The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Record 16 of 67

System Number: 12131
Date: 2 April 1868
Author: Wrentmore & Son[1]
Place: London
Recipient: James Anderson Rose[2]
Place: London
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell Whistler Collection, PWC 2/48/57
Document Type: MsLS[3]

'Wrentmore[4] & Son re Haden 2 apl / 68 with Testimonial'

[p. 2] 43 Lincolns Inn Fields

2nd April 1868

Dear Sir

We are at length in receipt of a reply to our letters[5] of the 4th, 10th and 20th February. By this we learn that you are unable on the part of Mr Whistler to substantiate any portion of his accusation against his brother in law Mr Haden[6] and especially that you are unable to make good Mr Whistler's assertions that he derived his authority for what he said from Mr Owen[7]. It is also observable that you are unable to deny that Mr Whistler made the assertion in question.

With this reply, fortified by the testimony of Mr Traer's[8] professional friends to a copy of which (enclosed) we direct your attention, and by the action in the matter of the Burlington[9] Fine Arts Club Mr Haden has every reason to be satisfied.

We are dear Sir
Yours truly

Wrentmore & Son

J. A. Rose Esqre Solrs.
11 Salisbury Street, Strand

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  Wrentmore & Son
Solicitors for F. S. Haden (see note below).

2.  James Anderson Rose
James Anderson Rose (1819-1890), solicitor [more]. JW had sought out J. A. Rose's advice concerning his long-running dispute with F. S. Haden. In April 1867, JW quarrelled with Haden over his treatment of James Reeves Traer (ca 1834 - d.1867), partner in F. S. Haden's medical practice [more]. Traer had 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). Aggrieved with the summary way in which he felt the Club had treated him, JW refused to entertain the charges against him, claiming that the Club had no right to interfere in a private matter (see JW to L. Huth, #02240). Despite his protests, he was expelled at a meeting of the Club (see R. N. Wornum to JW, #00445) on 13 December 1867. Haden and JW never spoke again and the affair caused a family rift (see, for example, JW to F. A. Haden, #01936, D. D. Haden to JW, #01915, #01916, G. Wm. Whistler to F. S. Haden, #06681).

3.  MsLS
Text of letter (other than signature) in hand of a clerk.

4.  Wrentmore ... Testimonial
Written in another hand, probably that of J. A. Rose's clerk.

5.  letters
See Wrentmore & Son to JW, #11981, #11853, and Wrentmore & Son to J. A. Rose, #12133. Wrentmore wrote to JW on 4 February complaining of 'certain expressions and reports which according to our Instructions he has repeatedly & publicly used and which are injurious to the honor and reputation of our Client Mr. F. Seymour Haden.'

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

7.  Mr Owen
Sir Philip Cunliffe Owen (d. 1894), Director, South Kensington Museum [more]. Wrentmore also alleged in their letter of 4 February that JW 'has excused himself for making these by stating that he derived his authority for them from Mr. Philip Owen of the South Kensington Museum, Mr. Whistler's statement being as we are instructed, that in an interview which he had with Mr. Owen at the Office of the British Commission in Paris, in the mouth of April last, Mr. Owen told him that the death of a certain Mr Traer had been caused by the cruelty and ill treatment of Mr Haden.'

8.  Traer's
James Reeves Traer (ca 1834 - d.1867), partner in F. S. Haden's medical practice [more].

9.  Burlington Fine Arts Club
A club for artists and connoisseurs, founded early in 1866. It was located at 177, Piccadilly. 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).