Josephine Butler to Stanley Butler

Scope and Content

Photocopy letter

Saying how his letter written during a visit to her old home country (Morpeth, Alnwick, Wooler and Milfield) has taken her back into a long dream of the past. She recalls specially the 'great annual County Ball' at Alnwick with the Grey family standing in the middle of the ballroom 'deep in some Liberal political intrigue'. Then the arrival of the Castle party (the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland who were Conservative) 'and the Liberal group would break up'. Describes her dancing partners and the dresses she and her sisters wore: 'Aunt Fanny and Aunt Hatty and I were great belles'. She is sending the letter to Aunt Hatty as 'she has a fanatical love for that country'

'I send you a touching letter from dear old Powles about Lord Coleridge and about George's accident. Don't show it to George, as it takes rather a discouraged view'.

The Rev Cowley Powles was an old friend of her late husband. They first became acquainted soon after George Butler came into residence at Exeter College, Oxford in 1840 and the friendship continued until George's death in 1890 and beyond. (See 'Recollections of George Butler' by JB, 1892, p 22, pp 133-134).

Administrative / Biographical History

'Wooler and Milfield'. Wooler (Northumberland) was close to where Josephine Butler's son George settled at Ewart Park after his retirement in 1896 and it was here that she finally retired in 1903 when she left Cheltenham.

Milfield was where John and Mary Grey (Josephine Butler's father and mother) started their married life and where 3 sons and 7 daughters were born. In 1835 the family moved to Dilston when Josephine was 7.

John Grey of Dilston died in 1868 and Josephine Butler's brothers and sisters pressed her to write a his biography. This she did. 'Memoir of John Grey of Dilston', published in 1874.

'Aunt Fanny': This was Josephine Butler's eldest sister (Frances b 1823). She married Rev Smyttan, was widowed early and went to live with her father John Grey until his death in 1868.

Biog: Lord Grey (earl), Lord Howick (viscount), Lord Durham, Duke and Duchess (of Northumberland), The Tankervilles, Lord Oussleston (the present Lord Tankerville), Mr Powles, Lord Coleridge, Chester McNaughton