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Thomas Gray to Norton Nicholls, 3 August 1768

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To The Revd Mr Nicholls at Blundeston near Leostoff Suffolk
3 AV DW

Dear Sr

That Mr. Brockett has broke his neck, you will have seen in the News-papers; & also that I (your humble Servant) have kiss'd the K:s hand for his succession. they both are true, but the manner how you know not; only I can assure you, that I had no hand at all in his fall, & almost as little in the second happy event. he died on the Sunday, on Wednesday following, his Gr: of Grafton wrote me a very polite letter to say, that his Maj: had commanded him to offer me the vacant Professorship, not only as a reward of &c: but as a credit to &c: with much more too high for me to transcribe. You are to say, that I owe my nomination to the whole Cabinet-Council, & my success to the K:s particular knowledge of me. this last he told me himself, tho' the day was so hot & the ceremony so embarrassing to me, that I hardly know what he said.

I am commission'd to make you an offer, wch, I have told him (not the King) you would not accept, long ago. Mr. Barrett (whom you know) offers to you 100£ a-year with meat, drink, washing, chaise, & lodging, if you will please to accompany him thro' France into Italy. he has taken such a fancy to you, that I can not but do what he desires me, being pleased with him for it. I know, it will never do, tho' before you grew a rich fat Rector, I have often wish'd (ay, & fish'd too) for such an opportunity. no matter! I desire you to write your answer to him yourself as civil, as you think fit, & then let me know the result. that's all. He lives at Lee near Canterbury.

Adieu! I am to perish here with heat this fortnight yet, & then to Cambridge. Dr M: (Mr Vicecan:) came post hither to ask this vacant office on Wednesday last, & went post to carry the news back on Saturday. the rest were Delaval, Lort, Peck, & Jebb. as to Lort, he deserved it, & Delaval is an honest Gentleman: the rest do me no great honor, no more than my Predecessor did: to be sure, my Dignity is a little the worse for wear, but mended & wash'd it will do for me.

I am very sincerely
Yours,
T G:
Letter ID: letters.0539 (Source: TEI/XML)

Correspondents

Writer: Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771 [i]
Writer's age: 51
Addressee: Nicholls, Norton, c. 1742-1809 [i]
Addressee's age: 26[?]

Dates

Date of composition: 3 August 1768 [i]
Date (on letter): 3 Aug: 1768
Calendar: Gregorian

Places

Place of composition: London, United Kingdom [i]
Address (on letter): Jermyn-Street (Mr Roberts's)
Place of addressee: Blundeston, United Kingdom [i]

Physical description

Form/Extent: A.L.S.; 2 pages
Addressed: To The Revd Mr Nicholls at Blundeston near Leostoff Suffolk (postmark: 3 AV DW)

Content

Language: English
Incipit: That Mr. Brockett has broke his neck, you will have seen in the News-papers;...
Mentioned: Brockett, Lawrence, 1724-1768 [i]
Grafton, Augustus Henry Fitzroy, Duke of, 1735-1811 [i]
Lort, Michael, 1725-1790 [i]

Holding Institution

Location:
(confirmed)
College Library, Eton College [i], Windsor, UK <http://www.etoncollege.com/collegelibrary.aspx>
Availability: The original letter is extant and usually available for academic research purposes; bound into a copy of Mathias's Works of Thomas Gray (London, 1814), vol. II, part 2; a photocopy is at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, OSB MSS c 467, box 1, folder 73

Print Versions

  • The Poems of Mr. Gray. To which are prefixed Memoirs of his Life and Writings by W[illiam]. Mason. York: printed by A. Ward; and sold by J. Dodsley, London; and J. Todd, York, 1775, letter lix, section iv, 332 - view pages
  • The Works of Thomas Gray, 2 vols. Ed. by Thomas James Mathias. London: William Bulmer, 1814, section IV, letter LIX, vol. i, 431 - view pages
  • The Works of Thomas Gray, 2 vols. Ed. by John Mitford. London: J. Mawman, 1816, section IV, letter CXL, vol. ii, 505 - view pages
  • The Letters of Thomas Gray, 2 vols. in one. London: J. Sharpe, 1819, letter CXXXIX, vol. ii, 127 - view pages
  • The Works of Thomas Gray, 5 vols. Ed. by John Mitford. London: W. Pickering, 1835-1843, section IV, letter CLV, vol. iv, 125-126 - view pages
  • The Works of Thomas Gray, 5 vols. Ed. by John Mitford. London: W. Pickering, 1835-1843, letter XI, vol. v, 75-77 - view pages
  • 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. CCCXXXIII, vol. iii, 205-206 - view pages
  • 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. 482, vol. iii, 1039-1040 - view pages