Josephine Butler to [the Priestmans]

Scope and Content

Written from Liverpool. Sends them Mr Stansfeld's answer to her letter, discusses its implications, and asks for their advice on several points. Some weight in his arguments for having a repeal meeting; points out the difficulty of speaking as strongly as they would wish on the restrictions of women's industry with S Morley in the chair. Final verdict on Mr S 'he has come on well on the whole, considering he was for five years in a Whig Cabinet with Gladstone'.

Administrative / Biographical History

20 Aug [no year given but probably 1874 as Repeal Meeting at Bristol was 15 Oct 1874]

'a repeal meeting'

This was held under the auspices of the LNA at Bristol on 15 Oct against the CD Acts and in support of the motion of Sir Harcourt Johnstone for their Repeal. Mr W Terrell presided (in place of Mr Samuel Morley who was unable to attend) supported by Mr Stansfeld MP, Prof Sheldon Amos, Mrs Butler, Miss Tod and others; over 2000 persons were present. The chief speakers were: Mr Stansfeld MP; Mr SD Waddy MP; Prof Sheldon Amos; Mr George Howell. ('Shield' Nov 1874 p 210) (For earlier remarks by JB on the meeting see JB to Miss Priestman 12 Aug 1874)

'a difficulty will be ... to speak strongly ... on the restrictions of women's industry ... with S Morley in the Chair'

Mr Samuel Morley was in the hosiery business and had mills all over the Midlands. This meant he was a big employer of female labour and JB felt strongly about Mundella's Nine Hours Bill which aimed at limiting women's hours of work and so in her opinion penalising women's value in the labour market. (See JB to Mr Edmondson 1 Dec 1873 note on 'Mundella's Bill')

In the end the difficulty did not arise as Mr Morley was unable to attend the meeting. He wrote a letter addressed to Mr Stansfeld which was read at the meeting, congratulating him 'that he had decided to commit himself publicly against the continuation of the CD Acts'

'The Nine Hours Bill' See under Mundella's Bill

Note JB to Mr Edmondson 1 Dec 1873

Biog: Mr Stansfeld; S Morley; Miss Wolstenholme-Elmy; Mrs Jacob Bright