Josephine Butler to 'Dearest' [Miss Forsaith]

Scope and Content

Photocopy of a letter. Written from [Wooler, Northumberland].

She is 'taking the power to write to her friend today'. First of all she asks her to read the extract from the last number of 'The life of Faith' [See note, letter of 14 Aug 1905]. It makes it clear that His great plan is not ours.

Secondly she has been much worse this past week. The doctor has forbidden her to see anyone for she must not speak. But she has not lost hope of life. After begging to be relieved of the Hon. Secretaryship the Society has accepted that and made her Hon. President instead. She is anxious about her friend's means now she is retiring and she is going to ask her to be allowed to send her a bit of her means to help her out quarterly. George called on her the other morning (though against the doctor's orders) and speaking of the tragic death of Sir Edward Grey's wife said 'that was precisely the same accident that I had, and I am alive.' JB gives details of the terrible accident he had when out riding being flung off by a vicious horse on to rocky ground. He had one moment of consciousness when he opened his eyes clasped his hands and looked upward and said four words: 'O God, Purify me'. He recovered, but was for years under a cloud. Then came the second blow when (in 1901) his young wife died, and he was again plunged into darkness. But that exclamation of his at the death of Lady Grey showed that he thought he was kept alive for something.

Influenza is raging in their district; her amanuensis has been knocked out with it.

She is not sorry that Socialism has got into Parliament [See note].

For Ireland 'we are reaping the fruits of Cromwell's cruel and murderous treatment of Ireland.'

Asks her to send two copies of her articles in 'Wings' on guidance as some of those who write to her need guidance.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sunday 18 [Feb 1906]

'Life of Faith'

See note in letter of 14 Aug 1905 JB to Miss F.

'Wings' ed. by Miss Forsaith. See letters of ? Nov 1900; 28 Nov 1903 and 5 Feb 1906.

'He [George] was speaking of Sir Edward Grey's trouble in his wife's death.' See note on accident, JB to Miss Forsaith, 5 Feb1906.

'I am not sorry that Socialism has got into Parliament.' In the general election of 12 Jan 1906, 53 labour members were returned - 'the sensation of the moment'.

29 were returned to sit as an independent party; of the other 24 a few were ordinary 'Lib-Lab', but most were officials of the miners' unions.

(From Ensor. England 1870-1914 p 386)

'Cromwell's treatment of Ireland in the 16th century'. Slip for 17th century.

Biog: Sir Edward Grey; George Grey Butler; Cromwell