Thrale/Thrall history

Thrales End, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, England


Tree: UK Thrale family


The Thrales originated around the Hundred of Flitt in Bedfordshire and of its parishes Clophill, Barton, Gravenhurst (Upper & Lower). Higher Gobian and Pulloxhill is of special significance, but paramount is the parish of Luton with its manors of East and West Hyde which borders the hamlet of Thrales End.

Thrales End is a little hamlet in Hertfordshire, close to the Bedfordshire border, north of Harpenden, four miles from Sandridge and five miles from St Albans.



In 1329, Richard le Threl and William le Threl were witnesses to a grant of land called Sparrows in Thrales End which is the earliest reference to this hamlet.


Guild of the Holy Trinity, Luton Church

On the 12th May of 1474 Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Rotherham obtained from King Edward IV, a licence for himself, his brother John Rotherham, John Lammer, Vicar of Luton, John Thrale (senior) of Thrales End, West Hyde, and others, to form a guild in connection with Luton Church and when the guild should be established to found a chantry in the Church with two Chaplains.

The Register of the Guild and some accounts were found in possession of the Marquis of Bute showing the Guild to be one of the most wealthy and splendid in the Kingdom. Annual lists indicate the Masters, Wardens, Brethrens, Sisters, and Bachelors and Maidens of the Guild, many members being of Royal rank as well as Bishops. Some examples cite John Lammer, Vicar of Luton, as Master with John Thrale and Thomas Perot of the Wyne as Wardens in 1476.

In 1482 John and Richard Thrale and their wives of Thrales End were members, a year later John Thrale, senior, was Master, and in 1509 William Thrale was also Master.


Court roll record:
Manor of Luton

View of frankpledge with court held on Thursday in the week of Pentecost 3 Edward VI 1549

The jury present that Michael Thrale who held from the lord freely by charter a messuage at Thrales End 67 acres and a close called Frebernes once lying in two closes containing in all by estimation 12 acres of land by the rent of 5s 6d per annum, and that the aforesaid Michael sold and alienated since the last Court to John Kilby the aforesaid messuage and 55 acres land parcel of the premises aforesaid, to hold from the Lord with the agreement of the Lord by a rent of 3 shillings 4 pence p.a., and to a certain Richard 20 acres parcel of the aforesaid premises to hold from the Lord with the agreement of the Lord by an annual rent of 20 pence and further to a certain Thomas Daye one acre of meadow and one acre of land in Hydefeilde parcel of the aforesaid premises to be held from the Lord with the agreement of the Lord by the annual rent of 4 pence, and the aforesaid Michael holds from the Lord the aforesaid close residue of the aforesaid premises with the agreement of the Lord at a rent of 2 pence fealty and further the said John Richard Thomas and Michael did fealty and were admitted tenants and all four tenants agreed that the premisses are true.



Edward Thrale of Thrales End kept records interspersed with signs used by an apothecary. The geometrical signs Edward used suggest that the page was a palimpsest or parchment which could be written on many times.
One passage indicates mental illness …
Edward Thrale of Luton parish called Thrales End
23rd of June at Oh.6 pm
Troubled in mynd
over since
the Sunday after May Daye
I very thirsty
An seyd to him that he thought him to be a witch.
And since he hath bene ill and will follow no bisyness
as he did before


Thrales End remains farmland. Thrale’s End farm has been farmed by Ian and Gillian Piggot and their ancestors for around 100 years. In the 20th century, the 400-acre mixed farm at Thrales End employed 6 men. Nowadays, Ian Piggot farms 1,700 acres of land spread over five farms near Harpenden with the help of just one man, using a traditional crop rotation of wheat, oilseed rape, spring barley and beans.

Location : Latitude: 51.83298174999999, Longitude: -0.37624584005147166

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