Josephine Butler to Miss Priestman

Scope and Content

Written from Winchester. Urges all supporters of the Cause in view of the coming Election to bestir themselves and see that the candidate selected is right on the question of total and unconditional Repeal.

Administrative / Biographical History

'The choice of candidates for the various parliamentary constituencies at the next general election is at this moment proceeding rapidly.' Throughout 1885 the political situation was uncertain and an election always seemed imminent. Jun 1885 Gladstone resigned and Lord Salisbury took over and formed a Cabinet that lasted almost exactly 7 months. An election was held at the end of 1885 when the Liberals were returned with a majority of 86 over Conservatives. Feb 1886. Then Gladstone formed his 3rd Cabinet. Jun 1886 2nd reading of Home Rule Bill defeated the Government and Gladstone dissolved Parliament. In the election which followed the Conservatives won 374 seats and Gladstone resigned at once. Aug 1886 Lord Salisbury formed his 3rd Cabinet. There were therefore 2 elections close to each other. The end of 1885 - Liberals returned. Jun 1886 - Conservatives returned.