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2 letters of Rev John Gray and items of printed ephemera

Identifier: Coll-1565

Scope and Contents

1 x ms letter dated 31 December 1928 from Rev. John Gray, St. Peter's, Falcon Avenue, Edinburgh, to 'Dear Mrs Kinnear', thanking her for her 'generous gift' which has been 'placed [...] to the building fund'.

1 x ms letter dated 31 May 1933 from Canon John Gray, St. Peter's, Falcon Avenue, Edinburgh 10, to 'Dear Mrs Kinnear', saying that he 'shall much like to have a visit from' her father 'on Monday'. Not 'in the morning' though, because he will go to his retreat on that day.

Various printed items.


  • Creation: 1928-1933


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Open to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance of visit.

Biographical / Historical

John Gray was born in Bethnal Green, London on 2 March 1866. On leaving school he began work as a metal-worker but continued his education at evening classes, studying French, German, Latin, music and art. In 1882 he passed the Civil Service exams and, five years later, the University of London matriculation exams, after which he joined the Foreign Office as a librarian.

Gray is better known as a playwright and poet, and he is regarded as the original 'Dorian' portrayed by Oscar Wilde. He had become one of the Oscar Wilde 'Set' and had signed one of his letters to Wilde with the name 'Dorian'. In addition to his friendship with Wilde, he had a close friendship with Eric Gill (1882-1940) and Marc-Andre-Raffalovich (1864-1934).

In spite of the successful publication of his well-acclaimed poetry, and his Foreign Office career, Gray changed the direction of his life and entered the Scots College in Rome intending to become a priest. He was ordained in 1901 and then served as a priest in Edinburgh, at St. Peter's, Morningside. St. Peter's itself had been an idea conceived by Gray (initially a Curate at St. Patrick's Church, Edinburgh) and Andre Raffalovitch.

In spite of his new career, his literary skills were not supressed and he published a novel in the 1920s and later on put together a volume of poetry - Poems (1931). His other work includes: poems, Silverpoints (1893); poems, Ad Matrem: Fourteen Scenes in the Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary (1903); and, poems, The Long Road (1926).

The Rev. John Gray died on 14 June 1934.


1 folder

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased with 'Poems' (1931) by John Gray, at RB.P.1590, in May 2014. Accession no: E2014.52.

Processing Information

Catalogued by Graeme D. Eddie 23 April 2015

2 x ms letters from John Gray (1866-1934) to Mrs. Kinnear, 1928 and 1933
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
+44(0)131 650 8379