Thrale/Thrall history

Henrietta Sophia Thrale

Female 1778 - 1783  (4 years)


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  • Name Henrietta Sophia Thrale 
    Nickname Harriet or Hetty 
    Birth 21 Jun 1778  Streatham Park, Streatham, Surrey, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Physical Description Jul 1779  [1
    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 them person or Mind; and I thank God who gave them me, their health is excellent;.
     
    Physical Description 17 Dec 1781 
    Hester wrote in Thraliana
    She is a pretty creature! Harriet much resembles the young Rices I think--She is a pretty creature!
     
    Godparent / sponsor Mrs Elizabeth Montagu 
    Address:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Montagu 
    Medical 14 Apr 1783 
    Her mother wrote in Thralianaafter contracting measles …
    Poor Cæcilia and Harriett; I fear those poor babies will dye, notwithstanding the efforts of Jebb & Pepys to relieve them:—Thank Heav’n they are with Dear Mrs Ray.
    Jebb & Pepys were doctors & Mrs. Ray was her school teacher. 
    Death 25 Apr 1783  Streatham Park, Streatham, Surrey, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • She was ill before 22 March 1783, as that day Dr. Samuel Johnson wrote …
      I hope, Harriet is well;.
    • On 28 March 1783 - four weeks before Henrietta died - Hester wrote in Thraliana
      My youngest child Henrietta is ill;.
    • On 14 April 1783, Hester again wrote in Thraliana, after Henrietta contracted measles …
      Poor Cæcilia and Harriett; I fear those poor babies will dye, notwithstanding the efforts of Jebb & Pepys to relieve them:—Thank Heav'n they are with Dear Mrs Ray {Proprietor of Russell House School opposite St. Leonard's Church Streatham}.
      On 31 March 1783, Dr. Samuel Johnson wrote …
      I hope to hear again that my dear little girl is out of danger;.
    • On 14 April 1783, Hester again wrote in Thraliana, after Henrietta contracted measles …
      Poor Cæcilia and Harriett; I fear those poor babies will dye, notwithstanding the efforts of Jebb & Pepys to relieve them:—Thank Heav'n they are with Dear Mrs Ray.
      Mrs Ray was proprietor of Russell House School opposite St. Leonard's Church Streatham.

    • On 31 March 1783, Dr. Samuel Johnson wrote …
      I hope to hear again that my dear little girl is out of danger;.
    • Hester wrote in Thraliana
      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.
    Burial Saint Leonards Church, Streatham, Surrey, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I82  UK Thrale family
    Last Modified 15 Jun 2024 

    Father Henry Thrale, M.P.,   b. Between 1724 and 1730, Harrow Corner, Southwark, Surrey, England Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 4 Apr 1781, Grosvenor Square, Middlesex, England Find all individuals with events at this location (Age ~ 57 years) 
    Mother Hester Lynch Salusbury,   b. 16 Jan 1741, Bodvel, Caernarvonshire, Wales Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 2 May 1821, Clifton, Gloucestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 80 years) 
    Note 1762  Offley, Hertfordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Henry was invited to Offley Place by Hester’s uncle, Judge Sir Thomas Salusbury and was introduced to Hester Thrale who was aged 20 or 21. Henry was a solid respectable man who was kindly towards Hester and she wrote that Henry was …
    Nearly the handsomest man in England.
    However, she did not want to marry him. Hester appealed to her father upon his return. John Salusbury had no intention of marrying his daughter to Henry, as Henry's father and grandfather had lived in the cottage now being used by his brother, Sir Thomas Salusbury as a dog kennel. John Salusbury quarrelled with his brother Sir Thomas and took his wife and daughter to London. Sir Thomas proposed their marriage whilst her father was away in Ireland with George Montagu-Dunk, 2nd Earl of Halifax, President of the Board of Trade. This was agreed by her mother after uncle Sir Thomas promised to make a settlement in her favour of £5,000 if Hester married Henry. 
    Note 18 Dec 1762 
    Hester's father, John Salusbury died suddenly, leaving:
    • the North Wales Bach-y-graig estate to his wife, and
    • £5,000 to his daughter Hester.

    Hester, later speculated that his death might have been hastened by irritation at her proposed marriage to Henry Thrale; and Sir Thomas’s intention to remarry, as this ultimately resulted in Hester being disinherited from Offley Place. 
    Note 28 Jun 1763 

    Letter of request for a proposal meeting

    Henry wrote to Hester and her mother asking to call on them.
    ;Mr. Thrale presents His most respectful compliments to Mrs. & Miss Salusbury & wishes to God He could of communicated His Sentiments to them last night, which is absolutely impossible for Him to do to any other person breathing; He therefore most ardently begs to see Them at any Hour this afternoon, & he will at all Events immediately enter upon this very interesting Subject, & when once begun, there is no Danger of His wandering upon any other: in short, see them, He must, for He assures them, with the greatest truth & Sincerity, that They have murder’d Peace & Happiness at Home.
    Almost two weeks later they were married. 
    Note 9 Oct 1763 

    Dowry

    Henry Thrale met Hester’s maternal grandfather, Sir Thomas Salusbury and agreed upon Hester’s dowry. It included:

    • £10,000 to Hester from Sir Thomas Salusbury;
    • £700 a year for Hester from her father’s estate;
    • legacies from her mother and aunts worth £3,000;
    • £200 a year from Henry’s Crowmarsh Battle estate. The remainder of farm income went to Henry. The farm would in future be administered by two trustees for a period of 99 years

    On Henry’s death:

    • Hester’s income from Crowmarsh Battle farm would double;
    • she would get a lump sum of £13,400; and
    • provision would be made for trust and inheritances for any children that they may have.
     
