The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Freer, Charles Lang
Record 4 of 374

System Number: 11711
Date: 7 May 1879[1]
Author: The London Bankruptcy Court[2]
Place: London
Recipient: [James Anderson Rose][3]
Place: London
Repository: Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Call Number: FGA Whistler 304
Credit Line: Charles Lang Freer Papers, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.: Gift of the Estate of Charles Lang Freer
Document Type: MsDc

(p. 915)

The London Bankruptcy Court
The Bankruptcy Act 1869
Re James A. McN. Whistler
From: File No. 103240

(p. 916)Note
An Ordinary Resolution required the vote of a majority in number of the Creditors present in person or by proxy, at the meeting at which the Resolution was submitted.

A Special Resolution required a majority in number of the persons (Creditors) present in person or by proxy and ¾ths in value.

An Extraordinary Resolution required a majority in number and ¾th in value of the Creditors assembled at a General meeting and subsequently confirmed by a majority in value and value at a further meeting. In calculating a majority on a Special Resolution Creditors whose debts amounted to sums not exceeding £10 were reckoned in value, but not in number.

(p. 916A)

[in box:] £1. Stamp

This[4] is the Petition referred to in the Affidavit of James Abbott McNeill Whistler sworn before me this seventh day of May 1879. Edwards [Lotts?]. A Commissioner to Administer Oaths.

The Bankruptcy Act 1869
To The London Bankruptcy Court

The humble petition of James McNeill Whistler of The White House Chelsea Embankment in the County of Middlesex. Artist

That your Petitioner alleges that he is unable to pay his debts and is desirous of institutioning proceedings for the liquidation of his Affairs by Arrangement or Composition with his Creditors and hereby submits to the Jurisdiction of this Court in the matter of such proceedings and that your Petition or estimates the amount of the debts owing by him to his Creditors at £4.500.

Your Petitioner therefore prays that notices conveying such General Meeting or Meetings of his Creditors as may be necessary to be given by him during the course of such proceedings may be sent in the prescribed manner and that such resolutions or resolutions as his Creditors may pass in the course of such proceedings and as may require registration may be duly registered by the Registrar of the Court.
And your Petition may ever pray
J. A. McN. Whistler.

Signed by the Petitioner                        Filed 8. May 1879.
James Abbott McNeil [sic] Whistler            At One 'clock
on the seventh day of May 1879.                              PM.
in the presence of George Henry Lewis[5]
10. Ely Place Holborn Middlesex

(p. 917A)

Affidavit 9 May 1879[6]. by James Abbott McNeill Whistler of the White House Chelsea Embankment Artist to effect that

Louis Herrman[7], Picture Dealer, has issued execution in respect of £125.1.4 (two Bills of Exchange) and is now in possession of the furniture and effects at The White House.

That James Anderson Rose, Solicitor, has recovered Judgment for £206.10.7 work and labour and has issued execution against the furniture and effects.

That has been served with a writ by Hargrave Morrison[8] for goods sold and delivered and money lent £129.8.11 and is in a position to issue Execution.

That George Tacchi[9] has served a writ for £41.9.6 in respect of money paid in discount of a Bill of Exchange and is in a position to issue Execution

That has been served with a writ by James William Wimsett[10] for £31.17.4 who is in a position to issue Execution.

The same by Benjamin Ebenanzer [sic] Nightingale[11] for £100. . in respect of a Bill of Exchange.

The same by Lewis & Webb[12] for £23.9.8 due under my guarantee.

The same by the North Metropolitan[13] Permanent Building Society for £91.11.3, arrears of payment and fines:

The same by Winsor & Newton[14] £46.9.6 for goods sold and delivered:

Served with a summons by William Achong[15] for £8.10.10

The same by Messrs Low[16]. The General Furnishing Coy for £8.2.0:

The same by J. W. Duffield[17] for £6.6.10 work and labour. The same by J. W. Duffield for £8.16.10 work and labour, and the same by Hewitt[18] & Coy £7.4.6 for goods and each are in a position to issue Execution.

