Josephine Butler to 'Edie' [Edith Leupold]

Scope and Content

Two fragments of letters. Written from Liverpool

1. PS to a missing letter in which she describes the setting up of a Hospital for 'dying Magdalenes' (See note)

2. A poem composed by Mary Lomax (a girl dying in Butler's own home) and dedicated to JB

Damage done to these fragments by the use of Sellotape.

Administrative / Biographical History

Date: References are made to 'Mary' kept in the Butler's house because she is dying. She finally dies in the middle of Mar 1867. (See notebook containing 6 letters written by JB to her niece Edith Leupold in Genoa and copied out by her dated from Feb 12 to middle of Mar 1867.) In this fragment 'Mary' is still alive so probable date middle of Feb

'House of Rest'

JB started her work among the outcasts of Liverpool soon after she came to Liverpool in 1866. She soon found that there was nowhere for the dying outcasts of society to go and so in her own words: 'The House of Rest is a little Hospital of my own I have set up for dying Magdalenes. I have got 4 patients in it. It will hold 13.' (At first the Butlers took the sick into their own home, then when numbers made it impossible to continue they took a house near by and raised money to support it. Her letters to her sister Fanny (Mrs Smyttan), 12 and 27 Feb describe the 'House of Rest' and beg her to come and help with the work, which she does. (See notebook 1867 containing 6 letters dealing with her work)


This was Ludwig Leupold, a Swiss banker, m to Edith, daughter of Eliza, JB's eldest sister. They lived in Genoa and were extremely hospitable to all the family, especially JB and her children


This was Constance, another daughter of Eliza, JB's eldest sister, and therefore a sister of Edith Leupold

'Contie' m a John Baldwin and their son was called John. JB stayed with the Baldwins in their house in London in 1867 (see letter of Rev George to his wife, 3 Dec 1867, in which he says: 'I hope you are safe in London and at Conty's comfortable house')

'Poem composed by Mary Lomax'

Mary was the 1st dying 'Magdalene' to be taken into the Butler's house, but was too ill to be moved to the 'House of Rest' with the others and stayed there till she died. Her chief characteristic as JB said was 'her extraordinary joyfulness'

Biog: Ludwig Leupold