Mary Tunaley, The Hadens, Miss Jane Austen and James McNeill Whistler

© Phil Tunaley

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The Haden-Darwin-Wright Connection

The Whistler-McNeill Connection to Preston, Lancashire



In 1800, Mary Tunaley, at the age of 25 years, left the family home in Full Street, Derby to work as governess to the children of Thomas Haden

(1760-1840), the Derby surgeon who twice became Mayor of Derby, 1811 and 1819. Thomas's children included Charles Thomas Haden aged 14 years

and twins Sarah and Ann Haden aged 12 years when Mary Tunaley took on the position of governess. Ann Haden was later to marry Kirk Boott Jnr.

And Thomas had already entered into partnership with Joseph Wright's elder brother and Derby surgeon Richard (b. 1730), that arrangement lasting until 1806 when

Wright retired at the age of 76 years (source: London Gazette).


The details that follow demonstrate how interwoven the Haden, Wright and Boott families were at that time.

Also remarkable is the later friendship between Thomas's first son Charles Thomas Haden and the world famous novelist Jane Austen (1775-1817).

And finally there is the 1847 marriage of Charles's first son Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910) surgeon and etcher, to Deborah Delano Whistler (1825-1908)

the half sister of James McNeil Whistler (1834-1903), the famous American artist.


The Hadens Residence

According to Francis Boott's book "Recollections", Mary Tunaley "left her father on his second marriage" in 1800 to live with the Hadens, other evidence,

included on this website, indicating Mary was employed as governess to the Haden children. In fact Francis Boott may have somewhat overstated the case as

regards Mary’s movement because, according to Stephen Glover's nineteenth century "Directory of the County of Derby" published 1829, Thomas Haden’s residence

was sited in St. Michael's Church Yard, right next to Full Street, Derby, with Thomas's son Henry Haden working alongside Thomas as surgeon.

Cutting from Stephen Glover's nineteenth century "Directory of the County of Derby Part 2"


As far as 1800 is concerned, one might assume the Hadens were living at that same address, or at least close by at the time, given records show Henry

Haden christened St. Michael's Church 6/12/1791. In which case Mary, having moved to the Hadens in 1800, would have remained very close in residence

to her father Robert in Full Street.

With regard to St. Michael’s Church Yard, this small area of housing at the side of St. Michael's Church no longer exists. The author is unable to

find actual evidence as to when it was demolished or indeed any reference to St. Michael’s Church Yard that would indicate its existence within the

last 150 years. According to Wikipedia, “the chancel (of St. Michael’s Church) collapsed on 17 August 1856 which prompted the building of the new

church starting on 1857”. "The new building opened for worship on 8 April 1858.”

Possibly St, Michael's Church Yard was demolished around the same time as the church itself

And on a similar theme and of historical importance, Exeter House at No.1 Full Street was demolished 1854 just two years prior to the demolition of

the old St. Michaels’s Church.

From Wikipedia: “Exeter House was an early 17th-century brick-built mansion which stood in Full Street, Derby until demolished in 1854. Named for

the Earls of Exeter, whose family owned the property until 1757, the house was notable for the stay of Charles Edward Stuart during the Jacobite

Rising of 1745,"

But more in the context of the late eighteenth century to which this article refers, Stephen Glover in his "Directory of the County of Derby

Part 2" observes the connection of Exeter House with Dr. Erasmus Darwin:

Cutting from Stephen Glover's nineteenth century "Directory of the County of Derby Part 2"


The Haden Family

The full list of Haden children is given below indicating that Mary Tunaley started her work as governess at the Hadens the same year Frederick

Haden was born (1800). She may have carried on that work up to the time John Clarke Haden was born May 1805, Mary marrying Francis Boott Snr.

25th July 1805.

Children as follows:

Charles Thomas Haden christened St. Alkmund, Derby, 7/10/1786 – London surgeon and apothecary

Sarah Haden christened St. Alkmund, Derby 20th August, 1788 - married James Oakes of the Riddings, Derbyshire ; owner of The Riddings Ironworks.

Anne Haden christened St. Alkmund, Derby 20th August, 1788 married Kirk Boott Jnr.

Richard Wright Haden christened St. Alkmund, Derby, 4th July 1790 – wine merchant, Derby.

Henry Haden christened St. Michael, Derby, 6/12/1791 - surgeon, Derby

Eliza Haden christened St. Michael, Derby, 9th October 1793 - census of 1851 has Eliza, given as “Age 57”, unmarried, and “house proprietor” at nephew Francis

Seymour Haden's residence in Sloane Street, Chelsea.

Mary Rebecca Haden christened St. Michael, Derby, 18th October 1795.

Frederick Haden christened St.Michael, Derby 27th June 1800 - died in colonial war, Berbice, Guyana.

