The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Record 3 of 27

System Number: 08979
Date: [24 March 1868][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: James Anderson Rose[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscripts Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 2/46/15
Document Type: ALS


2 Lindsey Row -
Old Battersea bridge
Chelsea -

Tuesday - night

Dear Rose -

I am afraid Lawson[4] has forgotten about the copies of my letters[5] - and I am also most anxious about your writing to Wrentmore[6] - So let me remind you again as I know that your approaching trial takes you out of town in a few days - pray write to them at once - and don't put it off until you come back - I want to see very [p. 2] much the copy[7] of what you write too -

Ever yours

J A McN Whistler

J A Rose Esq

'Whistler re[8] Haden
Tuesday night'

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [24 March 1868]
This dates from shortly after JW's letter to J. A. Rose, 20 March 1868 (#10723). The Tuesday after that date was 24 March.

2.  James Anderson Rose
James Anderson Rose (1819-1890), solicitor [more]. 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 on a trip to Paris, allegedly in a brothel. Haden arranged for Traer's burial, with what JW and his brother William regarded as unseemly haste. Haden later claimed that in the resulting confrontation, JW had pushed him 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 in June 1867 (see R. N. Wornum to JW, #10442). However JW, aggrieved with the summary way in which he felt the Club had treated him, refused to entertain the charges against him, claiming the Club had no right to interfere in a private matter (see JW to L. Huth, #02240). Despite his protests, he was expelled on 13 December. Rose became involved when, in a new development, JW received a letter from Wrentmore and Son on 4 February 1868 (#11981). It requested that he state the full details and context regarding 'certain reflections which you are reported to have made on the character and conduct of our Client Mr. Francis Seymour Haden.' In reply, JW declared his astonishment that the firm should write to the 'proposed victim coolly requesting him to furnish the evidence upon which to form a lawsuit' (#10762). Wrentmore countered that JW's letter, 'though furnishing us with a characteristic example of the slanderous language complained of by Mr. Haden, is no answer to ours of the 4th inst.' (see #11853). Later, it emerged that Haden was writing a pamphlet on J. R. Traer (#11839). JW guessed that Haden hoped that he would 'produce some letter which he may print and contradict in his book' (op. cit.) in response.

3.  '15'
Written in upper left-hand corner in another hand.

4.  Lawson
Lawson James McCreary, clerk to the solicitor, J. A. Rose [more].

5.  letters
Probably a reference to JW's recent correspondence with Wrentmore & Son, Haden's solicitors (see JW to Wrentmore and Son, #10762, and note above).

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

7.  copy
J. A. Rose appears to have written a brief reply to Wrentmore at the end of March 1868(untraced - see Wrentmore & Son to J. A. Rose, #12131) . He wrote again at length on 16 April (#12132) of his reluctance to continue a correspondence over 'the quarrels of Mr Hayden & Mr Whistler' and of his suspicion that the tone of Wrentmore's earlier correspondence with JW (see #11981, #11853) was calculated to exacerbate the situation between the brothers-in-law.

8.  'Whistler re ... night'
Written at right-angles in left hand margin of sheet in another hand.