The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
Home > On-line Edition > Search for People > Document Display

return to search results

Documents associated with: Marlborough, Duke of
Record 1 of 15

System Number: 13568
Date: [22/23 July 1887?][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Queen Victoria[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler PH 10
Document Type: MsLS[3]

[Design[4] of a crown in a circle, with flowers and text:] VR / 1887

[p 2, Royal coat of arms, surrounded by drawings of ships at sea]

To the Queen's most excellent Majesty.

The humble and dutiful Memorial of the undersigned in behalf of a Society of Your Majesty's faithful Subjects, being Artists, and Patrons and Well-wishers of the Arts and Artists of Your Majesty's Kingdom.

[drawing of the rising sun]

[butterfly signature, in right margin]

[p. 3] Humbly Showeth

That, under the auspices and patronage of Your Majesty's Royal and Revered Uncle, the late Illustrious Duke of Sussex[5], and of other highly distinguished Patrons of the Arts, there was in the year 1823, established in your Majesty's Metropolis, an Institution for the aid and promotion of the Arts, entitled,
"The Society of British Artists,"
which has continued up to the present time, the great objects of the Society being to provide for meritorious Artists an advantageous Exhibition of their works; for the Friends of Art a wider scope than had previously existed for the encouragement of British talent, and for students the advantages of systematic and enlightened Instruction.

[p. 4] That the recorded proceedings of the Society show that these objects have been carried out with undeviating honesty, perseverance, independence, and success.

That, in the tenth year of your Majesty's fortunate and glorious reign on the third day of February, your Majesty was graciously pleased upon the petition of the Members of the Society to grant to it a Royal Charter which has ever since facilitated and promoted its pursuit of the objects for which it was established.

That the name of your Majesty's illustrious revered and lamented
who honoured the Exhibitions of the Society with his presence, encouraged its efforts by the purchase of works contributed by its members and strengthened it in common with all other influences tending to good in [p. 5] these realms by his wise counsel and lofty example is enrolled by the Society with grateful and patriotic pride at the head of a list of friends and Patrons[7] which embraces among others the names of

The late Duke of Bedford         The Duke of Rutland
The late Duke of                 The late Duchess of
    Marlborough                      St. Albans
The Duke of Newcastle            The late Duke of 
The late Duke of                     Montrose
    Sutherland                   The late Duchess of
The late Duchess of                  Sutherland 
    Buccleuch                    The Marquis of 
The late Marchioness                 Northampton
      of Bute                    The Marquis of
The late Marquis of                  Landsdowne
    Westminster                  The late Marquis of 
Earl Fitzhardinge                    Ormonde
The late Earl of Essex           Earl Ducie
The Earl of Shaftsbury           The Earl of Albemarle
The late Earl of Durham          The late Earl
The Earl of                          Fitzwilliam
    Normanton                    The late Earl of 
The Earl of Tankerville              Egremont

[p. 6]

The late Earl Grey               The Earl of Carlisle
Viscount Emlyn                   The Earl of Carysfort
The late Lord Gwydyr             The Coutess of
The late Lord                        Arundel and Surrey
    Wharncliffe                  The Bishop of
Lord Strathavon                      Winchester
Lord Francis Egerton             The late Lord Monson
Lord Northwick                   The late Lord Rolle
Lord Selsey                      Lord Ellenborough
The late Lord                    Lord Hesilrige
    Mountcharles                 Lord Dunally
Lord Colborne                    The late Lord
Lord de Saumarez                     Muncaster
Lord William Powlett             Lord Charles Townsend
R Hart Davis Esqre MP.           Lord de Tabley
W Chamberlayne Esqre MP          Lord Kinnaird
W T Copeland Esqre MP            Lord de Lisle
Sir Thos Phillips Bart           M M Zachary Esqre
Sir Ronald Ferguson MP           The late Sir Henry Meux
Hon J Liddell MP                        Bart
Sir Gerard Noel Bart MP          Sir Felix Booth
Sir George Crewe Bart MP         M A Taylor Esqre MP
W Allnutt Esqre                  Sir Robert Peel Bart MP
J Fielden Esqre MP               R Vernon Esqre
J J Ruskin                       W Beckford Esqre

[p. 7] 