Harriet Haden christened St. Michael, Derby, 6th November 1803 - married Frederick Adolphus Le Mann, of Middlesex, London, 15 November 1824, at St. Michael’s

Church, Derby. Couple subsequently resident in London - their children christened at St Swithin, London Stone, an Anglican Church in the City of London.

John Clarke Haden christened St. Michael, Derby, 7 May, 1805 - he became Rvd. Clarke, Rector of Hutton, Essex. For full details of “John Clarke Haden (1805-1869) - A

Personal Record and the Whistler-McNeill Connection To Lancashire”, click here.


Charles Thomas Haden (1786-1824) and the Jane Austen connection

Charles Thomas Haden (1786-1824), the eldest of the Haden children became a leading London surgeon and apothecary and subsequently a close friend of the

English novelist, Jane Austen.

Indeed, the 2007 BBC drama "Miss Austen Regrets", features the character of Charles Thomas Haden portrayed by actor Jack Huston.

According to records, Charles' friendship with Jane Austen began in London October 1815 when Charles, then 28 years old, was called in by J.A. to treat

her brother Henry who had become seriously ill with pneumonia at her London home on 23 Hans Place. This residence close to Charles's practice at 64

Sloane Street in the Chelsea area. Jane Austen, then 39 years old, was in London negotiating a deal for publication of her book "Emma".

To see a full and detailed account of Charles Haden's relationship with Jane Austen written by Liz Philosophos Cooper go to

On 18th July 1817 at Winchester, Jane Austen (b. 1775 the same year as Mary Tunaley) died prematurely at the age of 41 years. A number of accounts suggesting she

had been unwell in varying degrees for several years prior to her death, even when writing her books.

In April 1816 Charles Haden married Emma*, daughter of the then late celebrated vocalist Samuel Harrison (1760-1812). Perhaps significantly, Harrison

born Belper, Derbyshire, Belper being the home of the Strutt family and close to Derby and the Haden family.

And in September 1818, Francis Seymour Haden was born, later to become Sir Francis, Haden, surgeon, albeit best known as a leading and original etcher

(see later for further details).

By around 1822, Charles himself, started to feel unwell, and evidently spent increasing periods of time recuperating at his father's home in Derby.

It seems even then he’d self-diagnosed the condition as an aneurysm.

So in late 1823 and to avoid the oncoming British winter, Charles accompanied Sir William Curtis, MP. and former Lord Mayor of London (1795) on Curtis’s

private yacht “Emma”* on a cruise from Ramsgate, where Curtis lived, to the Mediterranean. The yacht was escorted on the first part of its journey from

Ramsgate by H.M.S Weazel.

En route to Malta, the yacht landed at Gibraltar and Malaga and Haden evidently spent time recording details of hospitals in Gibraltar and medical

conditions and diseases special to the Spanish mainland.

However, on 11th January 1824 prior to landing at Malta, Haden suffered a fatal ruptured chest aneurysm. The fatality was sudden and unexpected and

according to a Haden biography written by Thomas Alcock not long after Haden’s death, Haden’s remains were “interred in the Protestant burying ground

near the Quarantine Harbour, Malta , where a simple stone is erected to his memory”..

* N.B. the book Jane Austen was negotiating for publication when she became friendly with Charles Haden entitled “Emma”, Haden later

to marry Emma Harrison and Curtis’s yacht also named “Emma”.


The Original Haden-Wright Connection

Thomas Haden was born Wednesbury, Staffordshire, West Midlands, 1760.

There was already a close relationship between the Haden and Wright families even before the arrival of Thomas Haden in Derby.

Thomas's elder brother Alexander Bunn Haden b. 1752, who later became Rvd. Bunn, vicar of the parish of Wednesbury, appears to have been a key figure in the

introduction of the Haden family to Joseph Wright and Erasmus Darwin. Much detail of this early relationship can be found at:

Joseph Wright had painted a portrait picture of Thomas Haden with the latter at the age of around 12 years. With Thomas born 1760, this would place the

year of the painting at around 1772.

("Portrait of Master Thomas Haden": ).

And Thomas Haden's portrait must have been created at least 20 years before Joseph Wright painted his portraits of Mary Tunaley and the twins Ann and

Sarah Haden (born 1788).

As mentioned above, after moving to Derby Thomas entered into partnership with Joseph Wright's elder brother and Derby surgeon Richard (b. 1730), that

arrangement lasting until 1806 when Wright retired at the age of 76 years (source: London Gazette).

And to add to the Wright-Haden connection, Thomas Haden's second son, born 4 July 1790, was christened Richard Wright Haden, named after Joseph Wright’s

elder brother.

The James McNeill Whistler Connection

In 1847 the Hadens became related by marriage to the family of the famous American artist James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903, born Lowell, Massachusetts),

son of George Washington Whistler (1800-1849), the steam locomotive and chief engineer who became a close friend of Kirk Boott Jnr. in the days of industrial

development at Lowell, Massachusetts. This friendship to the extent that George christened one of his sons Kirk Boott Whistler

(1838-1841) - .

