Streatham Park was home to the Thrale family and became the focal point of the Thrale's social life, and a country retreat for Samuel Johnson, Sir Joshua Reynolds and other distinguished members of Thrale's intellectual and artistic circle. Doctor Johnson had been introduced to Henry Thrale in January 1765 by Arthur Murphy and soon became great friends with him and his wife who treated as a member of the family.
James Boswell's first visit to Streatham Park was on 6th October 1769.
Boswell was undoubtedly filled with admiration for Doctor Johnson and plied him with questions during their meetings and busily recorded his responses in depth in his Journal. However, it would be true to say that he would not be the only person to catch Boswell’s attention. Although Doctor Johnson did not warm to many people, he did have a number of friends in addition to Boswell and Tom Davies who had introduced them to each other and so was not entirely friendless either.
One of the stained-glass windows of St Leonard's church Henry Thrale and his wife Hester shown with Johnson and Boswell (right)
Below Boswell portrait by fellow Streatham worthy Sir Joshua Reynolds