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Thomas Gray to Norton Nicholls, 27 August 1768

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To The Revd Mr Nicholls at Blundeston near Leostoff Suffolk
27 AV

Dear Sr

I hope in God, before now you have given Mr Barrett his answer. I always supposed you would refuse, & told him so: yet as he does not write to me, I much doubt whether you have acquainted him of it. why, did not I desire you to do so out of hand? & did not I make my civilities to Mrs. Nicholls? 'tis sure I intended both one & the other: but you never allow for business: why, I am selling an estate, & over head & ears in writings.

Next week I come to Cambridge. pray let me find a letter from you there, telling me the way to Lovingland: for thither I come, as soon as I have been sworn in, & subscribed, & been at Church. poor Mr Spence was found drown'd in his own garden at Byfield: probably (being paralytic) he fell into the water, & had no one near to help him: so History has lost two of her chief supports almost at once. let us pray for their Successors! his Danish Majesty has had a Diarrhæa, so could not partake of Dr Marriot's collation: if he goes thither at all, I would contrive not to be present at the time.

Adieu! I am
T G:
Letter ID: letters.0542 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Writer's age: 51
Addressee: Nicholls, Norton, c. 1742-1809
Addressee's age: 26[?]


Date of composition: 27 August 1768
Date (on letter): Sat: 27 Aug: 1768
Calendar: Gregorian


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

Physical description

Form/Extent: A.L.S.; 1 page
Addressed: To The Revd Mr Nicholls at Blundeston near Leostoff Suffolk (postmark: 27 AV)


Language: English
Incipit: I hope in God, before now you have given Mr Barrett his answer....
Mentioned: Byfleet (Byfield)
Mason, William, 1724-1797

Holding Institution

College Library, Eton College , Windsor, UK <>
Availability: The original letter is extant and usually available for academic research purposes; bound into a copy of Mathias's Works of Thomas Gray (London, 1814), vol. II, part 2; a photocopy is at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, OSB MSS c 467, box 1, folder 74

Print Versions

  • The Works of Thomas Gray, 5 vols. Ed. by John Mitford. London: W. Pickering, 1835-1843, letter XIII, vol. v, 80
  • 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. CCCXXXV, vol. iii, 208
  • 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. 485, vol. iii, 1045