    Marriage 11 Oct 1763  Saint Anne's Church, Soho, Middlesex, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Note Jul 1774  Wales Find all individuals with events at this location 
    From July to September 1774, Dr. Samuel Johnson and the Thrales toured North Wales. For Hester Thrale, the journey was personally significant, revealing cultural tensions with Johnson and influencing her writing. Johnson kept a diary which has since been published.  
    Note 14 Sept 1775  Paris, Île-de-France, France Find all individuals with events at this location 
    The Thrales tour of France, 14 September to 14 November 1775.
    The Thrales tour of France, 14 September to 14 November 1775.
    Henry Thrale, MP, was invited to Paris by his friend Hugh Percy, 1st Duke of Northumberland, who was serving as the British ambassador to France. From September to November 1775, a group embarked on a tour of France, visiting Paris, Versailles, and various monasteries and convents. The traveling party consisted of:

    1. Henry Thrale, the wealthy brewer and Member of Parliament;
    2. Hester Thrale, Henry's wife and a notable diarist;
    3. Queeney Thrale, their eldest child;
    4. Dr. Samuel Johnson, the renowned lexicographer and writer; and
    5. Giuseppe Baretti, Queeney's Italian tutor and Johnson's friend.

    The trip included:

    Note 11 Oct 1776 
    Baronet Sir William Weller Pepys (1740-1825) wrote these verses to mark their 13th wedding anniversary.
    Give me to bless Domestick Life
    With sweet Repose secure from Strife;
    (Cries every Pedant in a College)
    A Wife not over-stockt with Knowlege;
    This—every Fool who loves to quote
    What Parrot-like he learn’d by rote;
    And every Coxcomb whose Pretence
    To Wisdom marks his want of Sense,
    And all good Huswives skill’d in Darning
    Who rail with much Contempt at Larning:

    And all who place their Sovreign Good in
    The Composition of a Pudding
    Repeat with such Triumphant Air
    Such deep Sagacity—you’d swear
    That Knowledge among Woman kind
    Was deadliest Poyson to the Mind;
    A Crime—which venial if conceal’d
    Like Theft at Sparta,—if reveal’d,
    The Guilty stamps with such disgrace,
    No Culprit dares to Show her Face.

    But tell me You, who dar’d despise
    These vulgar Maxims—who from Eyes
    Which well might grace the loveliest Fair,
    Turn’d not because bright Sense beam’d there;
    But—vent’rous Deed!—in Marriage sought
    A Mind with Stores of Knowledge fraught;
    Tell me through all these thirteen Years,
    Through varying Scenes of hopes and Fears;
    Could Ignorance more faithful prove?
    Could Folly’s Self more warmly love?

    Then long may this Auspicious Morn
    At each still happier Year’s Return
    Tell—what thy Sweet Experience shews,
    That Head and Heart are friend—not Foes.
     
    Note 6 Jul 1777 
    Dr. Samuel Johnson in a letter to Hester Thrale, said …
    I know no man… who is more master of his wife and family than Thrale. If he but holds up a finger, he is obeyed.
     
