Josephine Butler to Stanley Butler

Scope and Content

Photocopy of letter. Written from Vevey

Has had a long and interesting letter from Aunt Emmy [Josephine Butlers's youngest sister then married to her third husband FW Thomas] about her own son (in the Royal Navy) and her stepson, Jack. Has had a kind letter from Stuart, from Egypt, 'I think the Sphinx has opened his heart and soul and made him more genial'. She is better but still weak; will try to get home the next month.

'... did Weedon Butler learn to do the Sir Charles Grandison bow, and 'to make a leg' as our ancestors expressed it?'

'Is Arthur staying on a bit ... Aunt Emmy speaks of Arthur as being engaged. Who is the fiancée? I should much like to see Arthur again'. Arthur was Josephine Butler's nephew.

'I have a long and interesting letter from Aunt Emmy about Jack's start off at last. Kind Alfred Parker found the place for him'. Alfred Parker was an old friend of Rev George Butler

'Jack' was Jack Thomas stepson of Emily Bolton, sister of Josephine Butler

Administrative / Biographical History

The Rev Weedon Butler (1742-1823) was the grandfather of Josephine Butler's husband the Rev George Butler and therefore in part overlapped Samuel Richardson (1689-1761) author of 'Sir Charles Grandison'. Rev Weedon also had a grandson, Gerard Weedon Butler (1861-1927) who may be the one referred to here.

Arthur was the 2nd son of Emily Georgina (Aunt Emmy) (youngest of Josephine Butler's sisters) by her 2nd husband Jasper Bolton. Arthur (1868-1912) entered the Royal Navy as an engineer officer (see letter dated 26 Mar 1884) and was on a naval ship which paid a courtesy visit to Russia at Kronstadt. While there the British officers were entertained by the Commandant at Kronstadt, General Zaozersky, and Arthur met and later courted one of his 3 daughters, Eugenie. They were finally married in Kronstadt on 6 Feb 1898. (See also letter dated 24 Dec 1896).

'He [the Haytian ambassador, 'my ebony black friend'] is of the race of Toussaint l'Ouverture, a king and patriot'

Toussaint l'Ouverture, Pierre Dominique (c 1746-1803). He was a slave and joined the insurrection of Haiti in 1791. He helped the French when they abolished slavery, became C in C of St Domingo in 1796 and turned against the French when they re-imposed slavery. He was captured and died in prison in France.

'Alfred Parker' In 'Recollections of George Butler' by Josephine Butler, p 203 she writes: [During a tour of the Highlands during the summer vacation of 1871 after a visit to Skye] 'Returning thence, our party separated for ten days or so - my husband with our eldest son having accepted an invitation to join his friend Mr Alfred Parker, in Sutherland'

The friendship was kept up and was then extended to the family after the Rev George's death in 1890.

'Jack' This is, from the context, one of the Thomas boys, son of FW Thomas, who married Emily Bolton, her 3rd husband. Josephine Butler was very kind to her sister's stepchildren (to another one, Emmie Thomas, she gave her secretarial work to do) and lent them money. (See letter dated 4 Mar 1896 JB to Stanley)

Biog: Rev Weedon Butler, Arthur Bolton, Alfred Parker, Toussaint L'Ouverture