growing very bright) now taught us, we were in Craven. the road was all up & down (tho' no where very steep). to the left were mountain-tops (Weryside), to the right a wide valley (all inclosed ground) & beyond it high hills again. in approaching Settle the crags on the left drew nearer to our way, till we ascended Brunton-brow, into a chearful valley (tho' thin of trees) to Giggleswick a village with a small piece of water by its side cover'd over with coots. near it a Church, wch belongs also to Settle & half a mile farther having passed the Ribble over a bridge arrived at Settle. it is a small market-town standing directly under a rocky fell. there are not a dozen good-looking houses, the rest are old & low with little wooden portico's in front. my inn pleased me much (tho' small) for the neatness & civility of the good Woman that kept it, so I lay there two nights, & went

Oct: 12 [13] to visit Gordale-Scar. Wd N:E: day gloomy & cold. it lay but 6 m: from Settle, but that way was directly over a Fell, & it might rain, so I went round in a chaise the only way one could get near it in a carriage, wch made it full 13 m: & half of it such a road! but I got safe over it, so there's an end, & came to Malham (pronounce Maum) a village in the bosom of the mountains seated in a wild & dreary valley. from thence I was to walk a mile over very rough ground, a torrent rattling along on the left hand. on the cliffs above hung a few goats: one of them danced & scratched an ear with its hind-foot in a place where I would not have stood stock-still

for all beneath the moon.

as I advanced the crags seem'd to close in, but discover'd a narrow entrance turning to the left between them. I followed my guide a few paces, & lo, the hills open'd again into no large space, & then all farther way is bar'd by a stream, that at the height of about 50 feet gushes from a hole in the rock, & spreading in large sheets over its broken front dashes from steep to steep, & then rattles away in a torrent down the valley. the rock on the left rises perpendicular with stubbed yew-trees & shrubs, staring from its side to the height of at least 300 feet. but these are not the thing! it is that to the right, under wch you stand to see the fall, that forms the principal horror of the place. from its very base it begins to slope forwards over you in one black & solid mass without any crevice in its surface, & overshadows half the area below with its dreadful canopy. when I stood at (I believe) full 4 yards distance from its foot, the drops wch perpetually distill from its brow, fell on my head, & in one part of the top more exposed to the weather there are loose stones that hang in air, & threaten visibly some idle Spectator with instant destruction. it is safer to shelter yourself close to its bottom, & trust the mercy of that enormous mass, wch nothing but an earthquake can stir. the gloomy uncomfortable day well suited the savage aspect of the place, & made it still more formidable. I stay'd there (not without shuddering) a quarter of an hour, & thought my trouble richly paid, for the impression will last for life. at the alehouse where I dined, in Malham, Vivares, the landscape-painter, had lodged for a week or more. Smith & Bellers had also been there, & two prints of Gordale have been engraved by them. return'd to my comfortable inn. night fine, but windy & frosty.

Oct: 13 [14]. Went to Skipton, 16 miles. Wd N:E: gloomy, at one o'clock a little sleet falls. from several parts of the road, & in many places about Settle I saw at once the three famous hills of this country, Ingleborough, Penigent, & Pendle, the first is esteem'd the highest. their features are hard to describe, but I could trace their outline with a pencil.

Craven after all is an unpleasing country, when seen from a height. its valleys are chiefly wide & either marshy, or enclosed pasture with a few trees. numbers of black Cattle are fatted here, both of the Scotch breed, & a larger sort of oxen with great horns. there is little cultivated ground, except a few oats.

