Josephine Butler to Miss Forsaith

Scope and Content

Written from St Beatenberg

'Do not let us talk of separation'. Contemplates spending the winters abroad. (See letter dated 23 Jun 1895 concerning recommendation to live at high altitudes for the sake of her health).

Hopes to see her friend before Colmar (International conference 18-20 Sep 1895) and to arrange giving up her Balham house when in England.

'This great bouquet of different questions brought together by the World's Women's Christian Temperance Union'. This refers to the large Conference held at Grindelwald in the summer of 1895. Here Josephine Butler showed herself critical of this movement before the break in 1897 with Lady Henry Somerset, head of the British Branch, over her declaration in favour of Regulation. Josephine Butler had become involved owing to her friendship with and gratitude to Dr Bushnell and Mrs Andrew, and had accepted the invitation to become 'Supervision' of the Union's 'Purity' Section. Josephine Butler had addressed the members on Repeal but she came to believe that her cause had suffered from the union with the World Women's Christian Temperance Union. (See letter dated 3 May 1895 Josephine Butler to the Miss Priestmans)

God has kept her apart from the one work assigned to her. She hopes to publish a short issue of 'Dawn' with the programme of Colmar, but the printer has been absorbed in the General Election.

She dislikes the idea of Chamberlain at the Colonial Office. Asks if they can find at the Office a paper of hers, containing a speech on 'the reclaimability of Prostitutes'.

'poor Mr Banks's death'. He was paid Secretary of the National Association from Oct 1869.

Administrative / Biographical History

'Dawn' was a quarterly run by Josephine Butler 1st issue May 1888 and last issue Oct 1896. The May issue of 1895 gave notice that the Federation Conference was to be held at Colmar in Sep, and the Oct issue was devoted to a report of the Conference.

'The General Election'

This was the Election held in 1895 which returned a Conservative majority with Lord Salisbury's 3rd Cabinet formed in Jun. Burfoot acted as Josephine Butler's secretary when needed and saw to the distribution of the 'Dawn' (and later the 'Storm Bell'). 'Chamberlain' resigned in 1886 from Gladstone's cabinet on the question of Home Rule, joined the liberal unionists, and in 1895 accepted the office of Colonial Secretary in Lord Salisbury's 3rd Cabinet formed in Jun 1895.

The Marquis of Ripon was Colonial Secretary in Lord Rosebery's Cabinet formed in Mar 1894.

National Association was formed at a meeting held in Bristol in 1869 where a resolution was passed condemning the Contagious Diseases Acts, and the Association set up to work for their abolition. The headquarters was in London following a central body to co-ordinate all the local associations.

Miss Fanny Forsaith 'became Secretary at the London headquarters of the Cause in 1891. She resigned 15 years later and died at a great age in 1940'

(From 'Portrait of Josephine Butler' by ASG Butler 1854)

From early 1890s an increasing number of Josephine Butler's letters were addressed to Miss Forsaith. They were united in friendship not only by devotion to the Cause but also by an Evangelical faith which upheld them in difficulties and gave them a never ending subject to discourse in their letters.

'Poor Mr Johnson'

This was Mr George William Johnson (1881 appointed 2nd clerk Colonial Office, 1900-17 Principal Clerk, CO, 1st biographer with his life of Josephine Butler.

Biog: Joseph Chamberlain Burfoot, Marquis of Ripon, Mr Banks, Miss Forsaith, Mr GW Johnson