Josephine Butler to Miss Priestman

Scope and Content

No year given but possibly written in 1896 because refers to Regulation and the control of Cantonments in India. In 1895 Abolitionists got their way and the Government of India was obliged to order the abolition of all brothels within cantonments and of compulsory medical examination. Then within the year there was a tremendous campaign for the Restoration of the Acts based on the reported increase in venereal disease in the Army, culminating in a Bill repealing Act V of 1895 passed by the Legislative Council at Simla of 1895. Regulation was restored in a modified form on 22 Jul 1897. (See 'Rough Record' 1895, 8 Feb, 703 and 1897, 22 Jul, 889)

Josephine Butler states that she has been ill and is still an invalid. Says that 'an answer has come from the Indian Government about Repeal which has made Stansfeld and all our friends very angry'

'I am so glad to hear that Mrs Tanner and you will undertake the ornamenting of the room for our reception.' If the letter was written in 1896 this would refer to the Ladies' National Association Annual Meeting, held on Thursday 11 Jun 1896 at Westminster Town Hall under the Presidency of Josephine Butler.

(Full account of this in the 'Sentinel', Jul 1896, p.83.)