A E Hulton Esqre                 Sir Thomas Baring Bart
Col Sir Wm Herries KCB           L Parnther Esqre
The Hon D Kinnaird               H C Hoare Esqre
Sir Christopher Cole MP          C F Huth Esqre
William Wells Esqre              R H Solly Esqre
John Gibbons Esqre               H Villiers Stuart Esq MP
Col Sibthorpe MP                 The Revd E Stanley
Revd S Coleridge                 Wynn Ellis Esqre MP
Col Shipardson                   C Baring Wall Esqre MP
Sir P Hesketh Fleetwood          Sir John Soane RA
    Bart MP                      Sir Hyde Parker Bart
Hon Sydney Herbert MP            James Wedmore Esqre
E N Dennys Esqre                 Robert Ferguson Esq MP
F Broderip Esq                   E Turner Esqre MP
Edward Holland Esqre MP          C Saville Onley Esqre
Robert Farrant Esqre MP          G H Errington Esqre
Col A Court                      Sir J R Reid Bart MP
Hon Mrs B Wilbraham              D Salomons Esqre
S Solly Esqre                    C R M Talbot Esqre MP
Hon A Duncomb MP                 Simon McGillivray Esqre
Hon W L Melville                 H Munro Esqre
B Botfield Esqre MP              G Young Esqre
W Collett Esqre MP               Revd H Waldo Sibthorpe

[p. 8]

Sir C H Coote, Bart, MP.         J Bell Esqre
B Bernasconi Esqre               Charles Scarisbuck Esq
W J Brodetip Esqre               Sir George Phillips Bart
Sir Robert Frankland             The Hon G King
C W Parke Esqre MP               Sir Watkin W Wynn

That The members of this Society in common with all sorts and conditions of men throughout your Majesty's world wide dominions earnestly desire to mark and celebrate in some becoming and appropriate manner their gratitude and joy upon the completion of this ever to be remembered Fiftieth year of your Majesty's benign and benificent [sic] sway;

May it therefore please
Your Majesty graciously to acceed [sic] to this Society your august permission to take to itself wear and be henceforth known by the style and title of

[p. 9] The Royal Society of British Artists

which shall be to us and to our successors an undying witness of our collective and individual loyalty to Your Majesty's person and throne and a memorial bond binding us and them to pursue with undeviating and unceasing fidelity the great aims and objects for which this Society was founded as herein before set forth, and by your Majesty's most gracious Royal Charter constituted, in the earliest years of Your Majesty's most glorious and auspicious Reign

James. McNeill. Whistler

President -

[p. 10] [Royal coat of arms with motto:] HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [22/23 July 1887?]
This is a photograph of the final version of the Memorial sent by JW on behalf of the Society of British Artists to Queen Victoria following her Jubilee celebrations. It follows several drafts of the Memorial (#05970, #05971, #05972, #13099, #05975).

2.  Queen Victoria
Victoria (1819-1901), Queen of Great Britain [more].

3.  MsLS
This transcription has been made from photographs of the original. The Royal Library at Windsor Castle can find no record of the existence of the original Memorial. The text and coats of arms in the document were probably carried out by Edward D. Mitchell, heraldry expert [more], the drawings and signature, however, are by Whistler. See Pennell, Elizabeth Robins, and Joseph Pennell, The Life of James McNeill Whistler, 2 vols, London and Philadelphia, 1908, vol. 2, pp. 65-67; Pennell, Elizabeth Robins, and Joseph Pennell, The Life of James McNeill Whistler, 5th ed., revised, London and Philadelphia, 1911, repr. f. p. 320; Pennell, Elizabeth Robins, and Joseph Pennell, 'Whistler as Decorator,' Century Magazine, LXXXIII, February 1912, pp. 500-13, p. 510; Pennell, Joseph, and Elizabeth Robins Pennell, The Joseph and Elizabeth Robins Pennell Collection of Whistleriana Shown in Division of Prints, Library of Congress, Southwest Pavilion, Washington, G.P.O. Library Branch, 1921, pp. 176-77, repr. f. p. 176.

4.  Design
(a) Monogram 'VR'; (b) Address to Queen Victoria; (c) Royal Coat of Arms (M.1132).

5.  Duke of Sussex
Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex (1773-1843), the sixth son of George III [more].

6.  Consort
Prince Albert (1819-1861), the Prince Consort [more].

7.  a list of friends and Patrons
The list includes: George Charles Spencer-Churchill (1844-1892), 8th Duke of Marlborough [more]; Edward Montagu Stuart Granville Stuart-Wortley (1827-1899), 1st Earl of Wharncliffe [more]; John Ruskin (1819-1900), critic, social reformer and artist [more]; Sir Robert Peel (1788-1850), British statesman and Prime Minister (1834-1835, 1841-1846) [more]; Hon. Edward Lyulph Stanley (1839-1925), 4th Baron Stanley of Alderley, barrister and MP [more]; Hyde Watson Parker, art collector [more]; and John Robertson Reid (1851-1926), genre, landscape and marine painter [more].