The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 00402
Date: 4 January 1868
Author: William Boxall[1]
Place: London
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler B179
Document Type: ALS

14 Welbeck Street

4 Jan: 1868

Dear Whistler

Your letter[2] which gives me in every way great pain, I have not been able to answer - At this season there are many things belonging to the duties of my office[3] to be done & my long absence has left me arrears of letters &c. to get thro' which have kept me so fully occupied that I have not been able to answer your letter before - If you will call upon me some day about [p. 2] 4 or 5 o'clock & let me know previously on what day you will call I shall be glad to see you

Yours very truly

W. Boxall

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1.  William Boxall
William Boxall (1800-1879), portrait painter, Director of the National Gallery [more].

2.  letter
See JW to W. Boxall, 24 December 1867, #00498. The letter related to the Burlington Fine Arts Club, a club for artists and connoisseurs of which Boxall and JW were members. Boxall had been one of JW's proposers on his election to the Club on 22 February 1867. JW had recently been in trouble with the Club. The affair originated in April 1867 when JW quarrelled with Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910), surgeon and etcher, JW's brother-in-law [more], over Haden's treatment of James Reeves Traer (ca 1834 - d.1867), partner in F. S. Haden's medical practice [more]. Traer had died on a trip to Paris, allegedly in a brothel. Haden arranged for Traer's burial with what JW and his brother William regarded as unseemly haste. A confrontation took place between the three men in a Paris restaurant. Haden later claimed that in the heat of the quarrel, JW had pushed him through a plate glass window. In its aftermath Haden campaigned for JW to be excluded from the Burlington Club. JW was asked to resign on the threat of expulsion in June 1867 (see R. N. Wornum to JW, #10442). Aggrieved with the summary way in which he felt the Club had treated him, JW refused to entertain the charges against him, claiming the Club had no right to interfere in a private matter (#02240). However, Haden's allegations resulted in JW's expulsion from the Club on 13 December. Undeterred, JW wrote to William Michael Rossetti (1829-1919), civil servant and critic [more], of his intention to draw up 'an explanation and refutation of the charges brought against me [...] which I shall give to Boxall and Huth - that they may hand it in to the Committee' (JW to W. M. Rossetti, #09390).

3.  office
Boxall's duties probably related to his role as director of the National Gallery, London from 1865 to 1874. He was knighted in 1871.