UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: family, JW's
Record 21 of 202

System Number: 01938
Date: 11 June 1867
Author: Francis Seymour Haden[1]
Place: [London]
Recipient: Dante Gabriel Rossetti[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler H39
Document Type: MsDI


(Enclosure A[3].)

(Memorandum. - June 11 1867. - ). Complained to the Com[mi]ttee of the Burlington Fine Arts Club[4] that I had been assaulted[5] by Mr J. A. Whistler, a member of the Club, in a restaurant at Paris

Explained that tho' I had not the least objection to relate to the Committee (or any [illegible] of them) every circumstance that could possibly be supposed to have [conduced?] to the assault in question, I did not think such a relation absolutely necessary, inasmuch as my I confined my complaint to the mere fact of the assault (asking no more in respect to it than that it was notoriously only one of several[6] which, in the course of a few months, Mr Whistler had committed on other people.[)]

Submitted to the Committee that if Mr Whistler felt himself in a position to deny the mere fact it would be my duty to prove it, but that, if he could not or did not deny it (which I stated I believed was the case) - then that it was the duty of the Committee [p. 2] to explain to him that such proceedings were contrary to English usage - and intolerable in any association of gentlemen - and to invite him, ipso facto[7], to retire[8] from the Club."

Signed. (S. H).


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Notes:

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

2.  Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882), artist and poet [more].

3.  Enclosure A
Enclosed with a letter, F. S. Haden to D. G. Rossetti, #01937 in which he asked Rossetti to intervene in his dispute with JW and William McNeill Whistler (1836-1900), physician, JW's brother [more].

4.  Burlington Fine Arts Club
A club for artists and connoisseurs, founded in c. June 1866. It was located at 177, Piccadilly. Haden was a founding member of the club and was on its Committee (see Minutes of the Burlington Fine Arts Club, 12 June 1866). JW was proposed as a member on 12 March 1867 (see William Boxall, Louis Huth and the Marquis d'Azeglio, proposers, #11957).

5.  assaulted
In April 1867, JW quarrelled with F. S. Haden over his 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. In the aftermath of the incident Haden campaigned for JW to be excluded from the Club (JW to L. Huth, #02240). On 11 June, the same date as this document, JW received a request for his resignation from the Club on the threat of expulsion (see R. N. Wornum to JW, #10442).

6.  several
JW was alleged to been guilty of several other assaults, including an attack on Captain Horace H. Doty (b. 1824 or 1825), officer of marines, specialist in signal lights and lighthouse illumination [more] (see JW to L. Huth, #02240).

7.  ipso facto
Lat., by that very fact or act. Double underlined.

8.  retire
On 11 June, JW received a request for his resignation from the Club on the threat of expulsion (see R. N. Wornum to JW, #10442).