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Thomas Gray to Thomas Wharton, 20 April 1769

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Thomas Wharton Esq
at Old-Park near
to be left at
20 [A]P

Dear Doctor

You have reason to call me negligent, nor have I any thing to alledge in my own defence, but two successive fits of the gout, wch tho' weakly & not severe, were at least dispiriting, & lasted a long time. I rejoiced to hear your alarms for Robin & Kitty ended so happily, & with them (I hope), are fled a great part of your future inquietudes on their account. in the summer I flatter myself we may all meet in health once more at Old-Park, & a part of us perhaps at the foot of Skiddaw. I am to call Mason in my way, & bring him with me to visit his own works. Mr Brown admitted your Nephew according to your orders, & will provide him with a room against October.

I do not guess, what intelligence St: gave you about my employments: but the worst employment I have had has been to write something for musick against the D: of G: comes to Cambridge. I must comfort myself with the intention: for I know it will bring abuse enough on me. however it is done, & given to the V: Chancellor, & there is an end. I am come to Town for a fortnight, & find every thing in extreme confusion, as you may guess from your news-papers: nothing but force threaten'd on both sides, & the Law (as usual) watching the event & ready to side with the strongest. the only good thing I hear is, that France is on the brink of a general bankrupcy, & their fleet (the only thing they have laid out money on of late) in no condition of service.

The Spring is come in all its beauty, & for two or three days I am going to meet it at Windsor. Adieu & let us pray it may continue till July. remember me to Mrs Wharton & all the family.

I am ever
T G:

Mason has just left us & is gone to Aston.

Letter ID: letters.0552 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Writer's age: 52
Addressee: Wharton, Thomas, 1717-1794
Addressee's age: 52[?]


Date of composition: 20 April 1769
Date (on letter): 20 April. 1769
Calendar: Gregorian


Place of composition: [London, United Kingdom]
Address (on letter): London
Place of addressee: Durham, United Kingdom

Physical description

Form/Extent: A.L.S.; 2 pages, 222 mm x 180 mm
Addressed: To / Thomas Wharton Esq / at Old-Park near / Darlington / Durham / to be left at / Sunderland-bridge (postmark: 20 [A]P)


Language: English
Incipit: You have reason to call me negligent, nor have I any thing to alledg...
Mentioned: Brown, James, 1709-1784
Grafton, Augustus Henry Fitzroy, Duke of, 1735-1811
Ode for Music
Old Park
Stonhewer, Richard, 1728-1809

Holding Institution

Egerton MS 2400, ff. 187-188, Manuscripts collection, British Library , London, UK <>
Availability: The original letter is extant and usually available for academic research purposes

Print Versions

  • The Works of Thomas Gray, 2 vols. Ed. by John Mitford. London: J. Mawman, 1816, section V, letter I, vol. ii, 509-510
  • The Works of Thomas Gray, 5 vols. Ed. by John Mitford. London: W. Pickering, 1835-1843, section V, letter I, vol. iv, 128-130
  • 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. CCCXLIII, vol. iii, 219-221
  • 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. 493, vol. iii, 1056-1058