Josephine Butler to Stanley

Archive Unit
  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 106 3JBL/45/36
  • Former Reference
      GB 106 5394
  • Dates of Creation
      23 Dec 1901
  • Physical Description
      1 item

Scope and Content

Photocopy of letter. Written from 39 Clarence Square, Cheltenham

Complains of the cold which is even worse than the winter of 1894/5 when she was at Balham. She has no friends at Cheltenham, but in a curious way has a feeling of companionship both in being near Eva's grave and Aunt Fanny's and in having so many old associations round her; Aunt Eliza and her school; Edith (daughter) married there; Constance Baldwin (a second daughter) lived near at East Hayes; Jack Grey (son of George Annett Grey, JB's brother) and his athletic feats at Cheltenham College. Describes a visit she made with Charles and his wife Margaret, and their little girl, Rosalind to see Eva's grave. Has heard from Stuart and George about the Trinity College wedding (Montagu Butler became Master of Trinity College, Cambridge in 1886] ['It was a great crush and Stuart could hardly get a word with George.]

The second part of the letter is concerned with politics; the merits of Lord Rosebery's speech and the varying opinions about it including the Radicals who in spite of their pro-Boer views acclaim it as a 'truly statesmanlike speech'. The reason for this, she thinks is simply their hatred of Chamberlain.

Her sympathies with George trying to keep cheerful through these anniversaries [his wife died 26 Apr 1901, leaving him with three children the baby born on 18 Mar 1901]

Administrative / Biographical History

Eliza Grey (b. 1819, eldest sister of JB), m. (1) William Morrison, Hong Kong d.1853m. (2) Mr Masson Llewellyn. Constance m. Mr Baldwin Mary Edith = Ludwig Leopold (married at Genoa)

Very Rev Henry Montagu Butler (1835-1918), Master of Trinity College Cambridge 1886, m. 1861 Georgina Elliot; m. 1886 Agnata Ramsay.

2 sons James R, Gordon K, Nevile

3 daughters, b.1889, b.1891, b.1893

'the Trinity College wedding' would therefore have been one of the children from Montagu Butler's first marriage.

'Lord Rosebery'

He was in Gladstone's fourth Cabinet (1892-1894) as Foreign Secretary and then in 1904 he took over the government and formed a Cabinet. 1895-1902 Lord Salisbury was Prime Minister, followed by AJ Balfour 1902-05.

Aunt Eliza

Edith Leopold See Gen. Table

Constance Baldwin

Jack Grey probably John George Grey, son of George Annett Grey of Milfield and Elizabeth Boyd; nephew of JB. He was born 1844 and was at Cheltenham College. (Rev George Butler was Principal of the College 1857-65.)

The Charlies = Charles Butler, youngest son of JB, and wife Margaret Talbot and child Rosalind, b. 1898.

Leckhampton Cemetery, near Cheltenham, where little Eva was buried and Frances Smyttan (Aunt Fanny), JB's sister also.

Joseph Chamberlain. His last Cabinet office in a Liberal Government was as President of the Local Government Board in Gladstone's third Cabinet in 1886, which only lasted from Feb to Aug. His first office in Conservative Government was as Colonial Sec. in Lord Salisbury's third Cabinet in 1895. He remained in that office and was again appointed as Colonial Sec. in Balfour's Cabinet in 1902.

'George is doing his best to keep up his spirits through these anniversaries'

George's wife Maria (Mia) died 26 Apr 1901. She had been very ill for some time before the birth of her third child Irene (18 Mar 1901) and she never recovered after the birth. (See letter of 29 Jan 1901)

Irene is the baby born 18 Mar 1901 - see note above.

Emmie is Emmie Thomas, daughter of Mr Thomas, Emily Grey's third husband. JB gave her typing work. (See letter of 24 Mar 1898, JB to Miss Forsaith.)

Biog: Aunt Fanny (Mrs Smyttan), Mr Shield, Lord Rosebery, W.T. Stead, Joseph Chamberlain, Lord Kitchener, Lord Milner, Marconi, Rev. Henry Montagu Butler