That my debts unsecured amount to about £4.500 and my Assets consist of furniture and effects, value, about £700

That it is necessary in the interest of the General Good of my Creditors that the foregoing persons should be restrained from proceeding until after the First Meeting on the 4th June next.

[p. 918A] In response to Whistlers [sic] Affidavit of the 9th May the Court made the same day an Injunction restraining the Creditors referred to therein from taking any further action until after June 9th, and by a further order of the same date appointed James Waddell[19] of No. 11. Queen Victoria Street, Public Accountant to act as Receiver of the property of James Abbott McNeill Whistler and to take immediate possession of it.

On the 4th June at a Meeting duly called and held at the Inns of Court Hotel High Holborn, the Creditors passed the following resolutions:

1. That the affairs of Whistler shall be liquidated by Arrangement and not in Bankruptcy.

2. That James Waddell of Mansion House Chambers 11. Queen Victoria Street London, Public Accountant, be, and he is hereby appointed Trustee at such remuneration as the Committee of Inspection may be determined.

3. That Charles Howell[20] of Fulham House, Fulham; Thomas Way[21] of 21. Wellington Street, Strand; and Frederick Richard Leyland[22] of 49. Princes Gate Kensington, be, and they are hereby appointed Committee of Inspection: Two to form a quorum.

4. That the discharge of the said James Abbott McNeill Whistler be and the same is hereby granted.

5. That Messiers [sic] Lewis and Lewis[23] be entrusted with the registration of this special resolution. / Continued over on next page.)

(p. 919A)

(Meeting of 4 June continued) Note a Special Resolution required a majority in number of the Creditors present or by proxy and ¾ths in value)
17. Creditors were present in person or by proxy at this meeting amounting in value to £2784.12.8
16 voted in favour amounting to £2653.18.10
One refrained from voting £130.13.10
A copy of this resolution was filed in Court on 5th June 1879 and duly registered under the seal of the Court on 27. June.

On June 5. The Debtors sworn statement of affairs was filed but before this he had furnished a full list of his Creditors. The Statement was as on May 7. 1879, and as below.

Unsecured Creditors. £4631.19.7 Assets  
Other liabilities        9.  9.8 Furniture and fixtures  
  £4641.  9.3 and fittings at the  
    White House. Chelsea  
Creditors fully secured.   estimated to produce   £289.5.0
  £2439.  7.4 x Other property expected  
Holding security   to produce £1000.0.0
valued at £3000.  0.0    
    Surplus from Securities     560.12.8
Surplus £  560.12.8   £1849.17.8
    Less Taxes. wages  
    to be paid in full      25.3.4
x £4641.  9.3   £1824.9.4


For particulars of the other property £1000.
see over page:
x 64. including 21
under £10

(p. 920A)

re J. McN. Whistler
12 of the largest of his Creditors (Unsecured)

Winans[24], Thomas £1200 money lent and advanced.
Elden[25] M R £100 Services rendered
Charles[26] J. S. £97.12.7 Goods sold & delivered
Frood & Dickinson[27] £86.6.3 Goods and work done
Herrmann L £190.0.0
Howell C. A. £450.0.0. Money lent
Leyland F R. £350 Money paid
Nightingale B E £226.10.4 Builder work
Rose J A £477.8.9 {Solicitor Holds
                {two judgements
Singleton[28] C J £50.0.0 - Money lent
Winsor & Newton £48.19.6


48 Creditors over £10       } 'All unsecured'
and 21 Creditors under £10 }

(p. 921A)

Details of the £1000 included with the Assets: as furnished by Mr. Whistler: "I hold an I.O.U. of Mr Walter Ashe[29] for £36.19.4 dated 1878. I do not know where the said Walter Ashe is now to be found. I estimate this of no value.

