The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: White House, lease
Record 2 of 44

System Number: 11240
Date: c. 1 October 1877
Author: Edward William Godwin [1]
Place: [London]
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Victoria and Albert Museum, Archives of Art and Design, London
Call Number: Godwin Papers, AAD4/3-1980
Document Type: ALc[2]

1 MONDAY [...]

called on Whistler returned in haste to meet McManus[3]. McManus met me at door & stayed at 2 took away plans (3) of block of studios for north end Fulham.

Surveyor took plans of Whistlers studio[4]

called on Dr [Barnes/Baines?] met Wilks

2 TUESDAY [...]

My dr. Whistler.

The time has come for me to put in writing a few words to wh. you will I know reply in writing that there shall be no possibility of misunderstand[in]g[s] in the future.

1. Gillows[5] have written to undertake to work if you will pay (during the course) 20 per cent of [coul./conl.] sum remd. on mort. 6 p.c.

2. McManus has not writ. but says nothing has been arranged as to mode of payment he may build without req. any payt. on a/c but he will I gather want the whole amount pd within a month or so of completion.

3. Robinson[6] says he finds no buildr [sic] disposd to do the thing unless a good perct. is offered meaning that the builder who looks for no payment but will let the whole cost remain as a mort. or rent charge xpects you to pay him interest at a higher rate than 6 p.c! Each of these positions seems fair & reasonb. think of them & let me know wh. you will undertake

yr liability under no. 1 is to pay say 300 in 3 mo.& 72 a year.

Watt[7] has written no. 2 1500 in 5 - rent free
accepting to offer no. 3 0 £120 a year


made of £50 for the 2 bits of dec. for Paris[8].

yrs most truly


at Whistlers

This document is protected by copyright.


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

2.  ALc
The original letter has not been located. This copy or draft was written in a page of Godwin's diary. Only the passages referring to JW have been transcribed here. '[...]' marks omitted text. Godwin used many abbreviations and contractions, and these have not been expanded in this transcription, nor has '[sic]' been used.

3.  McManus
McManus, a business acquaintance of E. W. Godwin.

4.  Whistlers studio
On 14 August 1877 JW ordered plans for a new house and studio, the White House, in Tite Street, from Godwin (#12335).

5.  Gillows
Gillow and Co., of 176 Oxford Street, commissioned three houses on the corner of Tite Street, on Chelsea Embankment, from Godwin, and decorative panels for the facade of the corner house, from Beatrice Godwin (see MacDonald, Margaret F., Beatrice Whistler Artist and Designer, Glasgow, 1997, p. 20).

6.  Robinson
Robinson, a business acquaintance of E. W. Godwin.

7.  Watt
William Watt and Co. commissioned furniture designs from Godwin.

8.  dec for Paris
Godwin and JW collaborated on Harmony in Yellow and Gold: The Butterfly Cabinet (YMSM 195), for a stand for W. Watt and Co., to be exhibited in Universal Exhibition, Paris, 1878.