Josephine Butler to Stanley Butler

Scope and Content

Photocopy of incomplete letter, no first page. Mentions the 'Grey Trust' and her wish to get a portion settled on little Josephine [Stanley's only daughter]. James Stuart is supposed to have all the papers relating to her marriage settlement in his strong box at Norwich, but at the moment he has politics so much on the brain that she cannot get a reply on any personal matters. She regrets that the present political excitement as being detrimental to the best interest of the country. She remarks at the end: 'The women, suffrage women, are going mad, I am disgusted'

Administrative / Biographical History

[? Oct 1903] Probable date Oct 1903, see reference to 'this present political excitement'. In 1903 numerous changes took place in AJ Balfour's cabinet, formed in 1902, the most important being the resignation of Joseph Chamberlain in Sep 1903]

May: the Earl of Onslons succeeded RW Hanbury (deceased) as president of the Bd. of Agriculture; Sep.: Chamberlain resigned and was replaced as Colonial Sec. by the Hon. Alfred Lyttelton. Ritchie resigned and was replaced as Chancellor of the Exchequer by Austen Chamberlain. Lord George Hamilton resigned and was replaced as Sec. for India by St John Brodrick, whose post as Sec. for War went to HO Arnold-Forster. Lord Balfour of Burleigh resigned and was replaced as Sec. for Scotland by Graham Murray. The Duke of Devonshire resigned and was replaced as Lord President of the Council by Lord Londonderry who retained the presidency of the Bd. of Educ., but was followed as lord privy seal by the (lately succeeded) Marquess of Salisbury.

'The women, suffrage women, are going mad. I am disgusted.'

10 Oct 1903 saw the beginning of the militant movement among women supporters of suffrage, for on that date the Women's Social and Political Union (the WSPU) was inaugurated. It was in origin a women's branch of the ILP. 'Its objective was immediate franchise: its slogan 'Votes for Women!' was far more compelling than the suffragist formula - 'to extend the parliamentary franchise to women on the same terms as it is or may be granted to men.' Its methods were also different and shocking to the average Victorian woman.' (Rapiers and Battleaxes, by Josephine Kamm, p144).

Biog: Joseph Chamberlain