A picture Painted by me called The Gold Girl[30] now on exhibition at the Grosvenor Gallery. I estimate the value of this at £500.0.0
A portrait of my mother[31] painted by me now in the hands of Mr Jose of Shepherds Bush for the purpose of engraving. £500.0.0
Two unfinished Pictures at Mr Whistler's house[32], 28 Wimpole St Cavendish Square. In their present unfinished state I am unable to estimate them to be of any value.  


Note It will be seen from the Trustees Account of the realization of the Assets attached, that the Gold Girl realised £63.0.0., and the 'Mother' nothing for the general body of Creditors being claimed by C.A. Howell as security for his debt but Whistler returned him as an unsecured creditor.

(p. 922A) Notice dated 27. June 1879 signed P. H. Pepys[33], Registrar, of the appointment of James Waddell of 11. Queen Victoria Street London as Trustee. All persons to deliver the Debtor's property to him, or pay debts owing to him, and all Creditors must lodge their proofs of debt with him, the Trustee

Notice advertised in The Daily Telegraph, June 28 1879 and in the London Gazzette [sic] on July 1st. 1879.

Statement of Creditors further secured as sworn by Debtor.

North Metropolitan Permanent Building and Investment Socy. Old Street Shoreditch - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - £1500.0.0
Holds as security a first mortgage on The White House. Tite Street Chelsea. The house was built by me on a building lease granted by The Metropolitan Board of Works to me at a rental of £24 per annum and which has about 90 years to run.  
I estimate the value of the house at £
Amount of 1st mortgage as above, £1.500.0.0
Estimated balance carried below £1 500.0.0
Lewis & Webb  
            Stoke Newington   £939.7.4
Holds as security a second mortgage on the above mentioned house.  
Estimated balance as above £2439.7.4
      Surplus from security    560.12.8
                        £3000.0.0 £3000.0.0


(p. 923A) 27 June 1879. Application to Court to Register the Resolutions - passed at The General Meeting on the 4th June for Liquidation of the Affairs of and granting the Discharge of James McNeill Whistler.

Certificate dated 27 June 1879 of the Appointment as Trustee under the [Liquidation?] of James Waddle [sic]

[circled:] L.S

(Signed) P. H. Pepys

Report to court by James Waddell, 5 June 1879 that on the 4th June a Special Resolution was passed granting the Debtor his Discharge

Appointment of Messr Lewis & Lewis, my Solicitors in this matter
      (Signed) James Waddell, Trustee
Appointment approved by Fred. R. Leyland, Thomas Way and Charles A. Howell.

Enclosed "We accept the appointment.
      (Signed) Lewis & Lewis

Application to Court for the Debtor's Discharge made by Lewis & Lewis. 27 June 1879. (Stamp £1)

Certificate of the Debtor's Discharge.
dated 27 June 1879.

(Signed) P. H. Pepys

[circled:] L.S

(p. 924A)

re J. A McN. Whistler Trustees Cash Account.

1879   1879    
Dec 19 To Baker & Sons[34] proceeds June By Balance due to Receiver £31.13.10
  of Sale of Furniture at " 30 Petty disbursements 4.9
  The White House £90.19.2 July 21 do 8.10
  Less charges of sale Aug 31 do 19.7
  Inventory valuation £25.18.1 £65.1.1 Sep 30 do 3.8
1886 To Sotheby & Co.[35] proceeds Oct 31 do 7.0
Mar of Sale of Art Furniture £276.9.0 Nov 30 do 1.2
8 [etc?] Dec 31 - do 0.5
  Less expenses of sale 35.5.6 £241.3.6 1890    
  To. H. Quilter[36] purchase Jany 31 do 0.7
  money of The White House £1700.0.0 Feb 28 do 6.11
  Less amount of mortgages Mar 4 Lewis & Lewis Costs to Deev. last 143.8.1
  £2550.3.8 8 J. cousins 3 months wages due} 15.17.4
  Anchor charges   at date of proceedings}  
  and Estimation 74.10.6 £2624.14.2 £75.5.10 25 Nathan[37] & Son. taxed costs of} 69.17.1
Apr 16 To H Laboucher[38] for purchase of   levies and possession -}  
  the painting The gold Girl 63.0.0 31 Petty disbursements. 0.1.6
  To J. E.Hine[39] for purchase of Apr 30 do 0.6.5
  canvasses & unfinished May 31 do 0.0.3
  paintings. 5.0.0 June Trustees charges. 97.1.2
    July Balance 83.11.6
  £449.10.5     £449.10.5


Memorandum as to Cash.

