Henrietta Sophia Thrale

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

The last of the Thrale full-term pregnancy children, Henrietta was born at Streatham on 21 June 1778. Her mother called her Harriett.

Her godmother was Mrs Elizabeth Montagu.


In July 1779 - when Henrietta was one year old - Hester wrote in Thraliana

;Harriett is brown, rosy, fat and stout--their is not a fault to find with either of them1 person or Mind; and I thank God who gave them me, their health is excellent”;.

On 17 December 1781 Hester wrote…

Harriet much resembles the young Rices I think--She is a pretty creature!


On 28 March 1783 - four weeks before she died - Hester wrote in Thraliana…

my youngest child Henrietta is ill;.

On 14 April 1783 she again wrote…

poor Caecilia and Harriett; I fear those poor babies will dye, notwithstanding the efforts of Jebb2 & Pepys3 to relieve them:--Thank Heav'n they are with Dear Mrs Ray4”;.

She was ill before 22 March 1783, as that day Sanuel Johnson wrote…

I hope, Harriet is well;.

On 31 March 1783, Johnson wrote…

I hope to hear again that my dear little girl is out of danger;.


Henrietta died at Streatham Park on 25 April 1783 aged four. In Thraliana, Hester wrote…

Henrietta’s Death however was inevitable; She came home with a slight glandular Swelling in her Neck which was succeeded by the Measles & Hooping Cough: these united fell very heavy on an Infant so tender, & falling on her Lungs particularly, produced an Abscess which was the immediate Cause of her Death.;.

Surprisingly - by today's standards - during the period of her illness and death Hester was in Bath whilst Henrietta and Cecilia were in Streatham.


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

  • 1. [Cecilia]4 and Henrietta.
  • 2. Sir Richard Jebb - physician to the King 1729-87.
  • 3. Sir Lucas Pepys - physician to the King 1742-1830.
  • 4. Mrs Ray - Proprietor of Russell House School opposite St. Leonard's Church Streatham.

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