    Note 10 Sept 1777 
    Hester wrote in Thraliana
    As this is Thraliana—in good Time—I will now write Mr Thrale’s Character in it: it is not because I am in good or ill Humour with him or he with me, for we are not capricious People, but have I believe the same Opinion of each other at all Places and Times. Mr Thrale’s Person is manly, his Countenance agreeable, his Eyes steady and of the deepest Blue: his Look neither soft nor severe, neither sprightly nor gloomy, but thoughtful and Intelligent: his address-is neither caressive nor repulsive, but unaffectedly civil and decorous; and his Manner more completely free from every kind of Trick or Particularity than I ever saw any person’s—he is a Man wholly as I think out of the Power of Mimickry. He loves Money & is diligent to obtain it; but he loves Liberality too, & is willing enough both to give generously & spend fashionably. His Passions either are not strong, or else he keeps them under such Command that they seldom disturb his Tranquillity or his Friends, & it must I think be something more than common which can affect him strongly either with Hope, Fear Anger Love or Joy. His regard for his Father’s Memory is remarkably great, and he has been a most exemplary Brother; though when the house of his favourite Sister was on Fire, & we were alarmed with the Account of it in the Night, I well remember that he never rose, but bidding the Servant who called us, go to her Assistance; quietly turned about & slept to his usual hour. I must give another Trait of his Tranquillity on a different Occasion; he had built great Casks holding 1000 Hogsheads each, & was much pleased with their Profit & Appearance—One Day however he came down to Streatham as usual to dinner & after hearing & talking of a hundred trifles—but I forgot says he to tell you how one of my great Casks is burst & all the Beer run out. Mr Thrale’s Sobriety, & the Decency of his Conversation being wholly free from all Oaths Ribaldry and Profaneness make him a Man exceedingly comfortable to live with, while the easiness of his Temper and slowness to take Offence add greatly to his Value as a domestic Man: Yet I think his Servants do not much love him, and I am not sure that his Children feel much Affection for him: low People almost all indeed agree to abhorr him, as he has none of that officious & cordial Manner which is universally required by them—nor any Skill to dissemble his dislike of their Coarseness—with Regard to his Wife, tho’ little tender of her Person, he is very partial to her Understanding,—but he is obliging to nobody; & confers a Favour less pleasingly than many a Man refuses to confer one. This appears to me to be as just a Character as can be given of the Man with whom I have now lived thirteen Years, and tho’ he is extremely reserved and uncommunicative, yet one must know something of him after so long Acquaintance. Johnson has a very great Degree of Kindness & Esteem for him, & says if he would talk more, his Manner would be very completely that of a perfect Gentleman.
     
    Note 13 Apr 1779 
    Hester Thrale wrote in Thraliana
    In 1779, Hester, who had also lost several children, was unhappy in the thought that she had ceased to be appreciated by her husband. She became jealous of his regard for Sophy Streatfeild of Chiddingstone (1754-1835), a rich widow's daughter. 
    Note 5 Apr 1781 
    Shortly after the death of Henry Thrale, Hester Thrale wrote…
    Streatham. I have now appointed three Days a Week to attend at the Counting house, & wish I could defecate my Mind of Borough Dirt, when I pass the Laystalls at the Stones End; but it will not be yet, it will not be– > The vile Ideas where I fly pursue: Rise in the Grove, even in the Thicket rise, Stain all my Soul, and grovel in my Eyes.

    If an Angel from Heaven had told me 20 Years ago, that the Man I knew by the Name of Dictionary Johnson should one Day become Partner with me in a great Trade, & that we should jointly or separately sign Notes Draughts &c. for 3 or 4 Thousand Pounds of a Morning, how unlikely it would have seemed ever to happen!— unlikely is no Word tho’—it would have seemed incredible: neither of us then being worth a Groat God knows, & both as immeasurably removed from Commerce, as Birth Literature & Inclination could set us. Johnson however; who desires above all other Good the Accumulation of new Ideas, is but too happy with his present Employment; & the Influence I have over him added to his own solid Judgment and Regard for Truth, will at last find it in a small degree difficult to win him from the dirty Delight of seeing his Name in a new Character flaming away at the bottom of Bonds & Leases.
     
    Note 12 Oct 1781  [1
    Hester Thrale wrote in Thraliana
    Yesterday was my Wedding Day; it was a melancholy thing to me to pass it without the Husband of my Youth.
     
    Note 11 Oct 1787  [1
    On their wedding anniversary, Hester wrote in Thraliana
    Why do the people say I never loved my first husband? ’tos a very unjust conjecture. This day on which 24 years ago I was married to him never returns without bringing with it many a tender Remembrance: though ’twas on that Evening when we retired together that I was first alone with Mr. Thrale for five minutes in my whole life. Ours was a match of mere Prudence; and common good Liking, without the smallest Pretensions to passion on either Side: I knew no more of him than any other Gentleman who came to the House, nor did he ever profess other Attachment to me, than such as Esteem of my Character, & Convenience from my Fortune produced. I really had never past five whole Minutes Tête a Tête with him in my life till the Evening of our Wedding Day,—& he himself has said so a Thousand Times. yet God who gave us to each other, knows I did love him dearly; & what honour I can ever do to his Memory shall be done, for he was very generous to me.
     
    Residence From January 1781 - March 1789  Grosvenor Square, Middlesex, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Note 21 Jul 1813 
    Queeney in a letter to Fanny Burney wrote …
    Do you know what my opinion is? that my mother hated my father. She loved him certainly, as everybody did, for his good qualities and his generosity; but she did not like him, nor any man in the world, well enough to desire to be alone with him.
     
    Family ID F46  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBirth - 21 Jun 1778 - Streatham Park, Streatham, Surrey, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDeath - 25 Apr 1783 - Streatham Park, Streatham, Surrey, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBurial - - Saint Leonards Church, Streatham, Surrey, England Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Their works
    Sophia Thrale's verses 'Harriot'
    Sophia Thrale's verses "Harriot"
    Written about her younger sister Henrietta Sophia Thrale.

  • Sources 
    1. [S40] Katherine C Balderston, Thraliana, (Oxford University Press 1951).

    2. [S16] Gentleman's Magazine, October 1763 (Reliability: 3).