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Thomas Gray to James Brown, [7 November 1761]

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To The Revd Mr Brown, President of Pembroke Hall Cambridge
7 NO

Dear Sr

Your letter has rejoiced me (as you will easily believe) & agreeably disappointed me. I congratulate you in the first place; & am very glad to see, the College have had the spirit & the sense to do a thing so much to their credit, & to do it in a handsome manner. my best service to Mr Lyon, & tell him it will be a great disobligation, if my Lady takes him away to pass the Christmas with her, just when I am proposing to visit him in his new capacity. I hope to be with you in about a week, but will write again before I come: do persuade Mr Delaval to stay: tell him, I will say any thing he pleases of Mr P:

Have you read the Negotiations? (I speak not to Mr Del:, but to you) the French have certainly done Mr P: service in publishing them. the spirit & contempt he has shewn in his treatment of Bussy's proposals, whether right or wrong, will go near to restore him to his popularity, & almost make up for the disgrace of the pension. my Ld T: is outrageous: he makes no scruple of declaring, that the D: of N: & Ld B: were the persons, whose frequent opposition in Council were the principal cause of this resignation. he has (as far as he could) disinherited his Brother G: Gr:lle that is, of about 4000£ a-year, his Father's estate. & yesterday he made a very strange speech in the House, that surprised every body. the particulars I can not yet hear with certainty. but the D: of Bedford replied to it. did you observe a very bold letter in the Gazetteer of Thursday last about Carr, Earl of Somerset? how do you like the K:s Speech? it is Ld Hardwick's. how do you like Hogarth's Perriwigs? I suppose, you have discover'd the last face in the rank of Peeresses to be a very great personage, extremely like; tho' you never saw her. Good night!

I am ever
T G:
Letter ID: letters.0400 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Writer's age: 44
Addressee: Brown, James, 1709-1784
Addressee's age: 52[?]


Date of composition: [7 November 1761]
Date (on letter): Nov: .. Sat: 1761
Calendar: Gregorian


Place of composition: [London, United Kingdom]
Place of addressee: [Cambridge, United Kingdom]

Physical description

Addressed: To The Revd Mr Brown, President of Pembroke Hall Cambridge (postmark: 7 NO)


Language: English
Incipit: Your letter has rejoiced me (as you will easily believe) & agreeably...

Holding Institution

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 <>
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 LXXII, 279-283
  • 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. CCXXXIII, vol. ii, 241-244
  • 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. 349, vol. ii, 763-764