System Number: 13568
Date: [22/23 July 1887?]
Recipient: Queen Victoria
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler PH 10
Document Type: MsLS
[Design of a crown in a circle, with flowers and text:] VR / 1887
[p 2, Royal coat of arms, surrounded by drawings of ships at sea]
To the Queen's most excellent Majesty.
The humble and dutiful Memorial of the undersigned in behalf of a Society of Your Majesty's faithful Subjects, being Artists, and Patrons and Well-wishers of the Arts and Artists of Your Majesty's Kingdom.
[drawing of the rising sun]
[butterfly signature, in right margin]
[p. 3] Humbly Showeth
That, under the auspices and patronage of Your Majesty's Royal and Revered Uncle, the late Illustrious Duke of Sussex, and of other highly distinguished Patrons of the Arts, there was in the year 1823, established in your Majesty's Metropolis, an Institution for the aid and promotion of the Arts, entitled,
"The Society of British Artists,"
which has continued up to the present time, the great objects of the Society being to provide for meritorious Artists an advantageous Exhibition of their works; for the Friends of Art a wider scope than had previously existed for the encouragement of British talent, and for students the advantages of systematic and enlightened Instruction.
[p. 4] That the recorded proceedings of the Society show that these objects have been carried out with undeviating honesty, perseverance, independence, and success.
That, in the tenth year of your Majesty's fortunate and glorious reign on the third day of February, your Majesty was graciously pleased upon the petition of the Members of the Society to grant to it a Royal Charter which has ever since facilitated and promoted its pursuit of the objects for which it was established.
That the name of your Majesty's illustrious revered and lamented
who honoured the Exhibitions of the Society with his presence, encouraged its efforts by the purchase of works contributed by its members and strengthened it in common with all other influences tending to good in [p. 5] these realms by his wise counsel and lofty example is enrolled by the Society with grateful and patriotic pride at the head of a list of friends and Patrons which embraces among others the names of
The late Duke of Bedford The Duke of Rutland The late Duke of The late Duchess of Marlborough St. Albans The Duke of Newcastle The late Duke of The late Duke of Montrose Sutherland The late Duchess of The late Duchess of Sutherland Buccleuch The Marquis of The late Marchioness Northampton of Bute The Marquis of The late Marquis of Landsdowne Westminster The late Marquis of Earl Fitzhardinge Ormonde The late Earl of Essex Earl Ducie The Earl of Shaftsbury The Earl of Albemarle The late Earl of Durham The late Earl The Earl of Fitzwilliam Normanton The late Earl of The Earl of Tankerville Egremont [p. 6] The late Earl Grey The Earl of Carlisle Viscount Emlyn The Earl of Carysfort The late Lord Gwydyr The Coutess of The late Lord Arundel and Surrey Wharncliffe The Bishop of Lord Strathavon Winchester Lord Francis Egerton The late Lord Monson Lord Northwick The late Lord Rolle Lord Selsey Lord Ellenborough The late Lord Lord Hesilrige Mountcharles Lord Dunally Lord Colborne The late Lord Lord de Saumarez Muncaster Lord William Powlett Lord Charles Townsend R Hart Davis Esqre MP. Lord de Tabley W Chamberlayne Esqre MP Lord Kinnaird W T Copeland Esqre MP Lord de Lisle Sir Thos Phillips Bart M M Zachary Esqre Sir Ronald Ferguson MP The late Sir Henry Meux Hon J Liddell MP Bart Sir Gerard Noel Bart MP Sir Felix Booth Sir George Crewe Bart MP M A Taylor Esqre MP W Allnutt Esqre Sir Robert Peel Bart MP J Fielden Esqre MP R Vernon Esqre J J Ruskin W Beckford Esqre [p. 7] A E Hulton Esqre Sir Thomas Baring Bart Col Sir Wm Herries KCB L Parnther Esqre The Hon D Kinnaird H C Hoare Esqre Sir Christopher Cole MP C F Huth Esqre William Wells Esqre R H