Ralph Thrale (1773-1775)

  • Posted on: 22 September 2009
  • By: David Thrale

His mothers' Children's Book records that she had suspected that Ralph was imbecile since 31 December 1773 and that Dr Pott the surgeon confirmed this in April 1775, suggesting that the cause was congential. Ralph was said by Hester1 to have suffered from confluent smallpox.

During the last few months of his life, Ralph's state overshadowed the life of the Thrales taking everybody's mind off the fact that Frances Anna was born two months earlier.

Ralph died of a brain disorder that caused his head to enlarge. Doctors now think that the cause of death was either congenital hydrocephalus, where there is an increase in the fluid in the ventricles of the brain, or hydrancephaly, where the a bag a clear fluid between the brain and skull distort the shape of the head.

He was buried in St. Leonard's Church, Streatham and has a monument. Ralph Thrale was born on 8 November 1773 at Streatham. He died on at the Thrale's Brighton home on 13 July 1775 aged twenty months.