Josephine Butler to Mr Wilson

Scope and Content

Mentions that at a Trade Council meeting held two years ago in Birmingham they expressed sympathy 'with our movement' and she asks him if he can explain why the Radicals are shaky and are reluctant to take up Repeal. Is it because they assume some party disadvantage would accrue?

Administrative / Biographical History

The Trades Congress at Leeds Jan 1873 - See note letter of JB to HJ Wilson 27 Dec 1872

'on the Royal Commission' - The Royal Commission on the working of the CD Acts held 1870/1871, before which JB was called to give evidence. Applegarth was one of the commissioners representing the trade unions

'Case of the imprisoned gas stokers' - 'Some London gas workers who had gone on strike to prevent the victimisation of unionists were brought into court Dec 1872 and under the law of conspiracy were found guilty not only of breaking their contracts but also of conspiracy to do so'. They were sentenced to 12 months hard labour which was a punishment well beyond the maximum permitted directly under the Master and Servant Act of 1867. The result of the agitation caused by this case was that the Conspiracy and Protection of Property Act and the Employers and Workman Actin were enacted in 1875. By the 1st of these measures the law of conspiracy was not to apply to trade disputes. (From: Henry Pelling, A history of British Trade Unionism 1966 p.68)

Biog: Joseph Arch; Applegarth; Miss T Marshall; Mr Tatham; Mr Edmondson; Mr Stuart; George Potter