Skip main navigation

Horace Walpole to Thomas Gray, 15 February 1759

Back to Letters page

[Use arrow keys to navigate]

The inclosed which I have this minute received from Mr Bentley, explains much that I had to say to you – yet I have a question or two more.

Who & what sort of Man is a Mr Sharp of Bennet? I have received a most obliging & genteel letter from him, with the very letter of Edw. 6th which you was so good as to send me. I have answered his, but shoud like to know a little more about him. Pray thank the Dean of Lincoln too for me; I am much obliged to him for his offer, but had rather draw upon his Lincolnship than his Cambridgehood. In the library of the former are some original letters of Tiptoft, as you will find in my Catalogue. When Dr. Greene is there, I shall be glad if he will let me have them copied.

I will thank you if you will look in some provincial history of Ireland for Odo (Hugh) Oneil King of Ulster; when did he live? I have got a most curious Seal of his, & know no more of him than of Ouacraw King of the Paw-waws.

I wanted to ask you whether you or anybody that you beleive in, beleive in the Q. of Scots' letter to Q. Elizabeth – If it is genuine, I dont wonder she cut her head off – but I think it must be some forgery that was not made use of.

Now to my distress – you must have seen an Advertisement, perhaps the book itself, the villainous book itself, that has been published to defend me against the Critical Review. I have been childishly unhappy about it, & had drawn up a protestation or Affidavit of my knowing nothing of it, but my friends woud not let me publish it. I sent to the printer who woud not discover the Author – nor coud I guess. They tell me nobody can suspect my being privy to it, but there is an Intimacy affected that I think will deceive many – & yet I must be the most arrogant fool living if I coud know & suffer anybody to speak of me in that Style – For God's sake do all you can for me, and publish my Abhorrence. Today I am told that it is that puppy Dr Hill, who has chosen to make war with the Magazines thro my Sides. I coud pardon him any abuse, but I never can forgive this Friendship.

Yrs ever
Letter ID: letters.0335 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Walpole, Horace, 1717-1797
Writer's age: 41
Addressee: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Addressee's age: 42


Date of composition: 15 February 1759
Date (on letter): Feb. 15. 1759
Calendar: Gregorian


Place of composition: London, United Kingdom
Address (on letter): Arlington street


Language: English
Incipit: The inclosed which I have this minute received from Mr Bentley, explains...
Mentioned: Critical Review
Hill, Dr. John
Murdin, William
Walpole, Horace, 1717-1797
Surrogates: Digital facsimile [JPEG] from original letter

Holding Institution

HW MSS, Manuscript Collections, The Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University Library , New Haven, CT (Beinecke)/Farmington, CT (Lewis Walpole), USA <>
Availability: The original letter is extant and usually available for academic research purposes

Print Versions

  • The Works of Horatio Walpole, Earl of Orford, 5 vols. London: G. G. and J. Robinson and J. Edwards, 1798, vol. v, 355-356
  • The Correspondence of Gray, Walpole, West and Ashton (1734-1771), 2 vols. Chronologically arranged and edited with introduction, notes, and index by Paget Toynbee. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1915, letter no. 211, vol. ii, 179-182
  • The Yale Edition of Horace Walpole's Correspondence. Ed. by W. S. Lewis. New Haven, Conn.: Yale UP; London: Oxford UP, 1937-83, vols. 13/14: Horace Walpole's Correspondence with Thomas Gray, Richard West and Thomas Ashton i, 1734-42, Horace Walpole's Correspondence with Thomas Gray ii, 1745-71, ed. by W. S. Lewis, George L. Lam and Charles H. Bennett, 1948, vol. ii, 103-105
  • 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. 290, vol. ii, 614-616