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Thomas Gray to William Mason, [23 May 1765]

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To The Revd Mr Mason, Precentor of the Cathedral of York
23 MA

Dear Mason

In my way into the remote parts of the North I mean to make you a visit at York. probably you will see me there on Wednesday next in the evening. it is your business to consider, whether you have a house & a bed for me, for I shall stay there a week perhaps, if you continue agreeable so long. I have been in Town this month, every day teeming with prodigies. I suppose you receive expresses every three hours, & therefore I pass over the Regency-bill, the Weaver's petition, the siege of Bedford-House, the riot on Ludgate-Hill, the royal embassy to Hayes, the Carte-Blanche refused with disdain, the subversion of the Ministry, wch fights to the last gasp, & afterwards, like the Man, che combattea, ed era morto, & yet stands upon its legs, & spits in its Master's face to this day, because no body will deign to take its place; the House of Commons standing at gaze with its hands before it; the House of Lords bullying the Justices of Peace, and fining the Printers; the King —— &c: &c: o o the rest is left to oral tradition.

Letter ID: letters.0458 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Writer's age: 48
Addressee: Mason, William, 1724-1797
Addressee's age: 41


Date of composition: [23 May 1765]
Date (on letter): May 23.
Calendar: Gregorian


Place of composition: London, United Kingdom
Address (on letter): Jermyn-Street
Place of addressee: York, United Kingdom

Physical description

Addressed: To The Revd Mr Mason, Precentor of the Cathedral of York (postmark: 23 MA)


Language: English
Incipit: In my way into the remote parts of the North I mean to make you a visit...
Mentioned: Hayes

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 LXXXIX, 337-339
  • 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. CCLXXI, vol. iii, 74-75
  • 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. 404, vol. ii, 876-877