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Thomas Gray to Thomas Wharton, 28 June 1753

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Dr Thomas Wharton, MD,
By Caxton

My dear Doctor

You may well suppose me no longer here, as I have neglected thus long to answer two very kind letters, & (wch is more) to congratulate you on what most of your friends regard as a very happy event: but to me, I own, it has another face, as I have a much greater regard for you than for the young Gentleman, whom I never saw; & foresee, that from this time you will never part with your bottle, wch is properly the father of this boy. all my rhetorick will be thrown away, the Gout may groan at you, & brandish its crutches, the Stone rattle, & the Palsy shake its head unheeded. we shall be no match for Claret, if it can get an heir, as well as carry an election. now I talk of elections, we have a report here that your friend Mr V: (I mean Ld Barnard) means to bring in his Son-in-law at Durham. is this true? H: Vane sets out for the North on Saturday, so I suppose the Bishop's entry will be over next week. and next Monday fortnight I hope to set out myself with Stonhewer, who is going down to his fathers, in a Post-chaise. we shall not come very fast, as I propose to see Burleigh, Bevoir-Castle, &c: by the way. but I shall write again before I come, to tell you exactly what day we shall be at York. if the time does not suit you, you will inform me as soon as possible. I did not run away from his Grace, but follow'd your advice, had a very affectionate squeeze by the hand, & a fine Complement in a corner. many people here have been curious to know what it was; but I have kept my own secret, for indeed I do not know myself: only I remember it felt warm, & sweated a little. Adieu! you will not fail to present my Complements to Mrs Wharton. if she drank as much Claret, as you have done, we shall have the Boy stand for the County, as soon as he can walk alone. Mr Brown (I believe) will be engaged here with Plummer greatest part of the Summer: [he and Tuthill] desire to be remember'd to you both.

I am ever
Truly Yours
T G.
Letter ID: letters.0206 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Writer's age: 36
Addressee: Wharton, Thomas, 1717-1794
Addressee's age: 36[?]


Date of composition: 28 June 1753
Date (on letter): June 28 .. 1753. Thursday
Calendar: Gregorian


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

Physical description

Form/Extent: A.L.S.; 2 pages, 201 mm x 161 mm
Addressed: To / Dr Thomas Wharton, MD, / at / Durham / By Caxton (postmark: CAMBRIDGE)


Language: English
Incipit: You may well suppose me no longer here, as I have neglected thus long...
Mentioned: Belvoir Castle
Burleigh House
Stonhewer, Richard, 1728-1809

Holding Institution

Egerton MS 2400, ff. 52-53, 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 IV, letter XXXVIII, vol. ii, 236-237
  • The Works of Thomas Gray, 5 vols. Ed. by John Mitford. London: W. Pickering, 1835-1843, section IV, letter XLV, vol. iii, 108-110
  • 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. CIV, vol. i, 232-233
  • 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. 177, vol. i, 376-378