Thrale, Hester

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Thrale, Hester Gender: F
Hester Lynch Salusbury
born on 27 January 1741 at 16:30 (= 4:30 PM )
Place Barmouth, Wales, 52n43, 4w03
Timezone LMT m4w03 (is local mean time)
Data source
Quoted BC/BR
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Scholfield
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_aqucol.18.gif 07°56' s_mo.18.gif s_gemcol.18.gif 21°49 Asc.s_leocol.18.gif 07°52'

Hester Thrale


British diarist, author, and patron of the arts. Her diaries and correspondence are an important source of information about Samuel Johnson and 18th-century life. She is also known as "Hester Lynch Piozzi" or "Mrs Piozzi."

As a member of the powerful Salusbury Family, she belonged to one of the most illustrious Welsh land-owning dynasties of the Georgian era. After her father had gone bankrupt in an attempt to invest in Halifax, Canada, she married the rich brewer Henry Thrale on 11 October 1763 in London. They had 12 children. However, the marriage was often strained; her husband was often slighted by members of the Court and may well have married to improve his social status.

After her marriage, Mrs Thrale was liberated and free to associate with whom she pleased. Due to her husband's financial status, she was able to enter London society, as a result of which she met Samuel Johnson, James Boswell, Bishop Thomas Percy, Oliver Goldsmith and other literary figures. Johnson visited Wales in Thrale's company on several occasions. In 1775 he wrote two verses for her, the first in celebration of her 35th birthday, and another in Latin to honour her.

Following her husband's death (4 April 1781), she fell in love with and, on 25 July 1784, married Gabriel Mario Piozzi, an Italian music teacher. This caused a rift with Johnson, which was only perfunctorily mended shortly before his death. With her second husband, Hester retired to Brynbella, a specially-built country house in north Wales.

After Johnson's death, she published Anecdotes of the late Samuel Johnson (1786) and her letters (1788). Together with her diaries which were known as Thraliana, and were not published until 1949, these sources help to fill out the often biased picture of Johnson presented in Boswell's Life. Johnson often stayed with the Thrale household and had his own room, above the library at Streatham in which he worked.

Hester Piozzi died in Bristol, of complications after a fall, on 2 May 1821.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • friend relationship with Johnson, Samuel (born 7 September 1709 Jul.Cal. (18 Sep 1709 greg.))


Source Notes

Sy Scholfield quotes James Lowry Clifford & Margaret Anne Doody's book, "Hester Lynch Piozzi (Mrs. Thrale)" (Oxford University Press, 1987), p. 8: "at Bodvel Hall . . . their first and only child was born, between four and five o'clock in the afternoon of January 16, 1740/1. (This is old style reckoning... The birth is recorded in her grandmother's book."


  • Vocation : Writers : Other Writers (diarist)