The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 11853
Date: 10 February 1868
Author: Wrentmore & Sons[1]
Place: London
Recipient: JW
Place: London
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell Whistler Collection, PWC 2/48/51
Document Type: ALS


43 Lincolns Inn Fields W. C.

10th Febry. 1868.


We are in receipt of your letter[3] dated 5th inst. That letter, though furnishing us with a characteristic example of the slanderous language[4] complained of by Mr Haden[5], is no answer to ours of the 4th inst.

Had you placed our first communication in the hands of any respectable Solicitor, he would we have little doubt, have seen and at once advised you that it was not written with a view to bring you under the operation of the Law, as you allege or pretend, (than which, if necessary nothing would we are instructed be easier) but to enable our Client, Mr Haden to trace to it's [sic] source an insidious calumny -

We therefore refer you once more to our letter of the 4th, and [p. 2] suggest that if you would avoid the obloquy and contempt which attaches to secret defamation, to return a manly and straightforward answer to it -

We are
Your very obt Servts

Wrentmore & Son

James A. Whistler Esqre
2 Lindsay [sic] Row
Battersea Bridge
Chelsea. S. W.

'Wrentmore[6] & Son
10 Feby 1868

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  Wrentmore & Sons
Firm of solicitors acting for Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910), surgeon and etcher, JW's brother-in-law [more].

2.  '51'
Added at top left of page.

3.  letter
Probably #10762.

4.  slanderous language
In his letter, JW admonished Wrentmore for requesting evidence from himself in order to build what he regarded as a non-existent case against him.

5.  Haden
Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910), surgeon and etcher, JW's brother-in-law [more]. In April 1867, JW quarrelled with Haden, over Haden's treatment of his late junior medical partner 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. Haden later alleged 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 from the club, having brought to the attention of the club alleged previous incidents of assault involving JW (#02240). JW was expelled on 18 December 1867. The brothers-in-law were never reconciled.

6.  Wrentmore ... Whistler
Added, upside-down at foot of page, in another hand.