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Thomas Gray to Horace Walpole, 24 September 1766

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The Honble
Horace Walpole in
Arlington Street

Dear Sr

I happen'd to be in Norfolk on the way to Houghton, when I read an article in a news-paper relating to you, that shock'd me. I wrote to Dr Gisburne (who lives very near you) to beg he would inform himself of your health: but I fear he is out of Town, for I have received no answer. today by accident I received a letter from Cole, from whence I learn, thank God! that the worst part of that news was false: but that you have suffer'd much from a return of the gout, & are prevented only by weakness from going to Bath. it would be a singular satisfaction to me, if I might see three lines in your own hand: but it is impossible for me to judge, whether this is a reasonable request. I flatter myself, if you can, you will indulge me in it, especially when you know, that of those who are most about you, there is no one I can well write to. in a fortnight or less I hope to be in Town. Heaven preserve you, & restore you to health & ease. I hope this severe lesson will warn you against that careless regimen, to wch you were so unreasonably attach'd.

I am ever
Letter ID: letters.0481 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Writer's age: 49
Addressee: Walpole, Horace, 1717-1797
Addressee's age: 49


Date of composition: 24 September 1766
Date (on letter): Sept: 24. 1766
Calendar: Gregorian


Place of composition: Cambridge, United Kingdom
Address (on letter): Pemb: Hall
Place of addressee: [London, United Kingdom]

Physical description

Addressed: To / The Honble / Horace Walpole in / Arlington Street / London


Language: English
Incipit: I happen'd to be in Norfolk on the way to Houghton, when I read an article...
Mentioned: Cole, William, 1714-1782
Surrogates: Digital facsimile [greyscale GIF] from a print reproduction of the letter

Holding Institution

GBR/1058/GRA/3/4/99, College Library, Pembroke College, Cambridge , Cambridge, UK <>
Availability: The original letter is extant and usually available for academic research purposes

Print Versions

  • 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. 236, vol. ii, 260-261
  • 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, 158
  • 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. 426, vol. iii, 937