The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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William Connal, 1819-1898

Nationality: Scottish
Date of Birth: 1819
Place of Birth: Stirling
Date of Death: 1898
Place of Death: 19 Park Circus, Glasgow


William Connal was a Scottish merchant and collector. He was the son of a banker. He married Jessie Cambell.


As a young man, Connal entered his uncle William’s firm which specialised in tea and sugar importing and the Virginia tobacco trade. Connal concentrated on warehousing pig iron, dominating the Glasgow market and expanding to Middlesborough. He was a member of the Middlesborough Exchange from 1877 until 1898.

Connal was a major patron of Albert Moore. He also owned paintings by Edward Burne Jones, Edward Poynter, Frederick Sandys, Roddam Spencer Stanhope, Fernand Knopff and Adolphe Monticelli as well as a few Old Masters. He also owned Whistler's Symphony in Silver and Grey (YMSM 146). He occasionally bought from Agnew, at his Grafton Gallery. His estate was valued at £208,077.


Young, Andrew McLaren, Margaret F. MacDonald, Robin Spencer and Hamish Miles, The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler, New Haven and London, 1980.