Balance in hand. £88.11.6 Audited subject to the approval
Deduct Solicitors further costs £10.0.0 of the creditors.
Parochial rates  24.10.8 (Signed) Fred R. Leyland.
Queen's Taxes  19.18.4 Charles A. Howell
Gas since proceedings 12.9 £55.1.9 Thomas Way.
Leaving for paymnt of } £33.9.9  
dividend. }    


[p. 925A] [31 Mar -2 Oct 1879]

re J. McN. Whistler
Costs of Maurice H. Nathan of holding possession [ste?] on behalf of the Trustees and other charges/.

Mar 31 to Oct. 2 Taking and holding possession and effects at The White House on behalf of the Trustee   £5.5.0
  Paid man in possession 186 days @ 5/- a day £46.10.0
  Paid Newton's charges for preparing for sale when stopped by Injunction £45.15.0
  Fifa Levy fees in the undermentioned executions levied before Petition and restrained by Injunction - Rose v Whistler £1-1/- Hermann v Whistler £1.1/- Rose v Whistler (2nd [Fifa?] £1-1/- Morrison v same £1-1/- Hermann v same 2nd [Fifa?] £1-1/-   £5.5.0
  Taxed off     3.13.0
  Possession after Injunction at 4/6       .15.1
  [perdiem?] only Other charges allowed £69.17.1


(p. 926A)

The Bankruptcy Act 1869
In The London Bankruptcy Court

In the matter of a Special Resolution for the Liquidation by Arrangement of the Affairs of James Abbott McNeill Whistler of The White House, Chelsea Embankment, in the County of Middlesex./

We, the undersigned, being the statutory majority of Creditors assembled at a General Meeting in the above matter duly held at the Office of Messr. J. Waddell & Co. No. 1. Queen Victoria Street in the City of London, on Friday the 3rd day of September 1880, do hereby resolve as follows:

1. That the Trustees accounts as audited by the Committee of Inspection be, and are hereby passed as correct

2. That the Trustee by and he is hereby authorised to distribute the balance in his hands (£33.9.9) as a first and final dividend amongst the Creditors entitled to.

3. That this Liquidation be closed on and after the First day of November 1880.

4. That the Trustee be released on and from the same date.

5. That the Trustee be and is hereby authorised to destroy after the Liquidation all books and papers in his possession in connection with this Liquidation

/Joseph Bernard Cousins[40]; J. W. Winsett[41] by his proxy H. J. Winsett[;] Mathew Robinson Elden; C. A. Howell by proxy T. Chalkley[42]; W. McNeil Whistler by proxy T. Chalkley; Louis Huth[43], by proxy T. Chalkley; W. S. Winans[44] for self and co. executor of Thomas Winans[45] by proxy T. Chalkley; T. Way by proxy T. Chalkley; Allingham [46]T. by proxy J. Waddell; Farmer & Rogers[47], by proxy J. Waddell.

(Signed) J. Waddell.

Note/ 13 Creditors present. Value £2177.15.2
12 in favour £2264.1.5 [two arrows]
One abstained.
[circled:] H.H.H.

(p. 927A) Notice dated 17 August 1880 signed, James Waddell, of Meeting to be held the 3rd September 1880 at the Office of Messr Waddell Esq No 1. Queen Victoria Street, at 3o/c for the following purposes.

1. To receive and [pan?] the Trustee's Account as Architect by the Committee of Inspection
2. To declare a dividend
3. To fix a date of the close of the Lidation Liquidation
4. To grant the release of the Trustee, and to pass any other resolution which may be deemed necessary.