[Oct: 14. Wd N:E: gloomy. at noon a few grains of sleet fell, then bright & clear. Went thro' Long-Preston & Gargrave to] Skipton [16 miles. it] is a pretty large Market-Town in a valley with one very broad street gently sloping downwards from the Castle, wch stands at the head of it. this is one of our good Countesse's buildings, but on old foundations: it is not very large, but of a handsome antique appearance with round towers, a grand Gateway, bridge & mote, & many old trees about it, in good repair, & kept up, as a habitation of the Earl of Thanet, tho' he rarely comes thither. what with the sleet & a foolish dispute about chaises, that delay'd me, I did not see the inside of it, but went on 15 miles to Ottley. first up Shode-bank, the steepest hill I ever saw a road carried over in England, for it mounts in a strait line (without any other repose for the horses, than by placing stones every now & then behind the wheels) for a full mile. then the road goes on a level along the brow of this high hill over Rumbald-moor, till it gently descends into Wharldale: so they call the Vale of the Wharf, & a beautiful vale it is, well-wooded, well-cultivated, well-inhabited, but with high crags at distance, that border the green country on either hand. thro' the midst of it deep, clear, full to the brink, & of no inconsiderable breadth runs in long windings the river. how it comes to pass that it should be so fine & copious a stream here, & at Tadcaster (so much lower) should have nothing but a wide stony channel without water, I can not tell you. I pass'd through Long-Addingham, Ilkeley (pronounce Eecla) distinguish'd by a lofty brow of loose rocks to the right, Burley, a neat & pretty village among trees. on the opposite side of the river lay Middleton-Lodge, belonging to a Catholick Gentleman of that name; Weston, a venerable stone-fabrick with large offices, of Mr Vavasor, the meadows in front gently descending to the water, & behind a great & shady wood. Farnley (Mr Fawke's) a place like the last, but larger, & rising higher on the side of the hill. Ottley is a large airy Town, with clean but low rustick buildings, & a bridge over the Wharf. I went into its spatious Gothic Church, wch has been new-roof'd with a flat stucco ceiling. in a corner of it is the monument of Tho: Ld Fairfax, & Helen Aske, his Lady, descended from the Cliffords & Latimers, as her epitaph says. the figures not ill-cut particularly his in armour, but bare-headed, lie on the tomb. I take them for the Grand Parents of the famous Sr Tho: Fairfax.

Letter ID: letters.0573 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Writer's age: 53
Addressee: Wharton, Thomas, 1717-1794
Addressee's age: 53[?]


Date of composition: 3 January 1770
Date (on letter): 3 Jan: 1770
Calendar: Gregorian


Place of composition: Cambridge, United Kingdom
Address (on letter): Pemb: C:
Place of addressee: Durham, United Kingdom

Physical description

Form/Extent: A.L.S.; 5 pages, 228 mm x 180 mm
Addressed: To Thos. Wharton Esq. of Old Park near Darlington Durham (postmark: CAMBRIDGE)


Language: English
Incipit: Oct: 5. Wd N:E: Clouds & sunshine. Walk'd thro' the meadows & corn-fields...
Mentioned: Ambleside
Armathwate House
Cross Fell
Derwent Water
Derwent, River
Gordale Scar
Kent, River
Long Addingham
Lune, River
Ribble, River

Holding Institution

Egerton MS 2400, ff. 197-199, Manuscripts collection, British Library , London, UK <>
Availability: The original letter is extant and usually available for academic research purposes

Print Versions

  • The Poems of Mr. Gray. To which are prefixed Memoirs of his Life and Writings by W[illiam]. Mason. York: printed by A. Ward; and sold by J. Dodsley, London; and J. Todd, York, 1775, letter iv, section v, 360-364
  • The Works of Thomas Gray, 2 vols. Ed. by John Mitford. London: J. Mawman, 1816, section V, letter VIII/IX, vol. ii, 531-549
  • The Letters of Thomas Gray, 2 vols. in one. London: J. Sharpe, 1819, letter CXLIV, vol. ii, 146-165
  • The Works of Thomas Gray, 5 vols. Ed. by John Mitford. London: W. Pickering, 1835-1843, section V, letter IX, vol. iv, 154-178
  • 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, journal 4, vol. iii, 244-264
  • 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. 511, vol. iii, 1094-1098