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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Hyde 80

Thrale family papers

Correspondence and other papers relating to Henry Thrale (a friend of Samuel Johnson) and his daughters.


  • 1708-1844
  • Majority of material found within 1780-1819

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

Conditions Governing Use

Images linked to this finding aid are intended for public access and educational use. This material is owned and/or held by the Houghton Library, and is provided solely for the purpose of teaching or individual research. Any other use, including commercial reuse, mounting on other systems, or other forms of redistribution requires the permission of the curator.


.4 linear feet (1 box)

This collection includes papers relating to Henry Thrale and his family history, and letters written by three of his daughters: Hester, Susanna, and Cecilia. Perhaps the most significant is a letter from Hester to Samuel Johnson dated 1783 July 24, item (1).

Biographical / Historical

Henry Thrale (1728-1781) was the son of London brewer Ralph Thrale (1698-1758), and assumed control of his father's large business in 1758 . He married Hester Lynch Salusbury in 1763. Only four of their twelve children survived to adulthood: Hester Maria Elphinstone, Viscountess Keith (1762-1857); Susanna Arabella Thrale (1770-1858); Sophia Thrale Hoare (1771-1824); and Cecilia Thrale Mostyn (1777-1857). The Thrales divided their time between two London residences: at the brewery compound in Southwark, and at a larger country house at Streatham Park. After the Thrales were introduced to Samuel Johnson in 1765, Streatham Park became the center of an important coterie of literary, artistic, and political figures. Thrale also served in Parliament from 1765 to 1780.


Arranged alphabetically by name.

Physical Location

b (shelved with bMS Hyde 79)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

2003JM-59. Bequest of Mary Hyde Eccles, Four Oaks Farm, Somerville, New Jersey; received: 2004.

Related Materials

Several other record groups in the Hyde Collection include Thrale material, including letters addressed to several family members in the Samuel Johnson Letters, MS Hyde 1; the Papers of Hester Maria Elphinstone, Viscountess Keith, MS Hyde 5; a settlement of the family's Wales property, MS Hyde 36; documents relating to Henry Thrale's estate, MS Hyde 39, 56, and 59; a Thrale family lease from 1613, MS Hyde 62; and several collections relating to Henry Thrale's widow Hester Lynch Piozzi, in MS Hyde 3, 35, 70, 71, 72, and 73.

Processing Information

Processed by: Rick Stattler
Link to catalog
Thrale family. Thrale family papers, 1708-1844: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. The library's holdings of primary source material are managed by an expert staff and shared with scholars, students and the public in the reading room.

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