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Thomas Gray to William Mason, [1 August 1768]

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Dear Mason

Where you are, I know not: but before this can reach you, I guess you will be in residence. it is only to tell you, that I profess modern history & languages in a little shop of mine at Cambridge, if you will recommend me any customers. on Sunday Brocket died of a fall from his horse, drunk, I believe, & (as some say) returning from Hinchinbroke. on Wednesday the D: of Grafton wrote me a very handsome letter to say, that the King offer'd the vacant place to me, with many more speeches too honorable for me to transcribe. on Friday at the Levy I kiss'd his Maj:s hand. what he said, I will not tell you: because every body, that has been at Court, tells what the K: said to them: it was very gracious however. remember you are to say, that the Cabinet-council all approved of the nomination in a particular manner. it is hinted to me, that I should say this publickly, & I have been at their several doors to thank them. now I have told you all the exterior, the rest (the most essential) you can easily guess, & how it came about. now are you glad, or sorry, pray?

Yours ever
T G. P: M: H: & L:
Letter ID: letters.0538 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Writer's age: 51
Addressee: Mason, William, 1724-1797
Addressee's age: 44


Date of composition: [1 August 1768]
Date (on letter): Aug:
Calendar: Gregorian


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

Physical description

Addressed: (postmark: 1 AV DW)


Language: English
Incipit: Where you are, I know not: but before this can reach you, I guess you will...
Mentioned: Brockett, Lawrence, 1724-1768
Grafton, Augustus Henry Fitzroy, Duke of, 1735-1811

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 CXXI, 418-419
  • 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. CCCXXXII, vol. iii, 203-204
  • 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. 481, vol. iii, 1039