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Thomas Gray to James Brown, 6 June 1767

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Dear Sir

My intention is (Deo volente) to come to Cambridge on Friday or Saturday next; and shall expect to set out on Monday following. I shall write to Mason by to-night's post, who otherwise would expect us all Whitsun-week. Pray that the Trent may not intercept us at Newark, for we have had infinite rain here, and they say every brook sets up for a river.

I said nothing of Lady M. Lyon, because I thought you knew she had been long despaired of. The family I hear now do not go into Scotland till the races are over, nor perhaps then, as my lady will be advancing in her pregnancy, and I should not suppose the Peats or the Firth very proper in her condition; but women are courageous creatures when they are set upon a thing.

Lord Bute is gone ill into the country with an ague in his eye and a bad stomach. Lord Holland is alive and well, and has written three poems; the only line in which, that I have heard, is this:

'White-liver'd Grenville and self-loving Gower.'

Lord Chatham is —, and the Rockinghams are like the brooks that I mentioned above. This is all the news that I know.

I am ever yours,
T. G.
Letter ID: letters.0499 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Writer's age: 50
Addressee: Brown, James, 1709-1784
Addressee's age: 58[?]


Date of composition: 6 June 1767
Date (on letter): Saturday, June 6, 1767
Calendar: Gregorian


Place of composition: London, United Kingdom
Address (on letter): Jermyn Street


Language: English
Incipit: My intention is (Deo volente) to come to Cambridge on Friday or Saturday...
Mentioned: Newark

Holding Institution

Modern (Unbound) Manuscripts and Correspondence, series III, box 7a, folder 16, Robert H. Taylor Collection of English and American Literature (RTC01), Princeton University Library , Princeton, NJ, 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 CIX, 383-385
  • 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. CCCI, vol. iii, 143-144
  • 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. 443, vol. iii, 961-962