Josephine Butler to Bob Butler

Scope and Content

Photocopy of letter. Written from York.

She is writing from the Station Hotel at York on her way to Ewart; she has been very ill and could mot do the journey without a break. Tells him she has written 'so many books and pamphlets and letters in the last thirty years and now writing hurts me very much'. Her latest one is about the War and the Native Races [1900]. She has been staying with 'Dindin' [her sister Emily, Mrs Thomas, Mother of Rhoda, Bob's mother] at Clapham lately; she looked after her when she was ill and Emmie Thomas the stepdaughter typed for her. Aunt Hatty feels very lonely since the death of her husband so she plans to go and stay with her in Aug. Uncle Tell has left the Gordanne [the house near Geneva] to her, but she will have to give up a pair of splendid chestnut horses which she got from King Humbert's' stables in Rome. They are not very rich now and she could not afford to keep them. She speaks of the various African tribes (she has heard about them from Uncle Charlie) he 'even knew the old Chief Sechele who was a disciple and friends of Livingstone...50 years ago'

Administrative / Biographical History

Bob Butler [at prep school] pet name for Andrew Stanley, son of JB's son Stanley and Rhoda

'On my way to Ewart'

Ewart was the estate in Northumberland belonging to George's wife Mia. As a result of a serious head injury while out riding in Apr 1894 George had to retire from his post in the Civil Service Commission at the end of 1895. George and Mia then went to live at Ewart

'I have just finished writing a book about the War and the Native Races' This was entitled 'War and the Native Races' and was published in 1900. (See letter of 20 Jun)

'Dindin' Family pet name for Aunt Emily (Emmie) JB's youngest sister who married her 3rd husband FW Thomas who had a family by a previous marriage. By her 1st and 2nd husband she had respectively 3 and 5 children

'Aunt Hatty feels very lonely since Uncle Tell died'

Uncle Tell (Chevalier Tell Meuricoffre) died Apr 1900. JB went to stay with her sister that autumn, but on her return journey to England in Oct received a telegram as she landed in England to say that Hatty had died

Biog: Emmie Thomas (step daughter of Mrs FW Thomas), David Livingstone