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Thomas Gray to Thomas Wharton, 9 August 1758

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Dr Thomas Wharton M:D: in
Southampton Row, Bloomsbury
10 AV

Dear Doctr

I have been, since I saw you in Town, pretty much on the wing, at Hampton, Twickenham, & elsewhere. I staid at the first of these places with the Cobhams two days & should (I own) gladly have done so longer, but for the reason we talk'd about. the place spite of the weather is delightful: every little gleam of sunshine, every accident of light, opens some new beauty in the view, & I never saw in so small a spot so much variety, & so many natural advantages, nor ever hardly wish'd more for your company to partake of them. we were also at Hampton-Court, Sion, & several places in the neighbourhood again, particularly at Ld Lincoln's, who (I think) is hurting his view by two plantations in front of his terrace, that regularly answer one another, & are of an oval form with rustic buildings in the middle of them, a farm, dairies, &c:. they stand on the opposite side of the water, & (as they prosper) will join their shade to that of the hills in the horizon, exclude all the intermediate scene of enclosures, meadows, & cattle feeding, & reduce that great distance to nothing. this seems to be the advice of some new Gardiner, or Director of my Lord's Taste; his Successor perhaps may cut all down again.

I shall beg the favor of you (as you were so kind to offer it) to buy us a Lottery-Ticket, if you find the Market will not be much lower than at present; & (if you think it has no great hazard in it) enclose it to me here: I will take care to repay you as soon as I come to Town, or (if you chuse it) directly. my best respects to Mrs Wharton. pray let me hear soon, how you both are.

believe me ever
Letter ID: letters.0317 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Writer's age: 41
Addressee: Wharton, Thomas, 1717-1794
Addressee's age: 41[?]


Date of composition: 9 August 1758
Date (on letter): Aug: 9 ... 1758
Calendar: Gregorian


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

Physical description

Form/Extent: A.L.S.; 1 page, 210 mm x 161 mm
Addressed: To / Dr Thomas Wharton M:D: in / Southampton Row, Bloomsbury / London (postmark: 10 AV)


Language: English
Incipit: I have been, since I saw you in Town, pretty much on the wing,...
Mentioned: Hampton
Hampton Court
Oatlands Park, Weybridge
Speed, Henrietta Jane, 1728-1783

Holding Institution

Egerton MS 2400, ff. 112-113, 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 LXXIV, vol. ii, 311-312
  • The Works of Thomas Gray, 5 vols. Ed. by John Mitford. London: W. Pickering, 1835-1843, section IV, letter LXXXII, vol. iii, 193-194
  • 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. CLXIX, vol. ii, 35-36
  • 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. 274, vol. ii, 578