Josephine Butler to 'Dear Friend' [Miss Priestman]

Scope and Content

Written from 60 Queen Anne St, Cavendish Sq (doctor's house), London (where she was with Josephine and her nurse). Stanley and Rhoda had to return to St. Andrews and were glad that 'Granny could be with Josephine'. Now she herself has broken down with what was probably flu. She has put all the arrangements for the meeting on the 29th [see note] in the hands of Mr Lynn and Mr Burfoot. Little J. had rheumatic fever in the winter, seemed to recover and then was struck down with paralysis and removed to the care of Dr Noble. [see note] Many of her friends are stricken with influenza including Mr Stuart and two of her sisters.

Administrative / Biographical History

['I have put all in the hands of Mr Lynn and Mr Burfoot who with Miss Whitehead will work up the meeting ... I am in a great deal of trouble. I am in a doctor's house in London with dear Josephine and her nurse'

Josephine (b 23 Sep 1887) daughter of Stanley and Rhoda was in the winter of 1890 1891 struck down with rheumatic fever which attacked her spine and kept her prone on her back. (See letter from JB from Territet 4 Jan 1891 with an account of the sad news she received at the turn of the year and her desperate anxiety). The child was progressing well when in Apr she had a relapse which left her paralysed from the waist downwards. Her parents immediately brought her down to London again and put her under the same doctor. (See letter from JB to Miss Priestman from 60 Queen Anne St (doctor's house) where little Josephine had been installed with her nurse. The date of this was 28 Apr as is shown in the letter of 23 Jun (JB to Mrs Clark) where she says that little Josephine has now been under her doctor's care 8 weeks and will have 6 weeks longer. [8 weeks would be from 28 Apr-23 Jun and 6 weeks longer 23 Jun-4 Aug]. Date of this letter from 60 Queen Anne St would be c May 1.

' I will do my very best for the meeting'

Then to add to her trouble, she, who had told the parents to go back to St Andrews as she could keep an eye on the child and report to them, had broken down herself with a bad cold and fever (probably influenza which was very prevalent just then). So she had to return to Wimbledon. The meeting was The Annual Meeting of the LNA to be held on 29 May 1891 at The Memorial Hall, Farringdon St and which it was impossible now for her to organise herself.

All went well however 'in the hands of Mr Lynn and Mr Burfoot' as is shown by her letter of 4 Jun (JB to Miss Priestman). By 4 Jul JB is able to write in her letter to [Miss Priestman] 'Our little Josephine is here [Wimbledon] now'

(For details from letters dealing with little Josephine see: 1891 -4 Jan, 3 Feb, 3 Jun, 4 Jun, 23 Jun, 4 Jul, 15 Jul)

Biog: Mr Lynn; Mr Burfoot; Miss Whitehead; Mr Stuart