Josephine Butler to 'Dear Friend' [Miss Priestman]

Scope and Content

Written from The Close, Winchester. To say that she is prevented from attending the full programme of the annual meeting of the LNA at Derby on the 28th, because her niece, Constance Grey [See Note] in her charge is getting weaker. She has therefore summoned the father (her brother) to come for the week end and arrange what is to be done. She will try to get to Derby in time for the public meeting on Monday. Discusses wording of resolution but reminds her that they will have with them 'Miss Tod the very best drawer up of resolutions'.

Dated 'Thursday'.

Administrative / Biographical History

'Constance has been so much weaker that we thought it right to send for her father ... he is on Government business in Ireland but will be able to arrive here on Saturday.' Constance was JB's niece, daughter of her brother Charles. Charles succeeded to the management of the Greenwich estates in 1863 at the retirement of his father John Grey from the management. 'Now this clashes sadly with Derby work.' This referred to the annual meeting of the LNA fixed for (Monday) 28 Jan at Derby. Arrangements for this had been going on for some weeks (see letters of 20 Nov 1883 JB to Mrs Tanner and 14 Dec 1883). She had intended going for the weekend before but felt she could not be away all the time of her brother's visit. (he was expected to arrive on the Saturday (26th) and so early in the week after). She therefore decided she would take the 'Sunday night train to arrive in time for Monday morning's meeting'. In the end JB was not able to get to Derby for the first meeting in the morning but managed to get to the public meeting in the evening and spoke. (For full account of meeting see Shield 2 Feb 1884 p.12). Constance did not die till 18 Feb 1884. (See letter of 19 Feb 1884 JB to Stanley) Date of letter is therefore the Thursday before the meeting at Derby on Monday 28th. Biog: Constance Grey; Charles Grey; Mrs Lance; Mrs Medley; Miss Tod.