The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Memorial (Jubilee)
Record 18 of 58

System Number: 01836
Date: 29 July 1887
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Secretary of State for the Home Department[1]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler G201
Document Type: MsLc[2]

Suffolk Street, Pall Mall East. S. W

July 29 1887

Sir -

As President of the Society of British Artists and in their name, I have the honour to thank you most sincerely for the kind and courteous terms in which you have conveyed to me Her Majesty's[3] most gracious acceptance of the memorial[4] laid before her by you; and the approbation which she has deigned to express of our efforts to make the memorial in form not altogether unworthy of the august occasion upon which it was presented, and of the sentiments of devoted loyalty it was intended to express.

I am now encouraged, Sir, to ask that Her Majesty will graciously accord to this Society founded under the auspices of Her Majesty's illustrious and ever to be remembered Consort[5], and now almost coeval with her happy and glorious reign, the honour and privelage [sic] of being henceforth and hereafter known and described as "The Royal Society of British Artists[6]["].

Permit me therefore, through you, to lay this request most respectfully at the foot of the throne, and believe, Sir, that your consent to do this will be most gratefully and cordially appreciated by the loyal and devoted subjects of Her Majesty whom I have the honour to represent, and by

Your most obedient faithful servant

(signed) J. McNeill Whistler
President of the Society of British Artists

The Rt Hon Secretary of State
for the Home Department.

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  Secretary of State for the Home Department
Rt Hon. Henry Matthews (1868-1874), QC, MP, Home Secretary [more]. This is a reply to his letter of 20 July 1887 (#01835).

2.  MsLc
This copy was written by Charles James Whistler Hanson (1870-1935), engineer, son of JW and Louisa Fanny Hanson [more]. A draft of this letter by JW is on the verso of a letter from A. J. LePatourel to JW, 19 July 1887 (#05285).

3.  Her Majesty's
Victoria (1819-1901), Queen of Great Britain [more].

4.  memorial
(a) Monogram 'VR'; (b) Address to Queen Victoria; (c) Royal Coat of Arms (M.1132); for the text, see #13568, etc.

5.  Consort
Prince Albert (1819-1861), the Prince Consort [more].

6.  The Royal Society of British Artists
The SBA was granted the royal assent to become the RBA.