Josephine Butler to Mr Wilson

Scope and Content

Written from St. Andrews.

Will he please ask Mr Levy [mentioned in letters between Sir James Stansfeld and Henry J Wilson, 22 and 29 Oct 1896] to prepare a paper for the Geneva Conference; she hopes he won't speak or argue much, but he writes well. She has a 'dim hope that Herbert Spencer might write something ...his name is tremendously thought of abroad' It will be best done personally 'for her seems to shrink from being drawn by Societies'. She encloses letter from Mr Pierson [of Holland] to be returned as she would like to show it to Stuart who is 'now in the midst of composing his inaugural address' [He was elected Lord Rector of St Andrews by the students in the autumn of 1898 and delivered his introductory address in Jan 1899] Of herself she suffers 'badly from darkness, I can only see properly at midday.

Administrative / Biographical History

10 Jan [1899]

'I am glad to have your opinion about Levy.' See also the two letters which passed between Sir James Stansfeld and Henry J Wilson on the subject, 22 Oct 1896 and 29 Oct 1896.

'I rather hope he won't speak or argue much at Geneva.'

The Conference of the International Federation was held this year at Geneva in Sep

At the Berne Conference of 1896 Levy attended 'he read a remarkable paper under the title 'Freedom: the fundamental condition of morality'.

'He [Mr Stuart] is now in the midst of composing his inaugural address.'

In 1898 Stuart was elected to the office of Lord Rector of St Andrew's University (a 3-year office) the holder of which delivered an inaugural and a farewell address.

'I have a dim hope that Herbert Spencer might write something ... I think it is best for me to manage this personally for he seems to shrink from being drawn by Societies.'

JB was successful. At the Federation conference held at Geneva that year 'Mrs Butler read to the Conference the following letter from Mr Herbert Spencer in which he said 'I learn with pleasure that you and some others are opposing the adoption of coercive methods for achieving moral ends.' He expanded this opinion in 3 paragraphs. See 'Shield' Oct 1899 p 62.

Biog: Mr JH Levy, Herbert Spencer, Mr Pierson