Josephine Butler to Mr Edmondson

Scope and Content

Written from Liverpool. Is afraid that in the next Session the House will be fully occupied with the Education question and other pressing questions which will 'throw ours somewhat into the shade'. Mentions 'a horrible pamphlet by Shirley Deakin'. Has he seen it?

Administrative / Biographical History

'a terrible fight on the education question next session' - Education was very much to the fore throughout Gladstone's first tenure of office 1868-1874; and occupied much parliamentary time. The most important measure passed was the Education Act of 1870 which gave the nation a national system of elementary education, with popularly elected school boards

'a horrible pamphlet by Shirley Deakin'

The pamphlet in question was the substance of a paper read by Mr Deakin before a Students' Society of University College (London). Mr D was a house surgeon of the London Lock Hospital. Among his points were: Prostitution will always exist so long as the animal part of man's nature preponderates. Compares a Belgian garrison (11 cases among 3,500 troops) with a probable 82 cases in England. He condemns Dr Chapman's statistics as misleading. He disbelieves in the voluntary system. Thinks that in London about 12,000 women might be put on the police register. (From letter to the Ed of the 'Shield' from CR Drysdale MD Physician to the Metropolitan Free Hospital WC. 'Shield' 3 Apr 1872 p 902

Biog: Mr Edmondson; Mr Stansfeld; Shirley Deakin