The Cotman Collection | 33

The Cotman Letters 1838-1864

Archive: SDK Sydney Decimus Kitson Archive
Reference Number: SDK/1/3/1/5
Page: 33

  • Description

    Letter of John Sell Cotman to Walter F. Cotman, 7 April 1838

    Letter to Walter F. Cotman


  • Transcription

    (7.4.38.) 33

         \*have been working at a sea shore,  his part the larger of the two, Sea,     
     Sky, and Shipping,  and I, the foreground figures. {\*Now in Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge} The size
          of the drawing 3 feet by 2 feet 5, which I consider a Whacker,
      if you know what that three is,  and if you ^ don't do not, God help your
                           stupidity,  for a Whacker it is. One, entirely my own in every sense
                   of the word,  being very gay & gaudy & full of frippery, is a view on
    the top of Flixton Hall, Suffolk,\* {\*Now Crown Point Colln.} in which Ann was with me some six

    years ago, and somewhat better, with about twenty large figures,
    My principle, and about the same number Sepia-miniatures, or
    figurantes, as we say at the Opera. The story the presenting of a Rose &
    Sword to the Lady of the Manor of Flixton, a story altogether fictitious,
    a large banner of Henry the Eighth waving over the battlements.
    This is also a very large drawing. The next is a view of the Great
    Western steam ship, an account of which you will find in Bacon's paper,
    which, by the way, please to return to me in a post or two, as I want it.
    Ann, Miles & Alfred went with me to see it, having a letter from Mr
    Mandesley. And a most glorious it was. We went in the morning by
    omnibus to the Bank, walked over London Bridge & embarked for Greenwich.
    From Greenwich to Blackwall in a Boat. Went on board. Steamers lying
    along side of the Westun, where stoods hundreds of disappointed Ladies &
    Gentlemen that were refused admittance. I went up to a party, Mrs.
    Alxdes Gordon & a Mrs. Dixon & party, and said, 'I can, I believe, take you
    in'. They all laughed and said, 'Why, Sir, you will not be able to get in
    yourself. Why, they refuse everybody'. So up I goes I to the officers in a
    Naval uniform, 'You cannot be admitted', So after a little more bother I said,
    'Pray tell me in what way is it possible to obtain it', 'Why only by applying
    to Mr. Clayton, a director, 'Where is he', 'At the hotel at Blackwall', So,
    after being quizzed & laughed at, which I stood in good part, for the scene was a
    ridiculous one. I manned my boat & called on his Mr Clayton, presented my note &
    Card. A note was returned, 'Cannot be admitted on any account whatever. Sent
    another note & card. Message returned, 'Read my note'. Another passed to no
    effect. I then sent a verbal message, that if I wished to get into Hell & was refused I
    would get in backwards, but that I would do so. This produced my admission