The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Record 17 of 67

System Number: 12132
Date: 16 April 1868
Author: James Anderson Rose[1]
Place: London
Recipient: Wrentmore & Son[2]
Place: London
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell Whistler Collection, PWC 2/48/54
Document Type: ALd

LONDON . . . . . . . . 186 . . .

[circular stamp]: POSTAL DISTRICT / W. C.

Dear Sir,

I am reluctant to commence continue commence a correspondence with reference to the [trumpery? illegible] quarrels of Mr Hayden[3] & Mr Whistler & it was in hopes you would on consideration deem it better that your letter[4] of the 20th ult. Should remain unanswered - I find it difficult to I cannot trace expressions & reports which you say are injurious to the honor & reputation of Mr Hayden and I am unable to furnish the particulars of alleged conversations of Mr Whistler with Mr Owen[5] as to whether the death of Mr Traer[6] has been was caused by the cruelty & illtreatment of Mr Owen Haden or whether as you are instructed "the death of Mr Traer, arose from delirium tremens from his own misconduct in spite of earnest and protracted efforts [p. 2] on Mr Hayden's part to save him." One thing is certain Mr Traer is dead and. If your instructions are correct of which I know nothing Mr Hayden must be is no doubt not satisfied with his own proceedings himself in the matter - Referring to your letter[7] to Mr Whistler of the 4th Feby I cannot say whether Mr Hayden was Whistler made or was justified in making remarks to Mr Hayden his Brother-in-law in a Café[8] in Paris I understand Mr Hayden has procured the expulsion of Mr Whistler from the Burlington Fine Art Club on the ground of some differences Mr Hayden had with Mr Whistler in Paris a result which I should have thought would have satisfied Mr Hayden With regard to your letter to Mr Whistler of the 10th ult:[9] in which I see you are lavish of abusive epithets applied to Mr Whistler such as "slanderous language" "pretend" "insidious calumny" "obloquy" "contempt" "secret defamation" &c &c I can only say in my judgement such letters addressed by Attorneys to Mr Whistler are very much to be deprecated & seem to [p. 3] me only calculated. [illegible] to have no other object than to lead to a breach of the peace & as such ought to have been the subject of an application to a Police Office

[p. 4] Wrentmore & Son[10]
16 March 1868

43 Lin Inn Fields W. C.

16th March 1868

Dear Sir

Haden & Whistler

Favor us as to an answer to our letter of the 20th Febry -

Yours faithfy

Wrentmore & Son

J. A. Rose Esqre
11 Salisbury St

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  James Anderson Rose
James Anderson Rose (1819-1890), solicitor [more].

2.  Wrentmore & Son
Firm of solicitors acting for F. S. Haden (see note below).

3.  Mr Hayden
Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910), surgeon and etcher, JW's brother-in-law [more]. This letter relates to JW's long-running dispute with F. S. Haden and the Burlington Fine Arts Club, a club for artists and connoisseurs. In late 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 on 23 April of alcohol related causes. 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 in a Paris café, 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 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). Undeterred, he appealed to the President of the Club, the Vittorio Emanuelle Taparelli (1816-1890), Marquis D'Azeglio, Sardinian Ambassador and collector [more] (who had been absent from the meeting) in January 1868 (see JW to Marquis D'Azeglio, #00448). He also attempted to discredit Haden's allegations, much to Haden's anger (see, for example, JW to H. Davidson, #00802). Later he threatened to make known his version of the 'facts' of Haden's case against him 'not only in London but in Paris' (see JW to F. S. Haden, #01939).

4.  letter
See Wrentmore & Son to J. A. Rose, #12133. The letter requested a formal 'avowal or disavowal' from JW as to whether he had gained authority from P. C. Owen (see note below) for his alleged remarks about Haden.

5.  Mr Owen
Sir Philip Cunliffe Owen (d. 1894), Director, South Kensington Museum [more]. Owen was in Paris as the representative of Sir Henry ('King') Cole (1808-1882), civil servant and museum director [more], in the British section of the Universal Exhibition, Paris, 1867. According to Haden, Sir Francis Seymour, Paris Jurors: a Letter to Henry Cole …, London, 1867, in February 1867, Haden successfully prevented the appointment of James Traer as an associate juror for the Exposition on personal and professional grounds. When, in late April, he heard that Traer had been appointed after all and was in Paris after all, he was outraged. However, his efforts to obtain an explanation from Owen were ignored. Paris Jurors is Haden's account of the incident.

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

7.  your letter
See Wrentmore & Son to JW, #11981

8.  Café
A reference to the incident between JW, Haden and W. G. Haden in Paris on 26 April (see note above).

9.  10th ult:
See Wrentmore & Son to JW, #11853.

10.  Wrentmore & Son ... Strand
This letter is also given separately: see Wrentmore & Son to J. A. Rose, #13174.