Hester Lynch Salusbury Thrale Piozzi

Hester Lynch Salusbury Thrale Piozzi

Hester Lynch Salusbury, the daughter of John Salusbury (1707-1762), was born at Bodvel Hall on 27th January 1741.

The family encountered serious financial difficulties and therefore Hester was encouraged to marry Henry Thrale, a prosperous businessman who owned the Anchor Brewery in London and was Member of Parliament for Southwark.

After their marriage on 11th October 1763, the couple moved to Streatham Park and over the next few years they had 12 children of which only 3 (daughters) survived.

In January 1765 Samuel Johnson met Henry Thrale. Afterwards he became a constant visitor to the Thrale home in London. Streatham Park now became the centre of a literary and artistic group that included James Boswell, Fanny Burney, Charles Burney, Joshua Reynolds, Giuseppe Marc'Antonio Baretti, David Garrick, Arthur Murphy, Edmund Burke, Robert Chambers and Oliver Goldsmith.

Henry Thrale also owned a home in Brighton and Hester and her friend Fanny Burney were regular sea-bathers. Samuel Johnson developed strong feelings for Hester and he wrote two poems in her honour. After Hester's husband died on 4th April 1781 she was expected to marry Johnson but instead she caused a scandal by starting a relationship with Gabriel Piozzi an Italian singer. The couple eventually married and purchased a house in West Street, Brighton. They also owned a home in Tremeirchion.

Hester published Anecdotes of the late Samuel Johnson (1786) and a collection of her letters in 1788. However, her detailed diaries were not published in her lifetime.

Hester Lynch Salusbury Thrale Piozzi died in Bristol on 2nd May 1821 and is buried in the churchyard of Corpus Christi Church, Tremeirchion.