This 1847 marriage was between Sir Francis Seymour Haden CMG FRCS PPRE (1818-1910), the eldest son of Charles Thomas Haden and formerly educated at Derby School

and Deborah (“Dasha”) Delano Whistler the half sister of the aforementioned American artist James McNeill Whistler. Deborah D. Whistler was the daughter of

George W. Whistler by his first marriage to Mary Roberdeau Swift, who had died at an early age in 1827. Like his father and grandfather, Francis Seymour was

a surgeon, but he ultimately found fame as an original etcher.

As one of a number of significant events that took place 1847-1849, the marriage between Francis Seymour Haden and wife Deborah took place in Preston, Lancashire where

we know that in 1849 George Washington Whistler's wife Anna Matilda Whistler was staying at the home of her step sister Eliza Winstanley (nee McNeill). For full

details click here.

(Wikipedia:"Sir Francis Seymour Haden CMG FRCS PPRE, was an English surgeon, best known as an original etcher who championed original printmaking and founded

the Society of Painter-Etchers, now styled The Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers."

“Among numerous distinctions, Haden received the Grand Prix, Paris, in 1889 and 1900, and was made an honorary member of the Institut de France, Académie des

Beaux-Arts and Société des Artistes Français. Haden was knighted in 1894 for his services "to the advancement of original etching and engraving"".)


More Boott Connections

And to add to the mix, in 1848 Charles Sydenham Haden (1822-1897), younger brother of Francis Seymour Haden, married Mary Love Boott (1821-1897) first child of

Francis Boott (1792-1863 physician, botanist and brother of Kirk Boott Jnr.) and Mary (nee Hardcastle).

And Isabella ("Belle") Boott (1832-1892), daughter of same Francis Boott and Mary, is the central figure in one of Whistlers' famous paintings "Harmony in Green and Rose:

The Music Room" (1860-1861).



Also view painting at

The other two figures in this painting are Deborah Haden (nee Whistler) and young Annie Haden (b. Chelsea 1848), daughter of Francis

Seymour and Deborah. The painting by Whistler thought to have been set in the Francis Seymour Haden residence in Sloane Street.

(NB. On 8th June 1880 Annie Harriet Haden married Charles Ernest Thynne, fourth son of the second Marquess of Bath. There were three children, Mary, Roger and

Daria. Annie died 1937 aged 88 years).

Meanwhile the younger brother Charles Sydenham Haden, given in records as a merchant, had moved with wife Mary to Lyon, France, a silk manufacturing


And from:

“Haden owned a complete set of Whistler's French Set of etchings on chine collé, which was sold at auction at Sotheby's in London on 18 November

1931 (lot 103)”.

Another record has Charles also being an unpaid Vice-Consul at Lyon.

Also of interest is that spinster Isabella (“Belle") Boott, sister of Charles’s wife Mary, remained close to the C.S. Haden household in France, given

the following newspaper announcement (document kindly provided by Dr. Jane Holmes):“ Boott, Isabella Mary Ann Grant of 1 Rue Toustain Dieppe France

spinster died 6 June 1892 at the Hotel de l’Univers Lyons. Probate London 20 June to Charles Sydenham Haden esquire Effects £4767 10s 1d" (sic).


Background to the last two items

Around 1820, following the death of his father, Kirk Boott Snr., in Boston, Massachusetts, Francis Boott moved to London with wife Mary

(nee Hardcastle) and became an eminent physician. Boott never returned to America.

Charles Thomas Haden was then already a highly successful surgeon in London but, as mentioned above, died 1824 with the business eventually taken over by Charles’s

eldest son Francis Seymour Haden with Charles’s father Thomas Haden possibly overseeing the practice in the intervening years until he, Thomas, died 1840, at the

home of daughter Sarah (Oakes), twin sister of Anne (Boott), at the Riddings, Derbyshire.

Mary Love Boott, Kirk Boot Snr.’s wife, joined son Francis in London in 1836 one year before Kirk Boott Jnr. died 1837. And James Boott, another son of the older

Kirk, followed Mary to England a year later.

Finally on this theme George Washington Whistler, the Lowell civil engineer, work colleague and former close friend of Kirk Boott Jnr., was invited by Tsar

Nicholas I to help build the Saint Petersburg–Moscow Railway, which was to be Russia's first major railroad.

Whistler left for St. Petersburg , Russia, in 1842, where, in 1849, he died from cholera shortly before the railroad was opened. George's wife Anna and children,

James McNeill Whistler and William, who were at that time staying in London then removed to Preston, Lancashire, where Anna’s step-sister Eliza Winstanley (nee McNeill)

lived. For full details click here.

By then, Francis Seymour Haden had already taken the young James Whistler under his wing with Francis supportive in Whistler's interst in art and photography.


Phil Tunaley


See also:

The Haden-Darwin-Wright Connection

The Whistler-McNeill Connection to Preston, Lancashire