Josephine Butler to Mrs Tanner and Miss Priestman

Scope and Content

Written from Winchester. A letter jointly composed by her and Mr Stuart. Proposed that in the next Session of Parliament they should hold an annual meeting of the LNA there to proclaim as publicly as possible their continued existence as a distinct women's society in order to: 1) avenge the wrongs of our sister women in India and other countries; 2) to give help and encouragement by giving publicity to what the Indians themselves are doing; 3) best to assume that the Government mean to carry out repeal in India and Crown Colonies in consequence of Repeal here; 4) The Federation has a guaranteed sum of £500 a year for three years would they consider the LNA funds disposable for the Federation. JB herself is glad that they now have a separate aim from that of the vigilance association.

Administrative / Biographical History

29 Dec 1886. 'we should hold an annual meeting of the LNA and then proclaim as publicly as possible our continued existence as a distinct womans society.' 16 Mar 1886 a motion was carried in the House without a division. 'That in the opinion of this House the Contagious Diseases Acts 1866-1869 ought to be repealed.' As a result of the Repeal of the CD Acts the National Association for Repeal wound up its affairs, closed its English Office and ceased to exist, through soon after it appointed a Committee affiliated to the International Federation to keep in touch with developments on the Continent. Likewise the 'Shield' ended publication. JB was determined not to follow their example. She sensed that there might be a recrudescence of the desire to reintroduce the system of regulation in some for or other, and therefore above everything a woman's society must be kept in being. The women of India were already occupying her mind as this letter shows. 'We must try to give publicity to what they are doing' [in India]. 1. 'Indian Purity Trumpet.' started in 1885. See note for letter of 30 Dec 1885, JB to 'Dear Friend'. 2. 'The Indian Messenger.' In letter JB mentions that this paper 'takes our side strongly and is a native paper ed by one Babor Maitra'. Biog: Rev WJ Gladwin.