Josephine Butler to Miss Priestman

Scope and Content

Written from Liverpool. Gives directions about the distribution of the Reports. As she is unable at the moment to attend Committee meetings she has had to get sanctions in writing for what she considers needful action: first to send a Welsh-speaking Welshman to South Wales and then to get some leaflets printed in Welsh. Asks for help with the handbills and posters for the Municipal Elections; also to sketch out any idea she has about Military Centres and CD Acts including Bruce's future one. She is not at all strong yet. She hears that Mr Massey (Chairman of the Royal Commission on the CD Acts) is standing at the Tiverton Election 'how I should like to go and oppose him as he did me on the Royal Commission'. Says Stanley is so grateful to Miss P. for subscription to his magazine [see letter of 24 Sep 1872].

Administrative / Biographical History

'The Municipal Elections are the next and most important thing' - Also mentioned by JB in her letter of 28 Sep 1872. A note in the 'Shield' (26 Oct 1872) said that the Secretary of the Association had posters and leaflets ready for use in those towns where Municipal Elections were about to take place. Further in explanation they stated that: 'As the Association for the Extension of the Acts to the whole of the civil population, seek to bring about their object by the help of Mayors, Aldermen, Councillors ... it is important to use every legal effort to prevent the election of any candidates but those who pledge themselves to the Unconditional Repeal of the CD Acts'

'sketch out ... an idea you have about Military Centres and CD Acts including Bruce's future one' - See note in letter on the subject of Bruce's Bill a Mr Cardwell's new Army Bill, JB addressed to the Repealers 12 Mar 1872

'Mr Fothergill will have to go to the Twerton (Cheshire) elections. You see Massey (the Fox!) is bidding there' - It was reported by the 'Shield' (26 Oct 1872 p 1123) that Mr Fothergill acting on behalf of the LNA had an interview with Mr Massey on the subject of the CD Acts and then forwarded him a copy of Prof Amos' pamphlet 'A concise statement of the arguments against the Contagious Diseases Acts'. Mr Massey replied, but evaded the issues and ended by saying 'I cannot, however, at present, pledge myself to any particular mode with dealing with the painful question'

'I should like to go and oppose him as he did me on the Royal Commission' - Mr WH Massey was Chairman of the Royal Commission of 1871 and JB had been submitted to a severe interrogation from him when she appeared before the Commission, the only woman to be called

'Stanley is so grateful for subscribing to his magazine' - See letter of Sep 24 1872 JB to Miss Priestman

'our strong brains about Jackson's Row are all so busy with other matters' - The Committee for amending the law in points wherein it is injurious to women, signed by: Josephine E Butler, Hon Sec; Elizabeth C Wolstenholme, Hon Sec; Lydia E Becker, Treasurer; 18 Jackson's Row, Albert Sq, Manchester. The Committee called attention to the article that appeared in the 'Lancet' of 30 Sep 1871. A legal opinion was asked from the legal adviser of the 'Lancet' and was given (See 'Shield' 21 Oct 1871 p 705)

Biog: Mrs Tanner; Miss Estlin; Mr Bruce; Mr Cardwell; Mr Massey; Prof Amos; Mr Fothergill