The Thrale family originated around the Hundred of Flitt in Bedfordshire and of its parishes Clophill, Barton, Gravenhurst (Upper & Lower). Higher Gobian and Pulloxhill are of special significance, but paramount is the parish of Luton with its manors of East and West Hyde which border on to the hamlet of Thrale's End.
A more complete list of very early Thrale records is also available.
12th century records
In 1329, Richard le Threl and William le Threl were witnesses to a grant of land called Sparrows in Thrale's End which is the earliest reference to this hamlet.
13th century records
Guild of the Holy Trinity, Luton Church
On the 12th May of 1474 Thomas Rotherham1 obtained from King Edward IV, a licence for himself, his brother John Rotherham, John Lammer, Vicar of Luton, John Thrale (senior) of Thrales End, West Hyde, and others, to form a guild in connection with Luton Church and when the guild should be established to found a chantry in the Church with two Chaplains. The origins and aims were brotherly love, charity and social intercourse.
The Register of the Guild and some accounts were found in possession of the Marquis of Bute showing the Guild to be one of the most wealthy and splendid in the Kingdom. Annual lists indicate the Masters, Wardens, Brethrens, Sisters, and Bachelors and Maidens of the Guild, many members being of Royal rank as well as Bishops. Some examples cite John Lammer, Vicar of Luton, as Master with John Thrale and Thomas Perot of the Wyne as Wardens in 1476.
In 1482 John and Richard Thrale and their wives of Thrales End were members, a year later John Thrale, senior, was Master, and in 1509 William Thrale was also Master.
14th century records
Court roll extract2:
Manor of Luton
The jury present that Michael Thrale who held from the lord freely by charter a messuage at Thrales end 67 acres and a close called Frebernes once lying in two closes containing in all by estimation 12 acres of land by the rent of 5s 6d per annum, and that the aforesaid Michael sold and alienated since the last court to John Kilby the aforesaid messuage and 55 acres land parcel of the premises aforesaid, to hold from the lord with the agreement of the lord by a rent of 3s 4d p.a., and to a certain Richard 20 acres parcel of the aforesaid premises to hold from the lord with the agreement of the lord by an annual rent of 20d and further to a certain Thomas Daye one acre of meadow and one acre of land in Hydefeilde parcel of the aforesaid premises to be held from the lord with the agreement of the lord by the annual rent of 4d, and the aforesaid Michael holds from the lord the aforesaid close residue of the aforesaid premises with the agreement of the lord at a rent of 2d fealty and further the said John Richard Thomas and Michael did fealty and were admitted tenants and all four tenants agreed that the premisses are true.
15th century records
Edward Thrale of Thrale's End kept records interspersed with signs used by an apothecary. The geometrical signs Edward used suggests that the page was a palimpsest or parchment which could be written on many times. One passage indicates mental illness…
Edward Thrale of Luton parish called Thrales End
23rd of June at Oh.6 pm 3
Troubled in mynd
the Sunday after May Daye
I very thirsty
An seyd to him that he thought him to be a witch.
And since he hath bene ill and will follow no bisyness
as he did before.
Thrales End Farm
The land has been, and remains, farmland. Thrale’s End farm has been farmed by Ian and Gillian Piggot and their ancestors for around 100 years. In Ian’s father’s day, the 400 acre mixed farm at Thrales End employed 6 men. Nowadays, Ian farms 1,700 acres of land spread over five farms near to Harpenden with the help of just one man. He follows a traditional crop rotation of wheat (used for local biscuits), oilseed rape (for biodiesel), spring barley (for malt whisky) and beans (for animal feed locally)4.
In 2006 the local newspaper reported Ian's plans to take the farm organic5.
- 1. Archbishop of York from 1474-1499.
- 2. http://www.seekinghyde.org.uk/13420.html
- 3. To interpret 6 p.m. for 'post meriden' would be anachronistic and the whole phrase probably is 'obit horae propria manu' or 'He died in the sixth hour by his own hand'.
- 4. http://www.farmsunday.org/resources/000/250/636/Ian_Pigott_-_Thumbnail.doc
- 5. To stay in farming we have to do something different - 9 September 2006