Anna Maria Thrale

  • Posted on: 26 September 2009
  • By: David Thrale

Born on 1 April 1768 in Streatham, and named after Lady Anna Maria Salusbury (née Penrice) 1718-1759.

Wonderfully passionate and intelligent.

Hester Lynch Thrale on Anna Maria Thrale.

Christened on 17 April 1768 at St Leonard's Church, Streatham. Anna Maria was the first Thrale child to be christened in the Streatham rather than at The Borough in London. Her service was held at St Leonard's, close to Streatham Park, the rector, James Tattersall, officiating. Mrs. Salusbury was again a godmother, and the other was Thrale's aunt Anne, the widow of Richard Smith, who had come with her nephew on his courting visit to Offley Place nearly six years before. Jeremiah Crutchley was Anna's godfather.


Anna Maria Thrale was described as very thin, not very pretty, but wonderfully passionate and intelligent. She lived mainly with her Grandmother, who would spoil her. In her Children's Book her mother described her thus…

Remarkably small bon'd & delicately framed, but not pretty, as she has no plumpness … her spirit uncommonly high, wonderfully passionate from the very first & backward in her Tongue tho' forward in general Intelligence: She could kiss her her hand at 9 months old, & understand all one said to her: could walk to perfection, & even with an Air at a year old, & seems to intend being Queen of us all if she lives which I do not expect she is so very lean.


On 20 March 1770 aged almost two Anna died from meningitis in Dean Street, London. On the same day Her mother's Children's Book described Anna as having died from "a dropsy of the brain". Since she suffered for awhile the sickness may possibly have originated in tuberculosis. She also may have lacked sweat glands, a rare congenital condition.

She was buried on 23 March 1770 in St Leonard's Church, Streatham and has no monument.