The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 11956
Date: 2 December 1867
Author: Rodolph Nicholson Wornum[1]
Place: [London]
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Victoria and Albert Museum, National Art Library, London
Call Number: PC12/6, 86.KK.11
Document Type: MsDS[2]

The Marquis D'Azeglio[3]
Mr Fisher[4]
Seymour Haden[7]

Minutes of last meeting read & confirmed -

Read a letter[8] from Mr Whistler - Date Aug. 18th

Read a letter[9] from Mr H. H. Doty[10], dated 7th November last -

Election of Mr Archibald Hamilton[11] confirmed -

Read the draft of a letter to Mr Whistler as follows - Decr. 2. 1867


Your letter of the 18th instant August last was read before the Committee of this club, this afternoon, and I have to inform you that unless the Committee receive from you notice of your withdrawal[12] from the club on or before Tuesday the 10th of December inst, the following notice will be posted in the Reading Room of the club -

[p. 2] '60'[13]

"The Committee being of opinion that it is inexpedient that Mr J. A. Whistler should continue to be a member of the club, they hereby call a special general meeting[14] of the members, for - in order to lay before them before a statement of the reasons which have compelled the Committee to come to that conclusion."

I am, Sir
Your obt Servant

R. N. Wornum

Hon. Secy.

J. A. Whistler Esq

Read a letter from Mr C. J. Palmer[15] expressing his regret that he is by illness compelled to withdraw from the club -

Read draft of a letter to the Secy of the British Institution[16]

Read & confirmed

R. N. Wornum

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  Rodolph Nicholson Wornum
Ralph Nicholson Wornum (1812-1877), history painter [more].

2.  MsDS
This this an extract from the minutes of the Burlington Fine Arts Club, which includes the draft of a letter to JW. The Club was founded in 1866 and was located at 177, Piccadilly. JW was proposed as a member on 22 February 1867 (see William Boxall (1800-1879), portrait painter, Director of the National Gallery [more], Louis Huth (1821-1905), collector [more], and the Vittorio Emanuelle Taparelli (1816-1890), Marquis D'Azeglio, Sardinian Ambassador and collector [more], proposers, #11957).

3.  Marquis D'Azeglio
Vittorio Emanuelle Taparelli (1816-1890), Marquis D'Azeglio, Sardinian Ambassador and collector [more].

4.  Mr Fisher
Richard Fisher (d. 1890), Fellow and Curator of the Society of Painter-Etchers [more].

5.  Maskell
Rev. William Maskell (ca 1814 - d.1890), mediaevalist and antiquary [more].

6.  Robinson
John Charles Robinson (1824-1913), landscape painter, Superintendent of Art Collections, South Kensington Museum, and Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures [more].

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

8.  letter
The letter has been dated in error 18 August rather than 1 August (see JW's correction in his letter to Marquis D'Azeglio, #00448). See JW to R. N. Wornum, #12954 for the August dated letter.

9.  a letter
Letter untraced.

10.  Mr H. H. Doty
One of the charges against JW cited by F. S. Haden related to an allegation of assault by Captain Horace H. Doty (b. 1824 or 1825), officer of marines, specialist in signal lights and lighthouse illumination [more].

11.  Archibald Hamilton

12.  withdrawal
In April 1867, JW quarrelled with Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910), surgeon and etcher, JW's brother-in-law [more], over Haden's treatment of James Reeves Traer (ca 1834 - d.1867), partner in F. S. Haden's medical practice [more]. Traer died suddenly on 23 April of alcohol related causes, during a trip to Paris. Haden arranged for Traer's burial with what JW and his brother William regarded as unseemly haste. On 26 April, a violent row took place between the brothers-in-law in a Paris café and Haden fell (or allegedly was pushed by JW) 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 to be excluded from the club, having brought to its attention several alleged previous incidents of assault involving JW (JW to L. Huth, #02240). JW was asked to resign on the threat of expulsion in June 1867 (see R. N. Wornum to JW, #10442). Aggrieved with the summary way in which he felt the Club had treated him, JW refused to entertain the charges against him, claiming the Club had no right to interfere in a private matter (see JW to L. Huth, #02240). His letter (actually dated 1 August - see note above) claimed that the 'question at issue is the conduct of the Committee towards myself. It has not yet been made clear to me that any group - whose special profession it is note [sic] shall make it their "custom always of an afternoon" - to discuss the private affairs of a Gentleman, and introduce entertain any information respecting him, and having taken upon themselves to treat this Gentleman with marked want of courtesy' (see JW to R. N. Wornum, #12954).

13.  '60'
Written in another hand in top left-hand corner of sheet.

14.  meeting
A special general meeting of the Club took place on 13 December 1867 (see R. N. Wornum to JW, #00445) and JW was expelled from the Club (see JW to W. Boxall, #00498).

15.  Mr C. J. Palmer
Charles James or John Palmer (d. 1867?), print collector [more].

16.  British Institution
An exhibiting society which ran from 1806 to 1867. It was located on Pall Mall.