Hester Thrale obituaries
When she died neither her daughters nor her adopted son took the trouble to raise a stone to her memory.
Mourning tablet, Tremeirchion Church
The Dictionary of National Biography
Witty, vivacious and charming, In an age of Genius; She ever held a foremost place..
Hester was a very clever woman well read in English literature. Though her knowledge of other subjects was apparently superficial. Her early experience had given her rather cynical views of life, and she seems to have been rather hard and masculine in character; but she also showed a masculine courage and energy in various embarrassments. Her love of Piozzi, which was both warm and permanent, is the most amiable feature of her character. She cast off her daughters as decidedly as she did Dr. Johnson; but it is impossible not to admire her vivacity and independence. She was short and plump, and if not regularly pretty, had an interesting face2.
Fanny Burney (Madame d'Arblay)
She was, in truth, a most wonderful character for talents and eccentricity, for wit, genius, generosity, spirit and powers of entertainment.
I have lost now, just lost, my once most dear, intimate, and admired friend, Mrs. Thrale Piozzi, who preserved her fine faculties, her imagination, her intelligence, her powers of allusion and citation, her extraordinary memory and her almost unexampled vivacity, to the last of her existence … She was, in truth, a most wonderful character for talents and eccentricity, for wit, genius, generosity, spirit and powers of entertainment. She had a great deal both of good and not good, in common with Madame de Stael Holstein. They had the same sort of highly superior intellect, the same depth of learning, the same general acquaintance with science, the same ardent love of literature, the same thirst for universal knowledge, and the same buoyant animal spirits, such as neither sickness, sorrow, nor even terror, could subdue. Their conversation was equally luminous, from sources of their own fertile minds, and from their splendid acquisitions from the works and acquirements of others. Both were zealous to serve, liberal to bestow, and graceful to oblige; and both were truly high minded in prizing and praising whatever was admirable that came in their way. Neither of them was delicate nor polished, though each was flattering and caressing; but both had a fund inexhaustible of good humour, and of sportive gaiety, that made their intercourse with those they wished to please attractive, instructive, and delightful;. And though not either of them had the smallest real malevolence in their compositions, neither of them could ever withstand the pleasure of uttering a repartee, let it wound whom it might, even though each would serve the very person they goaded with all means in their power. Both were kind, charitable, and munificent, and therefore beloved; both were sarcastic, careless, and daring, and therefore feared.
Her conversation was that bright wine of the intellect which has no lees3;
One of the most extraordinary and agreeable persons it was ever my good fortune to know.
Sir James Fellowes
Recorded on the back of the envelope of her final letter…
This was the last letter I ever received from my incomparable Friend … The celebrated Hester Lynch Piozzi departed this life in the Evening of the 2d of May 1821 at Sion Row Clifton – a Lodging Place.
She possessed indeed, in everything, the purest taste; the result, in all instances, of a perfectly sound understanding, acute faculties, and much knowledge … one of the most extraordinary and agreeable persons it was ever my good fortune to know … whose equal in most respects, were I still to live as many years as have already passed over me, I might well despair of finding.
- 1. Orlando Butler Fellowes was the grandson of Sir James Fellowes.
- 2. Dictionary on National Biography. Volume XV 1909.
- 3. http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=45264
|Henry Thrale M.P.
1724/9 - 2 May 1821
|Henry Thrale||Family tree and portraits · Homes · H. Thrale & Co. brewery · Parliamentary career · Pets · Travels · Coaching accident · Ill health · Death · Mourning tablet · Burial vault · Will · Testimonials|
|Hester Salusbury||Courtship · Marriage dowry · Marriage · Children · 13th anniversary|
|People||Father: Ralph Thrale M.P. · Arthur Murphy · Samuel Johnson · Jeremiah Crutchley · Sir John Lade · Streatham Worthies · King Louis XVI & Queen Marie Antoinette|
|Writings about||Dr Johnson's 'Own Dear Master · The Thrales of Streatham Park · Three Centuries · Thraliana|
|Hester Lynch Thrale née Salusbury
1741 - 2 May 1821
|Hester Thrale||Family tree and portraits · Homes · Works · Writings . Thraliana · Pets · Travels · 80th party · Criticism · Death · Obituaries|
|Henry Thrale||Courtship · Marriage dowry · Marriage · Children · 13th anniversary|
|Gabriel Piozzi||Marriage · 7th anniversary · Adopted son · Miscarried daughter|
|People||Samuel Johnson · Streatham Worthies · Proposal from Mr. Swale · King Louis XVI & Queen Marie Antoinette|
|Writings about||The Thrales of Streatham Park · Dr Johnsons Women · Intimate letters · Hester Lynch Piozzi · Dr Johnsons Women · Doctor Johnson's Mrs Thrale · By Samuel Johnson: Ode to · 35th verses · By Herbert Lawrence: Song to Hester|