The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Frederick Thomas Galsworthy, 1827-1917

Nationality: English
Date of Birth: 1827.01.16
Place of Birth: Devonport, Devon
Date of Death: 1917.11.10
Place of Death:


Frederick Thomas Galsworthy was a surveyor and land agent. He was the seventh of nine children of John Galsworthy and Maria Start. In 1859 he married Isabel Marion Watson, the daughter of Edward Watson, a retired merchant, and Margaret, née Barugh. They had two daughters Ethel M. (b. ca 1863) and Evelyn J. (b. ca 1872), and four sons Frederic J. (b. ca 1866), Arthur John, Trevor and Vincent Somers (b. 13 October 1868).


Frederick Galsworthy was a member of the firm of auctioneers, land agents and surveyors, Galsworthy and Chinnock, at 11 Waterloo Place in Pall Mall [#11448]. In 1889 he was listed among the Fellows of the Royal Geographical Society 1889.

The Galsworthys were a fashionable family who lived at 8 Queen's Gate, off Kensington Road, from 1869 until Frederick Galsworthy's death in 1917. They also had a house in the country, Dinorban Court at Winchfield, Hants. JW was on friendly terms with them. He knew their nephew, the author John Galsworthy, and their niece, Lilian, who married the artist George Sauter. JW became close friends with George and Lilian Sauter. George was Honorary Secretary of the International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers when JW was President.

In 1875 when JW was having a disagreement with Edward Clifton Griffiths, the landlord of the Pall Mall gallery, over JW's redecoration of it for his one man show, it seems that JW may have asked for Frederick Galsworthy's opinion on the original memorandum of agreement with Griffith and asked his advice concerning the subsequent law suit (#11446, #12175). There is a menu dated 21 November 1875 that records a sumptuous meal JW held to which the Galsworthys were invited (#06856). Alan Cole recorded in his diary that he dined at JW's on 24 March 1876 with Frances Leyland, Isabel Galsworthy and others (#03432). According to one anonymous source, on one occasion in 1877, after having lunch at her house at Queen's Gate, JW casually sketched Isabel's portrait on brown paper, Portrait of Mrs Isabel Marion Galsworthy (M.540). However, its seems that sittings were more formal with Isabel dressed in a smart jacket and hat. JW also drew their son Vincent, Portrait of Vincent Somers Galsworthy (M.541).


Post Office Directory, London, 1875; UK census 1881 from (accessed 2004); MacDonald, Margaret F., James McNeill Whistler. Drawings, Pastels and Watercolours. A Catalogue Raisonné, New Haven and London, 1995.