Thrale Road, SW16

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Henry Thrale (died April 4, 1781) was born into a brewing family, his father Ralph Thrale having purchased the Anchor Brewery in Park Street, Southwark, from his uncle in 1729. Like his father, Henry expanded the business and the family wealth becoming quite a catch. In 1763 he married Hester Lynch Salusbury, only daughter of Sir John Salusbury, a member of the powerful Salusbury family, and one of the most illustrious Welsh land-owning dynasties of the Georgian era. However, her father’s poor Canadian investments ruined the family’s fortunes and it was suggested that while he had married her for social status, she married him for the money. The marriage was said to be strained by her family looking down on the industrialist. That said the couple had 12 children, although only four daughters survived into adulthood. For his part Henry Thrale became MP for Southwark and was also a very close friend of Samuel Johnson, who accompanied the couple on a trip to Wales. He was also a regular at the couple’s home Streatham Park, or Streatham Place, which overlooked the common. It had been built in 1730 by Ralph Thrale on 89 acres of land bought from the local Lord of the Manor – the fourth Duke of Bedford. It was said that the sale price was a ten-year supply of ale and porter for the Duke’s home, Woburn Abbey. Following Henry’s death, his widow sold the brewery to Barclay Perkins & Co for £135,000, to be paid over four years. As one of the executors of the will Johnson remarked at the sale: “We are not here to sell a parcel of boilers and vats, but the potentiality of growing rich beyond the dreams of avarice.” 

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