The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Howell, Charles Augustus
Record 10 of 397

System Number: 12943
Date: 16 June 1867
Author: Alphonse Legros[1]
Place: London
Recipient: Francis Seymour Haden[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Call Number: National Art Library, PC12/6, MSL/1952/1353/2/2/4
Document Type: ALS[3]


1 Victoria Grove Villas

16 Juin 1867 -

Cher Monsieur Haden,

Ma réponse à ce que vous me demandez est fort simple -

J'ai été violemment insulté et maltraité par votre beau-frère -

Je l'ai rencontré chez M. Lucas Ionides et, sur une question d'argent[4] à propos de laquelle nous n'étions pas d'accord, il s'est lancé sur moi et m'a couvert de blessures à la suite desquelles j'ai du garder ma chambre pendant plusieurs jours -

[p. 2] Je vous assure (et M. Lucas Ionides[5] le sait) que je ne lui avait rien fait, ni dit, capable de provoquer une telle attaque et que si je ne l'ai pas fait mettre en prison ce n'était uniquement qu'à cause de vous et de M. Ionides -

[Pour?] Du reste j'ai une telle horreur des disputes que j'ai prié mon ami M. Howell[6] de regler [sic] avec Whistler de façon que juste ou injuste, il voir [sic] ce qu'il demande -

Inutile de vous dire que je n'irai plus chez les personnes qui pourraient le recevoir, quoique je considère que cette dispute ne peut atteindre en aucune façon à ma réputation [p. 3] voyant qu'il est arrivé trop de scènes de ce genre à Whistler depuis quelque temps -

Tout à vous

A. Legros

This document is protected by copyright.


1 Victoria Grove Villas

16 June 1867 -

Dear Mr Haden,

My reply to what you ask my is really simple -

I was violently insulted and mistreated by your brother-in-law -

I met him at Mr Lucas Ionides' [office] and, on a question of money on which we did not agree, he hit me and covered me in wounds, with the result that I was obliged to keep to my room for several days -

[p. 2] I assure you (Mr Lucas Ionides knows this) that I had done nothing to him, or said anything, capable of provking such an attack and that if I did not have him sent to prison this was solely on account of you and Mr Ionides -

[For?] I have in any case such a horror of quarrels that I asked my friend Mr Howell to arrange things with Whistler such that, justly or unjustly, he might see what he is asking -

There is no need for me to tell you that I shall no longer visit people who might receive him, although I consider that this quarrel cannot affect my reputation in any way [p. 3], seeing that too many scenes of this kind have happened to Whistler for some time -


A. Legros


1.  Alphonse Legros
Alphonse Legros (1837-1911), painter, etcher and art teacher [more].

2.  Francis Seymour Haden
Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910), surgeon and etcher, JW's brother-in-law [more]. In April 1867 JW 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. 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, including an incident concerning Legros. JW was expelled at a general meeting of the Club on 13 December (see JW to W. Boxall, #00498).

3.  ALS
A reply to Haden's letter of 15 June (#12994). After reading this letter from Legros to Haden, JW wrote two drafts of a letter to Legros (see #02506, #02507).

4.  argent
Legros owed JW money; see their accounts, dated 13 August 1864, as kept by JW (#02505).

5.  Lucas Ionides
Lucas ('Luke') Alexander Ionides (1837-1924), stockbroker and businessman [more].

6.  Howell
Possibly Charles Augustus ('Owl') Howell (1840? - d.1890), entrepreneur [more].