The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 12034
Date: 28 November 1878
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: J. William Sewell[1]
Place: London
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC
Document Type: PD/Ms/S

In the High Court of Justice
Queen's Bench Division

Whistler ats Nightingale[2]

Office Copy

Affidavit in support of Summons to set aside Order of Master Francis[3]. -

28 Novr 1878

T. F. Allingham
55, Old Broad St.
E. C.

[p. 2] 1878 N. No. 397.

In the High Court of Justice
Queen's Bench Division

Between Benjamin Ebenezer Nightingale .. Plaintiff
- and -
James Abbott McNeil [sic] Whistler Defendant

I  James Abbott McNeil [sic] Whistler of the White House Tite Street Chelsea in the County of Middlesex Painter the above named Defendant make oath and say -

1.  That on the 5th day of November 1877 I made an Agreement[4] in writing with the above named Plaintiff to erect and build a House for me at Tite Street aforesaid in accordance with certain Specification therein referred to and signed by an Architect on my behalf for the price or sum of £1910.-

2.  That certain Work other than that above contracted for was afterwards at my request executed by the said Plaintiff but no price or cost was previously to such Work being done arranged or agreed to by and between us.

3   That the Defendant has charged for such additional Work the sum of £920. 5. making with the above Sum of £1910 or after allowing a deduction of a £103. 12. 8 £2726. 12. 4. -

4.  That I have paid to the said Plaintiff the whole of the money viz: £1910 agreed to be paid under the first Contract.

5.  That I paid to the Plaintiff the further Sum of £300 for such extra Work made and done by the said Plaintiff and I am advised and verily believe that a great portion of such extra and other Work [p. 3] has not been properly executed and that Materials of inferior quality have been used for such Work and that the Amount charged is greatly in excess of any Amount I might be found to have to pay.

6.  That such extra Work alleged to have been so done and executed should be properly measured and valued by competent persons so as to show whether the above payment of £300 made by me is or is not sufficient payment for such Work as aforesaid.

7.  That by the terms of the said Agreement made between myself and the said Plaintiff it was provided that in case any questions dispute or difference should arise between myself or the Architect on my behalf and the Contractors the same should from time to time be referred to the Arbitration and Final decision of Mr Gardiner[5] Surveyor or in the event of his death or unwillingness to act then of Mr Mullett[6] of Essex Street Strand -

8.  In answer to Paragraph 14 of the appointment of Thomas Smith[7] sworn on the 20th day of November instant I say that at the date of his Visit to my Solicitor Mr Allingham[8] viz the 7th September last I had not received from my Architect Mr Godwin[9] the figures shewing how the Claim of the plaintiff was made out - Until then I was under the impression that the Plaintiff's Claim was a fair one and under those circumstances instructed my [p. 4] Solicitor to prepare the terms set forth in the aforesaid Paragraph -

J. A. McN. Whistler


THIS 28th DAY OF November 1878


J. William Sewell


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1.  J. William Sewell
J. William Sewell, commissioner to administer oaths.

2.  Whistler ats Nightingale
Benjamin Ebenezer Nightingale (b. 1838), builder [more]. This copy of JW's affidavit concerns his dispute with Nightingale over the construction cost of the White House, his studio house at Tite St which far exceeded the original estimate. The size of the final bill pushed JW, already hard-pressed financially, towards crisis point. (see his correspondence with E. W. Godwin, #08736, #01748; G. & W. Webb to JW, #08735; and other documents from the case including affidavits, #12049, #12033; plaintiff's costs, #12031; and final judgment, #12028).

3.  Master Francis
George Francis (1824-1890), Master of the Supreme Court of Judicature from 1879 [more].

4.  Agreement
See #08923.

5.  Mr Gardiner
Gardiner, a surveyor.

6.  Mr Mullett

7.  Thomas Smith
Thomas Smith, clerk to B. E. Nightingale.

8.  Allingham
Theodore Frederick Allingham (b. 1845), solicitor [more], who seems to have acted on JW's behalf in Nightingale v Whistler.

9.  Godwin
Edward William Godwin (1833-1886), architect and designer [more].