UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: Burlington Fine Arts Club
Record 7 of 132

System Number: 12942
Date: 11 June 1867
Author: Francis Seymour Haden[1]
Place: [London]
Recipient: Rodolph Nicholson Wornum[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Call Number: National Art Library, PC12/6 MSL/1952/1353/2/1/1-2
Document Type: AD


1. Haden

[p. 2] Memorandum of Communication made by Mr. F. Seymour Haden to the Com[mi]tte[e] of the Burling[to]n F. A. Club: June 11. 1867

Mr Haden complained that he had been assaulted in a Cafe at Paris by Mr. J. A. Whistler - another member of the Club -

Mr Haden explained that tho' quite ready to relate to the Committee every circumstance that could possibly be supposed to have [conduced?] to the assault he did not think it necessary to do so - in as much as his complaint was of the assault only - was which assault he stated was only one of several which it was notorious Mr. Whistler had committed on other people within the space of a few months.

Mr Haden submitted that if Mr Whistler felt himself in a position to deny the assault it would then be his (Mr. Haden's) duty to prove it, but if he could not deny it that then that it w[oul]d be the duty of the Committee to explain to Mr Whistler that such proceedings were contrary to English usage and intolerable to any society of gentleman, and to invite him ipso facto, to retire from the Club.

Mr Haden ordered by Committee - that Mr. Haden be requested to obtain formal evidence of at least one or two other assaults.


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Notes:

1.  Francis Seymour Haden
Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910), surgeon and etcher, JW's brother-in-law [more]. Haden's record of this meeting, as sent to D. G. Rossetti, is also dated 11 June 1867 (#01938). In April 1867 JW had quarrelled with Haden, 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 took place between the brothers-in-law in a Paris café and Haden fell (or allegedly was pushed by JW) through a plate glass window.

2.  Rodolph Nicholson Wornum
Ralph Nicholson Wornum (1812-1877), history painter [more]. Both JW and Haden were members of the Burlington Fine Arts Club and in the aftermath of the Traer affair Haden campaigned for JW to be excluded from the club, having brought to its attention several alleged previous incidents of assault involving JW (JW to L. Huth, #02240). JW was expelled at a general meeting of the Club on 13 December (see JW to W. Boxall, #00498).