Josephine Butler to Miss Forsaith

Scope and Content

Written from [Ewart].

Thanks her for her clear report of all that is being done, only regrets that the LNA has no longer an office so that the work is all thrown on Miss F. Only one thing she disagrees with that the age of signing is put at 21 as they have so many enthusiastic supporters younger. Miss Balgarnie has described to her those BWTA [British Women's Temperance Association] meetings so that they now know whom that may trust and whom not and supplies the reason why J.B.'s letter was not read at the meeting. Miss Whitehead and Emily Ford were disgusted with the proceedings. 'All because a certain number of people are so enslaved by that fascinating but cold-hearted deceitful woman Lady Henry'... There will be nothing but strife and deceit so long as we let her have the least to do with us.'

She has written by request a long letter to be read at approaching Toronto Convention, the WWCIU and Mrs Aaron Powell asks me for one for a meeting in New York. 'I am not going to make excuses for Lady Henry'

Administrative / Biographical History

3 Jun [1897]

'I have had such a deeply touching letter from Mrs Wm Grey (she is never out of bed)'

This may be Jane, daughter of Christopher Jobson, who married William Grey a son of John Grey of Old Heton who was a 1st cousin of John Grey of Milfield and Dilston, JB's father. Mrs William Grey d 27 Mar 1902, aged 69.

(Taken from Gen Table illustrating lineage of John Grey of Milfield and Dilston)

'From the scenes which Mill Balgarnie has described, inside and outside those BWTA meetings there is a clear indication of who [sic] we may trust and who [sic] we may not'

We have two such letters written by Miss Balgarnie to JB while at meetings preceding the Annual Meeting of the BWTA on 2 Jun.

(See 2 letters dated 31 May and 1 Jun from meetings held at 51 Crouch Hall Road, N Miss B to JB.

The meeting which provided much material to Miss Balgarnie's pen was the Annual Meeting of the BWTA held that year on 2 Jun at Westminster Chapel, SW under the Presidency of Lady Henry Somerset. It was from Miss B's account that JB quoted in her letter of 3 Jun.

An account of the meeting is to be found in the Shield of Jun 1897, p 18. A resolution condemning the re-establishment of the CD Acts in India but with the proviso that certain regulations should be laid before Parliament for discussion by the House of Commons. Miss Balgarnie spoke against this but her amendment was ruled out of order and the original resolution was carried.

'You have a great work with this Memorial business but it will be rewarding work I am sure'

The Memorial signed by 61,437 women of the UK was presented at the India Office to Lord George Hamilton on Friday 30 Jul.

(See the 'Shield' Aug 1897 p 36)

It was the Society's answer to the 'Princesses Letter' sent to Lord George Hamilton 24 Apr and published in the 'Times' 25 May.

(See Rough Record nos 843 and 854).

'I have written by request a long letter to be read at the approaching Toronto Convention, the WWCTU'

This was one of three women's conventions held in America the 2nd half of 1897:

(1) at Toronto of the Canadian WCTU 22 Oct

(2) at Toronto of the World's WCTU 26 Oct

(3) at Buffalo of the United States WCTU 2 Nov

(For details of these Conventions see the 'Shield' Dec 1897 p 38)

JB's letter dated 27 Sep 1897 was read at the World's WCTU after the main resolution was passed. In it she clearly stated her reasons for being unable to remain in the office of Superintendent of the Purity Dept of the WWCTU.

(Full text of this letter given in the 'Shield' Nov 1897 p 50). A typewritten copy of this letter dated 27 Sep 1897 is among the letters.

Biog: Miss Balgarnie, Mrs William Grey, Mrs David Richardson, Lady Henry Somerset, Mr Aaron Powell, Mrs Amos, Miss Ormiston Chant, Mrs McLaren