Rev George Butler to Josephine Butler in London

Scope and Content

Written from 280 South Hill, Liverpool. Says he has read the papers containing the debate with interest [see note]. He tries to encourage his wife by saying they must mark who are the opponents of suffrage and turn them out at the next election.

Administrative / Biographical History

Thursday 2 May [1872]

'have read the papers containing the debate ...' - The 1st separate Woman's Suffrage Bill, termed 'Women's Disabilities Bill' was introduced into the House of Commons by Jacob Bright 4 May 1870. It passed the 2nd Reading, but on 12 May it was rejected in Committee, majority 126 against. On 1 May 1872 there was a 2nd Reading debate on a similar Bill. Majority of 79 against. [This is the debate the Rev George referred to]. (Taken from Constance Rover 'Women's Suffrage and Party Politics in Britain 1866-1914' App II).

1 May fits in with date of letter so date year is 1872.

'Spencer' is a younger brother of the Rev George

'Ethel' and 'Aunt Tully'

This was the Garston family. Edgar Garston married Mary Ann a younger sister of JB and they had two children, Edgar and Ethel. Mrs Garston was known in the family as 'Aunt Tully'

'Cat' - family name for Stanley, 2nd son of JB

'a quotation from the Introduction to the Essays' - The Essays was a volume of essays (Woman's work and woman's culture) collected by JB with an introduction by her, published by Macmillan in 1869. Her introduction 'became the most widely read and well considered section of the book'. In it she urged the proper training of women and gave an account of the state of women's education all over Europe. Among the contributors were Frances Power Cobbe, Sophia Jex Blake, James Stuart, Elizabeth Wolstenholme

Biog: Edward Pleydell-Bouverie, MP; Jacob Bright; Mr Rathbone; Mr Maguire; Spencer Percival Butler; The Garston family