(Signed) Lewis & Lewis Solicitors to
                  The Trustee.

Affidavit of postage of notices of the meeting 3rd. Septr. 1880 sent to 68 Creditors as per list sworn 31 August 1880 by Thomas Chalkley

Affidavit 5 Oct 1880 by Thomas Chalkley that he was present at the Meeting on 3rd September 1880 at which Mr. James Waddell was duly elected Chairman.

Affidavit 5 Oct 1880 by Thomas Chalkley that all the resolutions, proofs and proxies, at the meeting 3rd of September 1880 have been filed in Court.

re J. A. McN. Whistler
Received Cash Account

  Receipts     Payments  
1879. To Balance £ 31.13.10 May 9 By possession fees   £2.5.0
            31 Petty Disbursements       14.0
                     June 4 Receives charges   28.14.10
       31.13.10     £31.13.10


This document is protected by copyright.


1.  7 May 1879
This is the date of the first document in this record, which will have been made after the affidavits below, dated 5 October 1880

2.  The London Bankruptcy Court
A preliminary list of JW's debts (#11926) predates this copy of the official document dated 7 May 1879, when JW filed for bankruptcy (#11711). The settlement, agreed before Judge Hazlitt in the London Bankruptcy Court, was signed on 9 May 1879 (#08903). See also confirmation of the final settlements dated 3 September 1880 (#08900).

3.  James Anderson Rose
James Anderson Rose (1819-1890), solicitor [more]. As JW's lawyer, he retained many legal documents including those relating to JW's bankruptcy, and these were later acquired by E. R. and J. Pennell and passed to the Library of Congress. This copy, however, may have been made for one of the creditors, and so passed to C. L. Freer.

4.  This
Paragraph written in the left margin, at right angles to the main text.

5.  George Henry Lewis
Sir George Henry Lewis (1833-1911), society lawyer [more], who had just taken over JW's financial affairs.

6.  Affidavit 9 May 1879
This is a summary of #08885 and #11705.

7.  Hermann
Louis Herrman (b. 1810 or 1811), of Gilby and Herrman, artists' suppliers, later a picture dealer [more].

8.  Morrison
Hargrave Morrison (b. 1817), oil and colour merchant [more]. A near neighbour of JW, he wrote on 17 September 1878 requesting immediate payment of an unspecified amount (#08742), and his lawyer, Edmund Newman, wrote to Rose regarding the debt on 28 March 1879 (#11912).

9.  Tacchi
George Tacchi (b. ca 1841), painter and picture frame maker [more]. His case against JW, for non-payment of debts, was heard on 3 December 1878 (#12041)

10.  James William Wimsett
James William Wimsett (b. ca 1809), nurseryman at Ashburnham Park, King's Road, Chelsea.

11.  Nightingale
Benjamin Ebenezer Nightingale (b. 1838), builder [more]. His original agreement for building the White House for JW was dated 5 November 1877, and their contract, 6 November 1877 (#08923, #08927). He sued JW for payment on 25 November 1878 (#12031; see also #12028, #12034, #12013). Litigation involved still further expenses: see, for instance, W. Webb's accounts from 7 December 1877 to 13 June 1878 (#08928).

12.  Lewis & Webb
Probably Lewis or Lewen and Webb, lawyers and JW's mortgage holder, based in Stoke Newington.

13.  North Metropolitan
Mortgage agreements between JW and the North Metropolitan Permanent Benefit Building Society were dated 8 June and 6 November 1878 (#08882, #11896). Subsequently H. K. Cone requested payment on 18 March 1879 (#08883).

14.  Winsor & Newton
Suppliers of artists' materials. JW's debt is recorded in a letter from Roger Cartwright to JW, dated 21 August 1878 (#08733).

