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William Mason to Thomas Gray, 22 July 1765

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To Thomas Gray Esqr at Thomas Whartons Esqr at Old Park near Durham
ROTH[ER]HAM

Dear Mr Gray

As bad as Your Verses were, they are Yours, & therefore when I get back to York Ill paste them carefully in the first page of My Shakespeare to inhance its Value for I intend it to be put in My Marriage Settlement as a Provision for my Younger Daughters. My Eldest Boy is to be provided for out of Huttons Nose & I have just now writ to Stonehewer to get a reversionary grant of a Commission of Hawkers & Pedlars for my second Son. When this matter is settled I hope soon to be in possession of My gentle Argentile. For really & sincerely I have seen her, got her Consent have written to her Father & Letters now pass evry Post relative to her Jointure. After all I verily beleive it wont do. And am at present much out of sorts about it. and was it not that I love her more than ever, should wish I had been soused Head & Ears at Hartlepool e'er I had ventured to make my proposals. But no more of this. You wont pity me now, no more than you did when I was in residence & Sore Eyes.

I am here about the Commission concerning My Exchange of Glebe wch I hope to finish next Wednesday. After wch I shall go soon either to Hull or York unless Lord Holdernesse stops me by coming here next Week, wch tho he talks of doing, I fancy he will not.

I know nothing of Politics except from a Letter of Frasers, that He is taken from Lord Northumberland by the Duke of Grafton & is just where he was four years ago with Lord Holdernesse. Poor Fellow I pity him, but I hope Stonehewer will be good to him for he is a worthy Creature. I have no beleif however in the Duration of this Ministry unless Mr Pitt adds himself to it, which I fancy hell hardly do.

You will be very cross I know at this Letter, since it will tell you that I shall not come to Hartlepool. For I know You want somebody that you may Frump & scold & say sharp things to. And my Dovelike temper would be n[o]thing in the world for you after a g[ulp] of Sea Water. However my Eyes are [so] perfectly well, that I laugh at the Scurvy.

I direct this to Dr Whartons on Supposition that you are tird of Hartlepool. Give my best compliments to the Dr & His Lady & beleive me to be as much as I can be any bodys at present

Yours most sincerely
W MASON
Letter ID: letters.0462 (Source: TEI/XML)

Correspondents

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

Dates

Date of composition: 22 July 1765
Date (on letter): July 22d 1765
Calendar: Gregorian

Places

Place of composition: Aston, United Kingdom
Address (on letter): Aston
Place of addressee: Durham, United Kingdom

Physical description

Addressed: To Thomas Gray Esqr at Thomas Whartons Esqr at Old Park near Durham (postmark: ROTH[ER]HAM)

Content

Language: English
Incipit: As bad as Your Verses were, they are Yours, & therefore when I get back...
Mentioned: Grafton, Augustus Henry Fitzroy, Duke of, 1735-1811
Hartlepool
Isle of Wight
Mason, William
Shakespeare, William
Stonhewer, Richard, 1728-1809
Wharton, Thomas, 1717-1794
William Shakespeare to Mrs Anne, Regular Servant to the Revd Mr Precentor of York

Holding Institution

Location:
(confirmed)
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 <https://www.nypl.org/about/divisions/berg-collection-english-and-american-literature>
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 XCI, 341-343
  • 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. CCLXXIV, vol. iii, 78-79
  • 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. 408, vol. ii, 881-883