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Thomas Gray to Thomas Wharton, [9 November 1758]

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Dr Wharton, M:D:, in
Southampton-Row, Bloomsbury
10 NO

Dear Doctor

My judgement is, that if your picture possess but any one of the beauties you see & describe in it, it must be certainly worth eight or ten times as much as you gave for it. I only wonder, you should forget to say by what lucky chance you came by it. Old Frank was a Dutch Master of some note: the history of that School I am very little acquainted with, but if I am not mistaken, there was lately publish'd a French account of their lives in two or more Volumes, 4to, wch I have seen at Nourse's, in wch you may meet with better information.

I am agreeably employ'd here in dividing nothing with an old Harridan, who is the spawn of Cerberus & the Dragon of Wantley. When I shall get to Town I can not divine, but doubtless it will be between this & Christmas. you were so good to offer me house-room for some of my lumber: I am therefore packing up certain boxes & baskets, wch I believe you will be troubled with. but I beg Mrs Wharton to consider well first, whether it will be inconvenient to her. if she assures me, it will not, I shall inform you shortly of their shapes & numbers. at present it seems to me, that there will be 3 or 4 large boxes; & five baskets of China: the rest Madam Foster shall accommodate.

Ah poor King of Prussia! what will become of him? I am told here, that matters are much worse, than is yet avowed. I also hear that seven Generals have refused the command, wch Hopson is now gone with, who has been before censured for ill conduct, & is besides so infirm, that he will not live the voyage.

Adieu, Dear Sr, I am ever
Letter ID: letters.0325 (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 November 1758]
Date (on letter): Nov: 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, 200 mm x 157 mm
Addressed: To / Dr Wharton, M:D:, in / Southampton-Row, Bloomsbury / London (postmark: 10 NO)


Language: English
Incipit: My judgement is, that if your picture possess but any one of the beauties...
Mentioned: Descamps, Jean-Baptiste

Holding Institution

Egerton MS 2400, ff. 118-119, 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 LXXIX, vol. ii, 324-325
  • The Works of Thomas Gray, 5 vols. Ed. by John Mitford. London: W. Pickering, 1835-1843, section IV, letter LXXXVII, vol. iii, 208-209
  • 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. CLXXVII, vol. ii, 58-60
  • 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. 282, vol. ii, 591-592