The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 02532
Date: 21 December 1886
Author: Lewis and Lewis[1]
Place: London
Recipient: JW
Place: London
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler L67
Document Type: ALS



21st Decr 1886

Dear Sir,

Since the last meeting of the Society we have seen Mr. Pocock[2] with a view to trying to carry out the matter between yourself and the Society. We have carefully gone into the matter with Mr. Pocock and under no circumstances should we allow you to carry the matter through without a mortgage of the existing Lease. That Mortgage or an Abstract of it we expect to receive so that we may prepare the necessary Security.

Mr. Pocock also told us that he anticipated a difficulty with reference to our suggestion that the Council should guarantee the repayment of the money, and we gathered from him that probably 50 or 60 Members of the Society would each enter into a guarantee, limiting their liability under such guarantee to £10 or £15. We gave every consideration to Mr. Pococks's views but we cannot see how we can [p. 2] possibly advise you to fall in with them. We think in our first letter to you we pointed out that our object for asking for the guarantee was to a great extent to insure your having the cooperation of the Council in making the necessary calls or fines upon the Members (if it should become necessary) when your money is called in. We feel sure that when your money becomes due you will not desire to sue the Society, and we suggested the Members of the Council giving the letter in order that every opportunity might be taken to spare you the probability of having to commence proceedings, for if the Members of the Council are each primarily liable for £100 of £150 they will be sure to so administer the funds of the Society that you should be paid without litigation out of the funds and not out of their pockets. To accede to Mr. Pococks suggestion of taking a guarantee from 50 or 60 Members might place you in the most unenviable position of entering upon wholesale litigation with all the Members of a Society of which you are President

On careful consideration of our views [p. 3] we think the Council will see that we cannot reasonably accept Mr. Pocock's last suggestion, but if the Council as a body do not feel inclined to enter into the guarantee we shall be disposed to advise you to accept the guarantee of 5 leading members, or not more than 10, the names of whom of course will be approved by you.

Yours faithfully

Lewis & Lewis

J McNeil Whistler Esqre
The Vale
Kings Road

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1.  Lewis and Lewis
The legal firm of Sir George Henry Lewis (1833-1911), society lawyer [more]. See earlier correspondence on 15, 16 and 20 December 1886, (#02529, #02530, #02531).

2.  Mr. Pocock
Noël L. Pocock (b. ca 1849), solicitor [more].