The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 06543
Date: 9 June 1869
Author: Anna Matilda Whistler[1]
Place: London
Recipient: Harriet Gamble[2]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: Whistler W537
Document Type: ALS

2 Lindsey Row Chelsea London S. W.

June 9th 1869

My dear Mrs Gamble

I should sooner have thanked you for answering your Jamies[3] letter from me, had I not been so occupied in attentions to my guests, Mr & Mrs Ralph King[4], who were staying here for three weeks & have just gone to Paris to spend a fortnight en route to Lausanne to join Dr & Mrs Miner[5] of New York for excursions, but chiefly she desires repose to administer to their rather feeble state of heath. Tho the weather was unfavorable for extensive sightseeing in London, yet they enjoyed walks occasionally in the Park, went [p. 2] one day with Willie[6] to the Tower[7]. I was excused that exertion & also declined their invitations to the Opera when both my Sons accepted & they all were charmed by Neilson[8]. We had tickets & went to the Sunday school Jubilee at St Pauls. The chanting of the 6000 children in Alleluia chorus[9] touching our hearts to adore our Lord[,] the Bishop of London[10] delivered a good address to them. At Westminster Abbey we attended the afternoon service Sunday before last, & were charmed by the Anthem. We went to the Crystal Palace[11] Saturday before last, tho of course my sons were not at liberty to go. Jemie[12] went with us to the South Kensington Museum[13] that being in his line. Mr & Mrs King hope often to go there[,] it is such a wonderful place!

On the Derby Day[14] both my boys escorted us to the Royal Academy[15]. They quite lament the departure of our relatives, who are so cheerful & who were quite at home here, but they promise D V to return to London in Oct. after their tour on the Rhine & may winter in Devonshire. [p. 3] I suppose you have experienced the same east winds[,] we needed fire all day in our parlor for our Southern Kings & in their bedrooms at night, but Sunday became summer suddenly. I wonder if you will be induced to extend your stay in your husbands Fatherland to enjoy it thoroughly! Please send me a line very soon to say shall I direct a wee package by book post as this letter? Mr Gamble spoke to me of his having left a book when he was visiting us in Phila. I was unaware of it, but happily it has been found among those boxes of books shipped last to us from Bartram[16], where they had been all these years! It is a manuscript of your Jamies! perhaps a journal. I have not examined its contents beyond ascertaining it to be his. I shall send with it a vol. to remind you both of Chelsea where I only regret we could not have detained you as guests. I, especially so gratefully felt the kindness which induced you to come so much out of your way to brighten my fireside. Please offer our regards to Mr & Mrs Dunville[17], we shall hope to see them & to hear of you from them on their return to London. My love[18] to you both, with that of my boys to Mr Gamble & their kind remembrances to yourself.

Affectionately your friend

A M Whistler

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1.  Anna Matilda Whistler
Anna Matilda Whistler (1804-1881), née McNeill, JW's mother [more].

2.  Harriet Gamble
Harriet Gamble, née Wheaton, wife of J. H. Gamble.

3.  Jamies
James H. Gamble (b. 1820), clerk [more].

4.  Mr & Mrs Ralph King
Ralph King (1801-1878), broker, father-in-law of W. McN. Whistler [more] and his second wife Mildred M. ('Mittie') King (b. 1820), née Bronaugh.

5.  Dr & Mrs Miner
Miner, an acquaintance of AMW, and his wife.

6.  Willie
William McNeill Whistler (1836-1900), physician, JW's brother [more].

7.  Tower
Tower of London, founded by William the Conqueror following the Norman conquest, in the late 11th century.

8.  Neilson
Kristina ('Christine') Nilsson (1843-1923), opera soprano. She gave a concert on 7 June 1867 at St James' Hall; see The London Times, 5 June 1869, no. 26,456, p. 1.

9.  6000 children in Alleluia chorus
George Frederick Handel, 'Hallelujah Chorus,' Messiah, first performed in Dublin in 1742. This was the eighty seventh annual festival of the 'Charity Children' at St Paul's, where some 8,000 people were present in addition to about 5,000 children. It took place on 29 April 1869; see The Illustrated London News, 5 June 1869, no. 1,542, vol. 54. AMW had attended it before; see AMW to James H. Gamble, 12 June 1864, #06525.

10.  Bishop of London
John Jackson, Bishop of London 1869-85.

11.   Crystal Palace
Giant glass-and-iron exhibition hall in Hyde Park, London, that housed the Great Exhibition of 1851; see AMW to JW, 6 August 1851, #06398. There was a flower show at the time of AMW's visit; see The London Times, 5 June 1869, no. 26,456, p. 1.

12.  Jemie
James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), artist [more].

13.  South Kensington Museum
South Kensington Museum, London, opened in 1857.

14.  Derby Day
Derby Day, Epsom Races, was on Wednesday 26 May 1869; see The Times, London, 26 May 1869, no. 26, 447, p. 7.

15.  Royal Academy
101st Exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts, Royal Academy, London, 1869 opened on 3 May 1869.

16.  Bartram
Bartram Hall, the country residence of Andrew McCalla Eastwick (1810-1879), partner in Eastwick and Harrison, locomotive manufacturers, and later in Harrison, Winans and Eastwick [more]; see AMW to JW, 15 and 16 January 1852, #06409.

17.  Mr & Mrs Dunville
William Dunville, cousin of J. H. Gamble and his wife, and friends of AMW.

18.  My love
Remainder of text in the left margin of p. 1.