Rev George Butler to Mrs Clark [of Street]

Scope and Content

Written from Liverpool. Tells her that Mrs Butler has been at home for nearly a month. She returned well and in good spirits from Liege [see note]. She asks him to say that for this year funds are provided for her Secretary, but she would be grateful if they remembered her need for help next year, especially as so many old friends have died. (She notes especially Mr Backhouses death), and the times are bad. A postcript by Josephine Butler to thank her for writing to her husband. She has done a great deal of work this summer in Germany and Belgium, and she is none the worse for it. Bad times affect them too: "not having a fixed salary, but one dependent on the College Fees which fall off in bad times. But we have a happy home"

Administrative / Biographical History

'She returned well and in good spirits from Liège.' This refers to the British and Continental Federation's Annual Conference held that year at Liège, 20-2 Aug 1879. See series of letters 28 Sep 1879 written by JB on this conference.) 'Mr Backhouse is now no more.' This is Mr Edward Backhouse, a generous contributor to the Society's funds. 'Tomorrow I hope to take Mrs Butler to her old home.' Josephine Butler (née Grey) was born at Milfield Hill near, as she often tells me when writing of her childhood days, Flodden field, where the flower of Scotland perished. It was not till her father John Grey was appointed to take charge of the Greenwich Hospital estates that the whole family moved to a new house built for him at Dilston in the vale of the Tyne. JB was then six. Northumberland was always very dear to JB. When in need of quiet and rest, she would retire for a few days to the moors of Gilsland and her husband to the fishing on the Tweed. 'I may come across Mr Bright, who I see has been fishing in the Tweed.' This was John Bright, the eminent politician and statesman. He had two bad breakdowns, 1856 and another in 1870 when he had to retire from all political work for a year or two, and during that time found fishing a recuperative occupation. Biog: Mr Edward Backhouse; Mrs Clans (of Street); Mr Bright (John); Mme de Mozsier.