Search the Collection

Thomas Gray (1716-1771), Classical scholar and poet

Sitter in 13 portraits
Poet, classical scholar and letter writer, Gray studied at Eton College from 1725 before entering Cambridge in 1734. From 1739 to 1741, he and his friend Horace Walpole toured the continent where they quarrelled and fell out temporarily. Gray returned to Cambridge where he began seriously writing poetry. Among his most famous poems are Ode to Spring (1748), Elegy in a Country Churchyard (1751) and Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College (1747). Gray spent the majority of his life in Cambridge and in 1768, he was appointed to the prestigious post of Professor of History and Modern Languages at Pembroke College..