Papers of Sir Francis Seymour Haden, 1818-1910, Knight etcher and surgeon

Scope and Content

  • Passport 1844
  • Correspondence received and sent by Francis Haden relating to the Athenaeum Club1881
  • Correspondence with various people regarding etchings, art works and exhibitions 1882-1905
  • Sketch of Haden, undated
  • Outline for an autobiography by Haden
  • Material relating to the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers
  • Travel diaries from trip to Italy 1884

Administrative / Biographical History

Francis Seymore Haden Francis Seymour Haden was born in 1818 . He studied medicine at the Sorbonne and at Grenoble, becoming a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1857 . He formed a large private practice in London, England, from where he undertook much public work. He published pamphlets strongly opposing cremation but he devoted his leisure time to etching, especially landscapes, from around 1843 onwards. He was an influence on James Abbot McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) whose half sister, Deborah Whistler, he married. His chief works include 'Thames Fishermen', 'Shere Mill Pond' and Breaking up of the Agamemnon'. As well as engraving he also worked in water-colour and black chalk. He also pioneered the critical study of Rembrandt's etchings, publishing and The Etched Work of Rembrandt (1879)About Etching (1879).

Haden was founder and president of the Society of Painter Etchers in 1880, later the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers and he was knighted in 1894. He exhibited at the Royal Academy, London, between 1860 and 1885. The chief collections of his work are held at the British museum and the New York Public Library. He died in 1910  .

Source: , iiThe Concise Dictionary of National Biography 1901-1970 (OUP: Oxford, 1982)


The material is arranged into series as shown in the scope and content. Within series, items are generally arranged chronologically.

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Purchased with help from the Local Museums Purchase Fund: Sotheby's :December 1980 : ACCN 4423

Other Finding Aids

Item level descriptions are available via the department's online manuscripts catalogue available at  searching by the call number MS Whistler H

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Archivist's Note

Compiled by David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, 22 March 2002

No alterations made to date

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Head of Special Collections

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use & condition of documents

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 247 procedures

Custodial History



None expected

Related Material

GB 161 MSS Eng c 2212-58 passim: Miscellaneous correspondence and papers of Francis Haden (Oxford University: Bodleian Library, Special Collections and Western Manuscripts)

GB 719 NUC MS 70-332: Correspondence of Francis Haden, 1 volume (New York Public Library)

GB 058 Add MS 39581: Letters to C W Sherborn (British Library, Manuscripts Collections)

For contact details of all repositories with a GB code, see the ARCHON repository search page at


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Geographical Names