WS Caine MP to Mr Wilson

Scope and Content

Says he knows nothing of the London Society for Repeal and what he has seen of it does not impress him favourably. He has always been too busy to take an active part in the movement thought he feels warmly on the subject of Repeal. Thinks they have been unfortunate in their leader in the House; it was a fatal blunder for Sir H Johnstone to move for a second Committee. Stansfield is better, but unfortunately his wife is slowly dying and he cannot give his whole attention to Parliament. When he is free for the fight 'he will do it better than anybody else you can get.'.

Administrative / Biographical History

'Stansfeld is better - he has fought gallantly on the Committee.' This was the Select Committee of the House of Commons. See Note: Letter of Rev George to his wife, 4 May 1882. 'Unhappily his wife [Mrs Caroline Stansfeld] is slowly dying.' In the spring of 1881 his [Stansfeld] wife was struck down by an incurable disease affecting mind and body. 'It was not till Apr 1885 that death freed her from her ceaseless misery and Stansfeld from his terrible vigil.' James Stansfeld by JL and B Hammond, p.259) [Introduction of Repeal Bill, 2nd reading, by Stansfeld] 'he ought to have made a scathing speech of 1_ hours, instead of which he let the whole thing fizzle out ridiculously.' RR 19 Jul [Wed.] no.423 'Repeal Bill 2nd reading. Motion to exclude strangers defeated by 175 to 38. 'Previous question' carried. (See Shield, 29 Jul, p.149-53.) Biog: Sir Harcourt Johnstone; Mrs Stansfeld (Caroline Ashurst); James Stansfeld; WS Caine.