John Salusbury Piozzi Salusbury was born to Giovanne Battiste Piozzi in Milan, Italy. His father was a member of the Italian nobility who held significant tracts of land outside of Milan. During the Napoleonic Wars, the family had been driven from their home by Napoleon's invasion of Italian Milanese Territory, thereby depriving the family of an income. As such, Giovanne named his eldest son John Salusbury Piozzi after the father of the wealthy and influential Hester Piozzi, the wife of Giovanne Battiste Piozzi's brother Gabriel Mario Piozzi, in the hope that Hester would provide the family with assistance. After she failed to do so, Giovanne Battiste Piozzi gave John up for adoption, after which point he became known as John Salusbury Piozzi Salusbury although his adopted mother would not do so formally until many years later.
By all accounts, Salusbury was not happy to leave home, and upon seeing sheep heads at market, the child retold how he saw a basket of human heads in Brescia, then a part of Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia. His adopted mother eventually wrote a pamphlet regarding the alleged barbarity of Napoleon's army after her son's story.
He was educated at Trinity College, Oxford. On 29 November 1813 Hester legally applied for him to bear the surname Salusbury. On 7 November 1814 he married Harriet Maria Pemberton of Ryton Grove, Shropshire. On his marriage day he received Brynbella, along with the rest of Mrs Piozzi's estates in Flint, Denbigh and Caernarvonshire, becoming one of the foremost landowners in Wales. However, he had no concept of fiscal management and soon ran the properties into the ground.
During the Battle of Waterloo, Salusbury expected to be directly under the command of his uncle, Stapleton Cotton, 1st Viscount Combermere, but was instead an attaché to Henry William Paget, 1st Marquess of Anglesey whom he disliked for having "stolen" his uncle's command.
In later life Hester's pocket books indicate that he continual demanded money from her and was not very affectionate. They are known to have had at least one child, Rev. George Augustus Salusbury.
Salusbury went on to later become the High Sheriff of Flint in 1816. One year later, he was knighted by William IV as a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Guelphic Order. His mother attempted to secure a baronetcy for him during that same year from the Viscount Sidmouth, but he spent the money on his extensive gambling debts. He died on 18 December 1858 in Cheltenham.
As Hester Piozzi was the last living member of the Salusbury family, she secured the rights and privileges of her father for her son. He is the progenitor of the modern Salusbury family, and all people who possess the right to bear the Salusbury arms are descended from him. As Salusbury had several cousins, however, many of which passed on their name without the rights and privileges restored to him via the crown.
The Piozzi Letters: Correspondence of Hester Lynch Piozzi,1774-1821 (Formerly Mrs. Thrale), 1817-1821, vol. 6.(Book Review)
Oct 01, 2004; The Piozzi Letters: Correspondence of Hester Lynch Piozzi,1774-1821 (Formerly Mrs. Thrale), Vol. VI: 1817-1821. Ed....