The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 05976
Date: [14/18 August 1887?][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Queen Victoria[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler V65
Document Type: MsLcS[3]


By Your Majesty's signal kindness and condescension in the matter of a Memorial submitted by me in behalf of the Society of British Artists, now by Your Majesty's Sovereign will and pleasure, signified through me to them, become the Royal Society of British Artists[4], I am encouraged to hope that Your Majesty will graciously deign to accept as an expression of loyal reverence, and respect a Portfolio of Etchings[5], in which I have attempted to recall some salient features of the memorable and magnificent review[6] held by Your Majesty of your Fleet, assembled at Spithead on the 23rd day of July, 1887 in honour of Your Majesty's glorious Year of Jubilee.

To have looked upon that august and stately scene will be cherished as an inspiring privilege in the lifelong recollection of thousands of Your Majesty's loyal and devoted subjects.

To be permitted by Your Majesty's approbation to believe that I have not entirely failed in my efforts to convey to those who may not share this privilege, some sense and perception of the splendour and the grandeur of this historical event, is the most fervent wish and hope, Madam, of

Your Majesty's
Most obedient humble Servant

J. McN. Whistler

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1.  [14/18 August 1887?]
Dated by sequence of letters after Godfrey Lushington (1832-1907), lawyer, Permanent Under-Secretary at the Home Office from 1885-1895 [more], informed JW on 9 August 1887 (#01840) that the SBA had been granted the title of 'Royal' (RBA).

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

3.  MsLcS
Copied by Charles James Whistler Hanson (1870-1935), engineer, son of JW and Louisa Fanny Hanson [more]; see also three other copies or drafts (#05977 to #05979).

4.  Royal Society of British Artists
JW described to the Pennells the SBA meeting, 'I announced the honour conferred upon them by Her Gracious Majesty, and they jumped up and they rushed towards me with outstretched hands... the meeting over, then I sent for champagne.' (Pennell, Elizabeth Robins, and Joseph Pennell, The Life of James McNeill Whistler, 2 vols, London and Philadelphia, 1908, vol. 2, pp. 66-67).

5.  Portfolio of Etchings
'Naval Review set', 1887 (K. 316-331) (excat 7). The set for Queen Victoria was specially mounted, and encased in a yellow morocco album, with a monogram designed by JW (see Sketchbook (M.1145)).

6.  review
On 27 July 1887 JW, as President of the then SBA, attended the Jubilee Naval Review at Spithead.