The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: quarrel (Haden)
Record 34 of 142

System Number: 00437
Date: 13 June 1867
Author: Rodolph Nicholson Wornum[1]
Place: London
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler B216
Document Type: ALS[2]

Burlington Fine Arts Club[3]
177. Piccadilly

June 13. 1867,


The Committee have lost no time before holding a special meeting for the purpose of considering your letter[4] of the 11th inst received yesterday -

The Committee desire me to say that they are quite ready to give full consideration, if you desire it, to any explanation which you may wish to offer, and to investigate so far as they can, the circumstances[5] of the cases of assault which have been brought before them - For I am directed to say that the [p. 2] assault upon Mr Haden[6] at Paris is not the only one which it is alleged you have committed; and owing as a Committee an important duty to the Club, they felt it to be imperative upon them to communicate with you on the subject —

I am accordingly desired to say that they repeat to you the expression of their opinion as contained in my letter[7] of the 11th inst —

I am Sir
Your obedient Servant

R. N. Wornum.

J. A.Whistler Esq

This document is protected by copyright.


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

2.  ALS
See also R. N. Wornum to JW, #10054, which is included in the minutes for the meeting of the Burlington Club on 13 June 1867.

3.  Burlington Fine Arts Club
A club for artists and connoisseurs, founded in 1866. 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).

4.  letter
See JW's draft letter to R. N. Wornum, #00436.

5.  circumstances
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 blew up between the brothers-in-law in a Paris café and Haden fell (or was allegedly 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, having brought to the Club's attention several alleged previous incidents of assault involving JW (JW to L. Huth, #02240, JW to W. Boxall, #00498). JW was asked to resign on the threat of expulsion on 11 June (see R. N. Wornum to JW, #10442). He replied the same day, demanding a court of enquiry into the allegations (JW to R. N. Wornum, #00436).

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

7.  my letter
See R. N. Wornum to JW, #10442.