Josephine Butler to Mr Wilson

Scope and Content

Written from Liverpool. Has just returned home but so exhausted by her tour, Bath, London where Mr Stansfeld, Local Government Board, was so alarmed at her appearance that he would not let her speak a word. All this to explain why she must ease off work over Easter. Upbraids him with leaving Northumberland out of the 'six Northern Counties' as if there were nothing north of Newcastle. Gives a favourable account of what Burgess has done already in Liverpool. Gift of £1000 from Countess de Noailles [see note]. Speaks of pressure of work on her with requests to speak from all over England. A great joy to her when in London to read in the Times that George had got the Bell Scholarship. Tells of her venture in having 'bought a soldier' (Bligh) to work for the Cause: 'after twenty years of experience of the Army in India and at home he can tell out of his own experience much that will be convincing and useful.'

Administrative / Biographical History

Tuesday [1 Apr 1873]

'At 4.30 I called at the Local Government Board [to see Mr Stansfeld] in the reshuffle of ministries in Mar 1871 GJ Goschen was sent to replace HCE Childers (resigned) at the Admiralty from the Poor Law Board; James Stansfeld became President of the poor law board and given Cabinet rank

'as no one would do it [i.e. work in Northumberland north of Newcastle] I took upon me to do it myself' - See letter of JB to her husband about this Northern tour [15] Mar 1873

'The Electoral work you are doing' - For founding of the Electoral League see 8 Jun 1872 and Election Policy to be followed at each election. See JB to HJ Wilson 113 Jun 1872 and JB to Mr Clark (Newcastle) 6 Jul 1872

'a great job ... that George had got the Bell scholarship' - George, JB's eldest son was born 1852

'[Unpleasantness] concerning £1000 given to me by the Countess de Noailles for the aid of discharged female prisoners in Liverpool ... it has brought a deal of bother ...' - JB had already been the recipient of the Countess' bounty. See letter of 3 Dec 1872 JB to Mrs Wilson, in which she relates how the Countess 'sent me to-day £100 for Election work having heard how we were treated at Pontefract'

'You know by this time how the War Office has treated us about the Mutiny Bill' - See note for letter of 23 Aug 1872 JB to Mr HJ Wilson

Biog: Mr Stansfeld; Mr Burgess; Mr Rathbone; Dr Carter; Dr Burrows; Dr Whittle; Mr Hardy; Mr Edmondson; Henry Bligh (Agent); Countess de Noailles; Robert Lundie