Solly Esqre John Gibbons Esqre H Villiers Stuart Esq MP Col Sibthorpe MP The Revd E Stanley Revd S Coleridge Wynn Ellis Esqre MP Col Shipardson C Baring Wall Esqre MP Sir P Hesketh Fleetwood Sir John Soane RA Bart MP Sir Hyde Parker Bart Hon Sydney Herbert MP James Wedmore Esqre E N Dennys Esqre Robert Ferguson Esq MP F Broderip Esq E Turner Esqre MP Edward Holland Esqre MP C Saville Onley Esqre Robert Farrant Esqre MP G H Errington Esqre Col A Court Sir J R Reid Bart MP Hon Mrs B Wilbraham D Salomons Esqre S Solly Esqre C R M Talbot Esqre MP Hon A Duncomb MP Simon McGillivray Esqre Hon W L Melville H Munro Esqre B Botfield Esqre MP G Young Esqre W Collett Esqre MP Revd H Waldo Sibthorpe [p. 8] Sir C H Coote, Bart, MP. J Bell Esqre B Bernasconi Esqre Charles Scarisbuck Esq W J Brodetip Esqre Sir George Phillips Bart Sir Robert Frankland The Hon G King C W Parke Esqre MP Sir Watkin W Wynn
That The members of this Society in common with all sorts and conditions of men throughout your Majesty's world wide dominions earnestly desire to mark and celebrate in some becoming and appropriate manner their gratitude and joy upon the completion of this ever to be remembered Fiftieth year of your Majesty's benign and benificent [sic] sway;
May it therefore please
Your Majesty graciously to acceed [sic] to this Society your august permission to take to itself wear and be henceforth known by the style and title of
[p. 9] The Royal Society of British Artists
which shall be to us and to our successors an undying witness of our collective and individual loyalty to Your Majesty's person and throne and a memorial bond binding us and them to pursue with undeviating and unceasing fidelity the great aims and objects for which this Society was founded as herein before set forth, and by your Majesty's most gracious Royal Charter constituted, in the earliest years of Your Majesty's most glorious and auspicious Reign
James. McNeill. Whistler
[p. 10] [Royal coat of arms with motto:] HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE
1. [22/23 July 1887?]
This is a photograph of the final version of the Memorial sent by JW on behalf of the Society of British Artists to Queen Victoria following her Jubilee celebrations. It follows several drafts of the Memorial (#05970, #05971, #05972, #13099, #05975).
This transcription has been made from photographs of the original. The Royal Library at Windsor Castle can find no record of the existence of the original Memorial. The text and coats of arms in the document were probably carried out by Edward D. Mitchell, heraldry expert [more], the drawings and signature, however, are by Whistler. See Pennell, Elizabeth Robins, and Joseph Pennell, The Life of James McNeill Whistler, 2 vols, London and Philadelphia, 1908, vol. 2, pp. 65-67; Pennell, Elizabeth Robins, and Joseph Pennell, The Life of James McNeill Whistler, 5th ed., revised, London and Philadelphia, 1911, repr. f. p. 320; Pennell, Elizabeth Robins, and Joseph Pennell, 'Whistler as Decorator,' Century Magazine, LXXXIII, February 1912, pp. 500-13, p. 510; Pennell, Joseph, and Elizabeth Robins Pennell, The Joseph and Elizabeth Robins Pennell Collection of Whistleriana Shown in Division of Prints, Library of Congress, Southwest Pavilion, Washington, G.P.O. Library Branch, 1921, pp. 176-77, repr. f. p. 176.
7. a list of friends and Patrons
The list includes: George Charles Spencer-Churchill (1844-1892), 8th Duke of Marlborough [more]; Edward Montagu Stuart Granville Stuart-Wortley (1827-1899), 1st Earl of Wharncliffe [more]; John Ruskin (1819-1900), critic, social reformer and artist [more]; Sir Robert Peel (1788-1850), British statesman and Prime Minister (1834-1835, 1841-1846) [more]; Hon. Edward Lyulph Stanley (1839-1925), 4th Baron Stanley of Alderley, barrister and MP [more]; Hyde Watson Parker, art collector [more]; and John Robertson Reid (1851-1926), genre, landscape and marine painter [more].