Sir John Salusbury Piozzi Salusbury

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

He was born on 9 September 1793. In January 1798 Hester and Gabriel Piozzi adopted the five year old son of Giovanne Battiste (Giambattista) - Gabriel's favourite brother - who had been driven from his home by Napoleon's invasion of Italian Milanese Territory. On seeing sheep heads at market, the child retold how he saw a basket of human heads in Bresica, France.

He had two brothers, Pietro and Giovanni Maria, and a sister, Cecilia Margarita, named in tribute to Cecilia Thrale. On 29 November 1813 Hester legally applied for him to bear the surname Salusbury.


On 11 March 1799 Hester wrote of him in Thraliana

Mr Piozzi's baby,—The little Italian Boy is come over; & we have place him with Mr Davies who keeps a University as he calls it for Young Students under 12 years old—This infant was just past 3 —when1 he touch'd English Ground I Understand;—Seems healthful, Arch & Intelligent: but short of his Age, & rather sturdy than elegant in his Form. He too is named John Salusbury in good Time!

In later life Hester's pocket books indicate that he continual demanded money from her and was not very affectionate.

In 1813 Queeney in a letter to Cecilia said…

The adopted youth is an odd mixture of folly and shrewdness, and treats his Aunt2 as he always calls her with a degree of saucy familiarity I was astonished to hear of, and which may pass for childishness, but I should think would soon be quite unsuppotable to her.


He was educated at Christ Church, Oxford.


He was a British civil servant and, briefly, a military officer during the Battle of Waterloo.

In 1816, he became a High Sheriff of the County of Flint and in 1817 he was knighted and was known as Sir John Salusbury Piozzi Salusbury GCH. Later in the same year Hester began negotiations for the purchase of a baronetcy for him from the Duke of Sidmouth. For this purpose she gave John £6,000 on 16 June 1817. However, Hester died before this was completed, and John did not complete the purchase as he had spent the money elsewhere.


Church of Corpus Christi, Tremeirchion 2001
On 7 November 1814 he married Harriet Maria Pemberton of Ryton Grove Shropshire. On his marriage day he received Brynbella, along with the rest of Mrs Piozzi's estates in Flint, Denbigh and Carbarvonshire.

They are known to have had at least one child - Rev. George Augustus Salusbury.

After his marriage, Hester retired to Bath.


He died on 18 December 1858 in Cheltenham, Gloucester. His memorial and grave are at Tremeirchion Church, Wales (near Brynbella).

  • 1. This is incorrect, he was five.
  • 2. Hester Lynch Thrale.