Josephine Butler to 'My friends' [The Priestmans]

Archive Unit
  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 106 3JBL/34/16
  • Former Reference
      GB 106 4363
  • Dates of Creation
      4 Apr 1895
  • Physical Description
      1 item

Scope and Content

'I send a proof (uncorrected) of my letter, to show you what it is like, and what called it forth ... Also a great many of the so called 'Purity' Societies are going quite wrong ... The Purity works of Lady Henry Somerset's World's Women's Christian Temperance Union are going sadly wrong on account of ignorance of the abolitionist question'

She has made Lady Somerset and Miss Willard aware of this, and they are quite alarmed. But she has received a letter signed by the women of the World's Women's Christian Temperance Union defending the Contagious Diseases Acts. The £10 from Mr Thomasson will not be enough for wide circulation of her paper on the Continent and Colonies.

Administrative / Biographical History

The 'Sentinel' (Jun 1895 p 74) gives an analysis of this pamphlet written by Josephine Butler and describes it as full of 'fire and force'.

'It is called a 'letter of earnest appeal and warning' and is addressed to the members of the British and Continental Federation for the abolition of State-regulated Vice'

'The terrible conflict I have had with Norway, Germany, Colmar etc.'

See under heading of 'Projets de Loi' - letters dated 19 Sep 1891, 25 Sep 1891 and 13 Jan 1893.

and Dr Getz - Manifesto of Ladies' National Association Jan 1893 and 13 Jan 1894: 20 Apr; 26 Apr (AN Krier); 25 Jun, 27 Dec.

'The Purity Society of Calcutta has asked and obtained a new Police Bill for the Bengal Presidency giving the police complete power over women so as to bring in a real Contagious Diseases Act there. Mr Madge of Calcutta is indignant beyond words'

Mr WC Madge, the author of an able pamphlet entitled, 'The Contagious Diseases in India: their complete failure proved from Authentic Returns', tells us that his figures are all taken from authenticated official sources. To every impartial ready they show clearly enough that the system of 'Regulation' in India, where it has been in operation, openly or secretly for 25 years, has been an entire failure.

(The 'Sentinel' Jun 1895 p 73)

Also given in RR 712 Spring 1895

'Mr WC Madge published important pamphlet'

Biog: Lady Henry Somerset, Mr Thomasson, Mr WC Madge of Calcutta