The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 07137
Date: 16 July 1868
Author: Wrentmore & Son[1]
Place: London
Recipient: JW
Place: London
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W1125
Document Type: ALS


43 Lincolns Inn Fields W. C.

16th July 1868


Mr Haden[3] has placed in our hands as his Solrs a Letter[4] signed by you addressed to him dated the 14th inst. - In respect to this Letter which appears to us to threaten the publication of a libel[5] we give you distinct notice & warn you that if you circulate any report whatever concerning Mr Haden which conveys the imputation that he has written or stated any thing which is untrue respecting your assault on Mr Legros[6] [p. 2] or which he did not derive directly[7] from Mr Legros himself we shall be compelled however unwillingly to apply to a Magistrate or take such other steps as the Interests of our Client may require -

We are Sir
Your vy obt Sts

Wrentmore & Son

J. A. McN. Whistler Esqre
2 Lindsey Row
S. W.

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1.  Wrentmore & Son
Solicitors for F. S. Haden (see note below).

2.  '11'
Written in another hand.

3.  Mr Haden
Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910), surgeon and etcher, JW's brother-in-law [more].

4.  Letter
See JW to F. S. Haden, #01939. The letter related to JW's long-running dispute with Haden and the Burlington Fine Arts Club, a club for artists and connoisseurs. In April 1867, JW quarrelled with Haden over his 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 and Haden had arranged for Traer's burial with what JW and his brother William regarded as unseemly haste. Haden later claimed that in the resulting confrontation, JW had pushed him through a plate glass window. Both JW and Haden were members of the Burlington Club and in the aftermath of the Traer affair, Haden campaigned for JW's expulsion (see JW to L. Huth, #02240). JW was expelled at a general meeting of the Club on 13 December (JW to W. Boxall, #00498). Undeterred, JW appealed to the President of the Club, the Vittorio Emanuelle Taparelli (1816-1890), Marquis D'Azeglio, Sardinian Ambassador and collector [more] in January 1868 (see JW to Marquis D'Azeglio, #00448). He also attempted to discredit Haden's allegations, much to Haden's anger.

5.  libel
This may, in particular, relate to JW's threat in #01939 to 'make known every where' the 'facts' of the case.

6.  Mr Legros
Alphonse Legros (1837-1911), painter, etcher and art teacher [more]. JW first met Legros in Paris during the late 1850s and together with Ignace-Henri-Jean-Théodore Fantin-Latour (1836-1904), artist [more], they formed the Societé des Trois. However by April 1867, their friendship was over after a row which came to blows. JW's friends tried to intervene (see JW to L. Ionides, #11312) but the two men were never reconciled. The reasons for their quarrel are unclear but they seem to have had a protracted dispute about money dating to 1864 (see Ionides, Luke Memories, Paris, 1925, reprinted with an afterword by Julia Ionides, Ludlow, 1996, p. 74 and JW to A. Legros, #02505) and about Legros' marriage during the same period. See also JW to D. G. Rossetti, #05242. Haden had cited JW's row with Legros in evidence against JW in the Burlington Club case (see JW's version of the incident in JW to L. Huth, #02240).

7.  derive directly
JW alleged that the letter from Legros to Haden (perhaps #12943), outlining JW's alleged assault upon him and read before the Burlington Club Committee had been written by Haden for Legros to copy (see JW to F. S. Haden, #01939).