The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Mewburn, Frank F.
Record 3 of 11

System Number: 03738
Date: 15 March 1882
Author: John E. McNay[1]
Place: Middlesbrough
Recipient: JW
Place: London
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler M72
Document Type: ALS[2]

[Middlesborough coat of arms, encircled by belt:] CLEVELAND CLUB. MIDDLESBROUGH.

15. March / 82

Dear Mr Whistler.

I must really apologize for not having sooner replied to yours of the 9: inst: enclosing a letter dated 13: Sep: 1878 from Charlie Howell[3] to my brother Tom[4]. -

I have deferred my reply to your enquiry in reference thereto, in the hope, that by doing so, I should have an opportunity first of conferring with Frank Mewburn[5] on the subject - In consequence of my not having been much in D'ton [Darlington] of late, I have not found a fitting opportunity but hope soon to do so when I shall [p. 2] show him your letter & enclosure & ask him to address you direct on the subject. Meantime I may on my own behalf mean say, that I dont believe that the letter addressed by Howell to my brother as to "Hughenden" & "Beaconsfield" was ever intended for me[6], but was designed - with Howell's accustomed ingenuity - to convey to my brother's mind the impression that he (Howell) was intimate with the Lord of & a frequent visitor to "Hughenden" - Why, he has over & over again told me of his friendship with that deeply lamented Statesman - the last memorable occasion being when we called together in Curzon Street, during his Lordships last illness, "to enquire"!

[p. 3] I have known Frank Mewburn intimately all my life & can without reluctance or hesitation assure you that never during that period, has he been dubbed "Beaconsfield" nor any place he frequents, that I know of, entitled "Hughenden" - This distinct & unqualified denial of the ingenious "get out" will, I am sure, in due course, be most completely affirmed by "Frank" himself

Believe me
Yours faithfully

J. E. MacNay

J. McNeill Whistler Eq
13 Tite St: Chelsea.

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1.  John E. McNay
John ('Jack') Edward MacNay (1834-1893), General Manager of the Stockton and Darlington Railway [more].

2.  ALS
Published in Whistler, James McNeill, Correspondence. Paddon Papers. The Owl and the Cabinet, London, [1882], Letter X, p. 7. It is a reply to JW to J. E. McNay, 9 March 1882, #08102.

3.  Charlie Howell
Charles Augustus ('Owl') Howell (1840? - d.1890), entrepreneur [more]. This reference to Howell relates to an incident recorded by JW in Whistler, James McNeill, Correspondence. Paddon Papers. The Owl and the Cabinet, London, [1882]. It concerned Howell's rather ill-judged boast that he knew Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1882), Prime Minister of Great Britain [more].

4.  Tom
Thomas Fothergill MacNay (1836-1907), civil engineer [more].

5.  Frank Mewburn
Frank F. Mewburn (b. 1820 or 1821), solicitor and collector [more].

6.  me
Double underlined.