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William Mason to Thomas Gray, [27 March 1771]

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Thomas Gray Esqr Pembroke Hall Cambridge
27 M[R]

Dear Mr Gray

I find from Stonhewer that he has now £129 - 10 - 6, as appears by the acct on the opposite page. If therefore it be not inconvenient to you I should be glad to borrow £100 of you, for a little pocket money during the present sequestration of my Ecclesiastical & temporal concerns. I wish you would favor me with a line as soon as may be on this matter, & if you do not object to my proposal I will immediatly send you my Note wch I have the vanity to presume is as good as My bond.

S is perfectly well. The forthnights rest wch his feverish complaint obligd him to take totally removd his other malady; so that he has never had occasion to recur to his former applications wch both you & I thought dangerous, & I always unnecessary.

Wilson was with me yesterday. He has very gladly accepted the Tutoring of Mr Pierse, & will write to Mr Brown shortly on that subject. I therefore turn the matter over entirely to him & the Master.

The general opinion of what will be the business of the day is that the Lord Mayor on acct of his Gout will not be sent to the Tower but committed to the care of Bonfoy; whose pizzy-wizzy-ship will be horribly frighted on the occasion. The Mob is nothing in comparison of what you would [have] thought respectable when you interested yourself in those matters and attended them in Bloomsbury square.

I am much amused at present in being privy to a great Court secret known only to myself, the King, & about 5 or 6 persons more in the world. I found it out by a Penetration wch would have done honour to a First Minister in the best of days, even in the days of Sr Robert or Fobus. When it is ripe for discovery I shall perhaps let you into some parts of it that will never be made public, in the meanwhile Mum is the word from

Your friend & Servant,

I am glad the Master likes his Chairs my true love to him

Recd by Mr Stonhewer of Mr Barber}  
for Mr Gray   180 - 14 - 0   
Paid for Mr Browns Patent   49 - 1 - 6  
Given to Mr Barber   2 - 2 - 0  
51 - 3 - 6  
Remains  129 - 10 - 6  
Letter ID: letters.0629 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Mason, William, 1724-1797
Writer's age: 47
Addressee: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Addressee's age: 54


Date of composition: [27 March 1771]
Date (on letter): March 27th
Calendar: Gregorian


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

Physical description

Addressed: Thomas Gray Esqr Pembroke Hall Cambridge (postmark: 27 M[R])


Language: English
Incipit: I find from Stonhewer that he has now £129-10-6, as appears by the acct...
Mentioned: Brown, James, 1709-1784
Stonhewer, Richard, 1728-1809

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 CXXXIII, 445-448
  • 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. CCCLXXX, vol. iii, 311-313
  • 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. 547, vol. iii, 1177-1179