Josephine Butler to Miss Forsaith

Scope and Content

Written from Ewart Park, Wooler, Northumberland. No year but reference to Lord Onslow's speech delivered on 14 and 17 May 1897 is given in the 'Shield' Jun 1897 p 17.

Thinks they have yielded too much to Mr McLaren's feelings of private friendship for Lady Henry Somerset in making no public answer to her. Lord Onslow in the House of Lords boasted of 'an influential women's memorial in favour of the Acts in India' with no protest against it. When they have seen that memorial they must act. She has written letters to the Quakers' abolitionist meeting and to the Women's Liberal Federation respectively.

'I am still all alone here with Little Countess Hetha'. Glad of the quiet (she is alone in that large house with the little girl, Hetha) for she has so much writing to do. This was the first (and at that time the only) child of George and Mia Butler. Hetha was born 26 Jul 1896.

Administrative / Biographical History

'For now, as you see in the Times, during the debate in the Lords, Lord Onslow boasts of an influential women's memorial in favour of the Acts in India and he says no protest has been made against that'

The text of the women's memorial to which Lord Onslow referred in his speech delivered to the House of Lords 14 and 17 May 1897 is given in the Shield Jun 1897 p 17. The full text of the debate in the House of Lords is to be found on pp 19-24. This Memorial was signed by Princess Christian, the Duchess of Connaught and the Duchess of Teck and about 126 others, for the most part ladies of title and position in Society, but they also included Florence Nightingale, Dis Garrett Anderson and Mary Scharlieb, and Mrs Humphrey Ward. The signatures of Florence Nightingale and Mrs Humphrey Ward were 'given subject to the addition of a request that an independent enquiry be at the same time set on foot at the several stations in India as recommended by the Governor General of India and the Council'

(See 'Shield', Jun 1897 p 17)

Owing to its distinguished signatories it was known as the 'Princesses' letters'

'I wish I could be at the Quakers' abolitionist meeting on Thursday'

The annual meeting of the above was held on Thursday, 20 May at Devonshire House JB 'always attended when possible. This year being unable to leave the north for family reasons she wrote a letter to be read at the meeting.

(For account of meeting see 'Shield' Jun 1897 p 14)

'I have also written a letter for the Women's Liberal Federation to the case of Miss Balgarnie and Mrs Tanner I wonder ... if Lady Henry's influence will have misled any of them'

The Women's Liberal Federation annual meeting was held at Westbourne Park Chapel on 19 May. 'A series of resolutions respecting 'State Regulation of Vice' [were carried] and a large number of delegates devoted over 2 hours to an earnest and intelligent survey of the entire question. Mrs Eva McLaren presided'

(See 'Shield' Jun 1897 p 15)

Biog: Lady Henry Somerset, Lord Onslow, Mr Walter SB McLaren, Lord Roberts, Miss Balgarnie, Mrs Eva McLaren, Mr McLaren