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Thomas Gray to Horace Walpole, 24 December 1767

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To The Honble Horace Walpole in Arlington Street London

Surely as the letter is address'd to a Lady, & subscribed, Your most humble Son, it can be to nobody but his Mother. I do not remember, that there is any superscription to it, for the original is not the letter itself, but a transcript of it set down in a great register-book belonging to the Privy-seal Office, in wch this stands very near to the beginning. I have mark'd the number of the Mss, & of the article, if you chuse to consult the Musæum about it. I told you false, when I said the letter was dated: but the reason I concluded so was, that the articles, as I remember, go on regularly in the book in order of time & many come after it, that belong to the first year of his reign.

In the page, that contains his letter about Jane Shore, at a little distance below it are some abbreviated words in a cramp hand thus –ffin by [ ] Thom Drury date A° IX° Henrici sept [ ] per Copiam [ ] [ ] wch seem to say something about the 9th year of Henry 7th, but I think they relate not to this letter (wch is directed to the Bp of Lincoln, his Chaunc:r;; now Russel Bp of Lincoln was his Chancellor, & not so to H: 7th.) & the few succeeding articles are really of H: 7th & H: 8th's time, so I suppose the words to relate to them only.

Mr Anstey's satyr seems to aim chiefly at this University, the patrons that protect it, the clients that make their court to them, their dedications, & clumsy flattery, their method of education, & style of politicks, &c: he has not indeed refused any thing else ridiculous, that came across him. I like it but little: the only things, that made me laugh, were

Sent venison, wch was kindly taken
And Woodcocks, wch they boild with bacon.

and the High-Sheriffs frizzled Lady, when she meets her Husband, after he is knighted, at a ball.

I have been confined to my room, eversince I came hither, but not very ill.

Adieu, I am
Ever Yours
T G:
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Letter ID: letters.0514 (Source: TEI/XML)


Writer: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771
Writer's age: 51
Addressee: Walpole, Horace, 1717-1797
Addressee's age: 50


Date of composition: 24 December 1767
Date (on letter): 24 Dec: 1767
Calendar: Gregorian


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

Physical description

Addressed: To The Honble Horace Walpole in Arlington Street London (postmark: SAFFRON WALDEN 25 DE)


Language: English
Incipit: Surely as the letter is addressed to a Lady, & subscribed,...
Mentioned: Anstey, Christopher, 1724-1805
Walpole, Horace, 1717-1797

Holding Institution

GBR/1058/GRA/3/4/100, 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. 237, vol. ii, 262-264
  • 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, 159-161
  • 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. 458, vol. iii, 984-986