RF Martineau to Mr Wilson

Scope and Content

Written from Birmingham. Thanks for sight of Miss Wolstenholme and Mrs Butler's letters. He feels that if they could induce John Bright to make this question his own, their cause would be won. There is no one whose opinion has such weight with Gladstone as Bright.

Administrative / Biographical History

'no one in the whole world whose opinion has such weight with Gladstone as Bright' - Gladstone's secretary 1880-1885 had this view of Bright: 'Thursday 29 May 1884 Mr G has been pouring out his mind to old Bright. He would give much to have Bright in the Cabinet just now, and is sure Bright would not regret it' (From 'Diary of Sir E W Hamilton' ed by Dudley WR Bahlman (p 626). But Bright was not consistent in his support of the Feminist campaign. In 1867 he voted for franchise for women under the influence of JS Mill but opposed it in speech in the House of Commons in 1876. In 1884 there was a question about placing on the Housing of the Poor Commission Miss Octavia Hill. 'Dilke favours her appointment as does also the Prince of Wales. Sir W Harcourt is dead against it and so is Bright. They regard it as the thin end of the female-right wedge' (vol 2 p 564)

Biog: Miss Wolstenholme (Elmy); Mr Ainge; Mr Arthur Albright; John Bright; Mr John Wilson; RF Martineau