THRALE, Ralph (c.1698-1758), of Streatham, Surr.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
b. c.1698, s. of Ralph Thrale of Offley, Herts. by Anne, sis. of Edmund Halsey. m., 1s. (Henry Thrale, M.P.), 3da.
Brewers’ Co. 1732, master 1748; sheriff, Surr. 1733-4.
The son of ‘a hardworking man at Offley’, Thrale was brought to London by his uncle, Edmund Halsey, the owner of the Anchor brewery at Southwark, who ‘said he would make a man of him, and did so but ... treated him very roughly’, making him work ‘at six shillings a week for twenty years’. He soon ‘made himself so useful ... that the weight of the business fell entirely on him’, and he was expected to succeed to the brewery.1 But he fell out with his uncle by marrying ‘a wench that Halsey wanted to have for his own pleasure’, and was cut off.2On Halsey’s death in 1729, the Anchor brewery was put up for sale. According to Mrs. Piozzi, Thrale’s daughter-in-law,
to find a purchaser for so large a property was a difficult matter, and after some time, it was suggested that it would be advisable to treat with Thrale, a sensible, active, honest man, who had been long employed in the house, and to transfer the whole to him for £30,000, security being taken upon the property. This was accordingly settled. In eleven years Thrale paid the purchase money. He acquired a large fortune. But what was most remarkable was the liberality with which he used his riches.3
Returned as an opposition Whig for Southwark, the brewers’ constituency, he voted against the Government on the chairman of the elections committee in 1741 and on the Hanoverians in 1744, was absent from other recorded divisions, did not stand again, and died 8 Apr. 1758.