15.  Achong
William Achong (b. 1826), chinese laundryman [more]. See account recorded on 26 March 1879 (#08964).

16.  Low
R. and J. E. Low, surveyors, sent JW a bill for £6. 9. 0 on 20 December 1878 (#08932).

17.  Duffield
Joseph William Duffield (b. 1842 or 1843), builder and house agent [more]. Richard Wright represented Duffield in his claim for payment 'for work and labour' (26 February 1879, #08860).

18.  Hewett
Richard Wright represented Hewett and Co., importers of Chinese and Japanese goods (24 February 1879, #08893).

19.  Waddell
James Waddell (b. 1838), chartered accountant, of J. Waddell and Co. [more].

20.  Howell
Charles Augustus ('Owl') Howell (1840? - d.1890), entrepreneur [more]. His financial involvement with JW was tangled beyond belief.

21.  Way
Thomas Way (1837-1915), lithographic printer [more].

22.  Leyland
Frederick Richards Leyland (1832-1892), ship-owner and art collector [more]. He was a major creditor, having commissioned, but not received, several paintings, including portraits of his family.

23.  Lewis and Lewis
Firm of solicitors, headed by G. H. Lewis.

24.  Winans
Thomas De Kay Winans (1820-1878), locomotive engineer and collector [more].

25.  Elden
Matthew Robinson Elden (1839-1885), artist [more].

26.  Charles
John S. Charles (fl. 1876-1887), fishmonger in Pimlico, London [more]. The unpaid fish bills ran from 31 July 1876 to 10 January 1879 (#08848, #08849).

27.  Frood & Dickinson
This corresponds to Foord and Dickinson's bill (August 1878/1879, #08944).

28.  Singleton
Charles James Singleton, Jr (1841-1918), accountant [more].

29.  Ashe
Major Walter Ashe (b. ca 1842), army officer and writer [more].

30.  The Gold Girl
Harmony in Yellow and Gold: The Gold Girl - Connie Gilchrist (YMSM 190), exhibited at the 3rd Summer Exhibition, Grosvenor Gallery, London, 1879 ( 55).

31.  portrait of my mother
Arrangement in Grey and Black: Portrait of the Painter's Mother (YMSM 101), which was engraved by Richard Josey (1840-1906), reproductive engraver [more].

32.  Pictures at Mr Whistler's house
This is the address of William McNeill Whistler (1836-1900), physician, JW's brother [more]. The pictures may have included The Three Girls (YMSM 88) or a copy of that painting, Pink and Grey: Three Figures (YMSM 89).

33.  Pepys
Philip Henry Pepys (1824-1886), Registrar, London Bankruptcy Court [more].

34.  Bakers and Sons
Auction of JW's household effects and collection held at the White House on 7 May 1879.

35.  Sotheby & Co.
Auction of JW's work at Sotheby's, London, 12 February 1880.

36.  Quilter
Henry ('Arry') Quilter (1851-1907), advocate and art critic [more], who bought the White House on 18 September 1879 for £2700.

37.  Nathan
Maurice H. Nathan (b. ca 1855), jeweller [more].

38.  Laboucher
Henry Du Pré Labouchère (1831-1912), journalist and Liberal MP [more].

39.  Hine
A creditor.

40.  Cousins
Joseph Bernard Cossins (b. ca 1842), painter and decorator [more].

41.  Winsett
James William Wimsett (b. ca 1809), nurseryman at Ashburnham Park, King's Road, Chelsea. His proxy, H. J. Wimsett has not been identified.

42.  Chalkley
Thomas Chalkley (b. ca 1843), solicitor's clerk [more].

43.  Huth
Louis Huth (1821-1905), collector [more].

44.  W. S. Winans
Walter Scott Winans (1840-1928), civil engineer [more].

45.  Winans
Thomas De Kay Winans (1820-1878), locomotive engineer and collector [more].

46.  Allingham
Theodore Frederick Allingham (b. 1845), solicitor [more].

47.  Farmer & Rogers
The firm sold oriental goods and materials. This corresponds to their bill of 25 December 1878 (#08952).