Josephine Butler to Mr and Mrs Wilson

Scope and Content

Written from Liverpool. Very touched by their 'secret' that 'she can hardly help crying...I rather doubt at times whether I am worth saving for the future'. Improving but any exertion makes her head go hurt again. Very gladdened by a letter from Mr Appia from the Brighton Conference. Reference to Emma's case (see notes).

Administrative / Biographical History

Sunday [Received 7 Jun 1875]

'No answer to your 'secret'

This was a sum of money raised by the Wilsons and other friends to help Josephine after her illness which put her out of action during the spring and summer of 1875

See also her letter of 7 Jul discussing where she should go away for a restful holiday; a holiday made possible by the generosity of her friends.

'Emma's case'

See Note to pc. J Stuart to Mrs Wilson 28 May 1875

'The result of the division in Parliament'

See Note in Circular letter to all workers May 1875

'A letter from Mr Appia from the Brighton Conference'

This was a large gathering of Evangelical Christians, English and foreign who met at Brighton the first week of Jun 1875. In England the chief evangelical influences from outside were Robert Pearsall Smith who had come over from America in 1873 and travelled widely in South England addressing conferences and making many conversions especially among parsons and ministers; and Moody & Sankey who conducted campaigns mainly in London and other big cities. The most notable foreign visitor was George Appia of the ancient Waldensian Church in Italy 'a man of genius and of a highly spiritual nature'. The Brighton Corporation placed at the disposal of the Convenors free of charge, the Pavilion, the Corn Exchange and the Town Hall. There were at least 5,000 visitors; from overseas 30 each from Switzerland and France and 70 from Germany. (Information from JC Pollock, The Keswick story). From such a gathering little might be expected of interest in outside societies or movements: as Mr I Whitwell Wilson says in his letter of 31 May 1875: 'There does not seem as if there would be any opening for anything but subjective and personal religious devotional Exercises.' However George Appia showed there were exceptions and wrote to the Repealers from the Conference as follows: 'of all the prayers I have heard none was so earnest or so full of hope as that offered today in the Corn Exchange for your Cause and or the Repeal of the Acts. The brother who offered the prayer said 'God wills it it shall be'. Whatever be the result of the division in Parliament there is no doubt that the benediction of God is shed upon such a cause as this.' G Appia

Biog: Pastor George Appia; Emma