Twenty-seven holograph letters, 1739-1756 and undated, from R[ichard] Hurd [later bishop successively of Lichfield and Coventry, 1775-1781, and of Worcester, 1781-1808] from [Emmanuel College] Camb[ridge], Hatton Grange [Shropshire], and Reymerston [co. Norfolk], to the Reverend [? John] Potter at Doddington near Marshfield in Gloucestershire (1), and Batcombe near Brewton (23), Shepton Mallet (1), and Axbridge near Wells (1) in Somersetshire. Some of these letters are fairly lengthy without containing much factual information, being written in a philosophic and discursive vein, with a fondness for quotations from or allusions to classical authors. The two men appear to have been fond of writing poetry, and in the present letters Hurd comments on poems received from Potter and sends him examples of his own work including poems entitled 'Zelinda' (a maiden gazing at her reflection in a stream laments the transient nature of personal beauty), ' A View of the beauties of the country particularly those of Hatton Grange in Shropshire', 'A Soliloquy' (composed when travelling through Northamptonshire and reflecting upon the contrast between the miserable condition of shepherds the writer had seen and their idyllic existence in poetry), 'Verses wrote in a Pope's Essay on Man' (? composed by Hurd or discovered by him), and 'Ode on the Peace' (in 1748), a poem written whilst ruminating on Norton gardens, and a poem reflecting on aspects of rural life. Topics referred to more specifically in these letters include the writer's change of residence to Hatton Grange in Shropshire, the delightful nature of that neighbourhood, the writer's delight in reading Virgil, the loan of a speech to deliver at Emman[uel College, Cambridge] on 5 November, the style of recipient's letters, the mental image conjured up in the writer's mind by a description sent to him by Potter of his home and its neighbourhood (1739); the lack of letters from [William] Gould, an old friend, with comments on waning friendships, the connection between physical deformities or ugliness and an evil disposition, verses on Dr . [ ] Bowden written by recipient's brother (1740); the writer's attendance at a concert held at the Tons [in Cambridge] and a meeting with Will[iam] Gould, the appearance of Mr. [Christopher] Pitt's translation of Virgil's Aeneid in 4to volumes and the expectation of a 12° edition, Mr. Pitt's translation of 'Vida's Art of Poetry' [the De Arte Poetica of Marcus Hieronymus Vida, first published in Paris in 1534 and translated by Pitt in 1725], the content and style of Dr. [Conyers] Middleton's [life of] Cicero [The History of the Life of M. Tullius Cicero, London, 1741], a comparison of recipient's verses with those of [Matthew] Prior and comments on Prior's work, a letter received by recipient's brother in answer to a poem he had sent Mr. Pitt to compliment him upon his translation, 'Dr. [Patrick] Delany's life of David' [An Historical Account of the Life and Reign of David, King of Israel, published 1740-1742], affairs at Cambridge, a visit by Bob Hudson who had come to Cambridge to be ordained priest, a concert at Trinity College Hall [Cambridge] for the benefit of Signor Caporalli 'the famous Bass Violist' [? Andrea Caporale] with Signor Pasqualli [? Niccolo Pasquali] playing the first fiddle, the writer's interest 'in drawing up a treatise on Pastoral Poetry' (1741); an offer to the writer of a living in Norfolk worth about £70 or £80 a year and an arrangement with Bob Hudson that Hudson would hold the living for him until he was qualified to hold it himself, a visit to the patron [of the living] who had an excellent collection of manuscripts, medals and paintings, the appearance of 'the new Dunciad. It is believ'd to be, and certainly is, Mr. Pope's' [Alexander Pope: The New Dunciad . . ., consisting of a fourth book of the Dunciad, 1742], the writer's ordination in St. Paul's [London] by [Joseph Butler], bishop of Bristol, on letters dimissory from [Thomas Gooch, bishop of] Norwich, visits to 'the curiosities of the Town' including Vaux Hall and Ranelagh, an offer of a fellowship [at Emmanuel College, Cambridge] vacated by [Nathaniel] Smalley, further praise for the writer's patron 'the most general Scholar I have convers'd with' who had provided him with a curacy as well as the living [? of Reymerston], a fortnight spent with Dr. [Cox] Macro who had shown the writer his manuscripts including a 'paraphrase of his upon the Revelations connected all along with & expland from History', a loan of sermons which the writer promised not to preach anywhere except in his own two parishes of Reymerston and Gaverston, hopes of obtaining the opinion of Dr. Macro and the recipient on the Life . . . of David [see above], the writer's intention of 'looking a little into Italian' with Dr. [Macro] as his instructor, queries with regard to passages from Lucretius (1742); the writer's election as a fellow [of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, in 1742], the election of Dr. [William] George as provost of King's [College, Cambridge] and the disputing of the validity of the election by [Richard Reynolds], bishop of Lincoln, who was visitor of the college, the controversy between [Conyers] Middleton and the 'new made' public orator at Cambridge [James Tunstall who had been elected in October 1741] concerning the former's book on the life of Cicero [see above], recipient's remarks on 'Dr. Young's Night Thoughts' [Edward Young: The Complaint or Night Thoughts on Life, Death and Immortality, 1742-], 'Whitehead's paltry Epistle from Ann Boleyn' [William Whitehead: Ann Boleyn to Henry the Eighth, An Heroic Epistle (versified), 1743], a French novel called Marianne [? Claude Francois Lambert: La Nouvelle Marianne, or Pierre Marivaux: La Vie de Marianne], the first epistle in the writer's proposed work on pastoral poetry to be entitled 'Thoughts on Pastoral Poetry in ten Letters on the Eclogues of Virgil', Mr. [Christopher] Hand's new living at Aller in Somersetshire worth 'near 300 pounds' a year, the recipient's new curacy [? at Shepton Mallet], [William] Gould's ordination as priest and institution to the vicarage of Hoxen in Suffolk (1743); a legacy bequeathed to recipient by his aunt, the election of [Thomas Pelham-Holles formerly Pelham, 4th] d[uke] of Newcastle [upon Tyne, later 1st duke of Newcastle under Line and baron Pelham of Stanmer, co. Sussex] to succeed [Charles Seymour, 10th] d[uke] of Somerset, as chancellor [of the University of Cambridge], the death of the professor of divinity [at Cambridge] who was also master of P[eter] House [John Whalley, regius professor of divinity, 1742-1748, and master of Peterhouse, 1733-1748], the appointment of Dr. [Edmund] Keene [later bishop successively of Chester, 1752-1771, and of Ely, 1771-1781] to the vacant mastership, the expectation that the professorship of divinity would be given to Mr. Green of St. John's [College, Cambridge] [John Green, who was appointed and later became bishop of Lincoln, 1761] (1748); and the writer's presentation to the [Emmanuel] College living of Thurcaston near Leicester, a rectory worth 'between two and three hundred pounds a year' (1756). The letters also contain frequent references to the recipient's love affair and to his brother, who appears to have been a student at Cambridge and then ? curate of Reymerston.