Josephine Butler to her son George

Scope and Content

Part of a letter, first sheet missing. Written from Liverpool [written after she had returned home]. Speaks of the Spence Watsons [Newcastle on Tyne] and the friendliness of the Northumbrians to her (for she is not 'their country woman'). She relates that they had a conference the day before at the Mansion House at York. The Archbishop of York had been asked to meet a deputation of his clergy with Prof Stuart, and 'some Magistrate and Town Councillor of York', but he declined to see any of them and wrote a 'hateful' letter. 'Stuart was rather enraged...he is not so accustomed as I am to be treated roughly by the great'.

Administrative / Biographical History

Mrs Butler and Professor Stuart carried out a lecturing tour of the North in Jan 1874.

'15 Jan Mrs Butler delivered an address on 'State Regulation of Vice' in the Corn Exchange York'. ('Shield' 24 Jan 1874 p 27). On the 21 Jan JB was present at the annual meeting of the Midland Counties Electoral Union held at Birmingham

'On the 22 Jan a public meeting was held in the Music Hall Lancaster under the auspices of the Northern Counties League for the Repeal of the Contagious Diseases Acts, to hear addresses in advocacy of the objects of the League'

On the platform were Mrs Josephine Butler, James Stuart, J Whitwell Wilson, etc. ('Shield' 7 Feb p 44)

'The Archbishop of York [declined] to see and speak to a deputation of his clergy on this subject with Stuart and some Magistrate and Town Councillor of York'

One thing that might account for the Archbishop's hostility to the Movement was that in the northern section of the country it was almost entirely financed and worked by Nonconformists, notably the Quakers. See also reference to insulting letter sent by Abp of York's secty on receipt of annual report of LNA (JB to HJ Wilson 23 Dec 1872)

'Mrs Thompson [sic] would like to see us if she might'

In a letter of 29 Dec 1890 JB to friends, she writes '... the Archbishop of York's wife (widow) used to be our friend long ago at Oxford' (the Butlers were living in Oxford 1852-1857)

'I suppose the forces are gathering for the meeting of Parliament'

This was the final session of Gladstone's term of office. General Election which brought back Disraeli who formed his 2nd Cabinet Feb 1874. On 17 Feb Gladstone resigned and Disraeli took over and formed his second cabinet

Biog: Mr and Mrs Spence Watson; William Thomson, Abp of York; James Stuart; George G Butler; Stanley Butler; Charles Butler