Josephine Butler to Stanley Butler

Archive Unit
  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 106 3JBL/23/08
  • Former Reference
      GB 106 5230
  • Dates of Creation
      26 Mar 1884
  • Physical Description
      1 item

Scope and Content

Photocopy of letter. Written from Winchester. Says that his father will be attending Dr Ridding's consecration on 1 May at St Paul's Cathedral [Dr Ridding had just been appointed to the new see of Southwell, and was a supporter of the Cause] Tom Bolton, her nephew, who is very ill, is coming up with his brother to go to the House of Healing in North London. JB has spent a day there observing the scene and feels convinced that if the boy 'is not healed bodily, he will I am sure come back with a new light and joy'. Her husband wishes that some of the Church Theologians, such as Canon Westcott would go and see for themselves and write about it instead of ignoring the whole thing. The day she went there were grand people in carriages, and beggars in rags. She saw Lady Radstock sitting in the passage unable to get into the Hall and her two daughters inside testifying that they had been raised up in one hour from infectious fever. She was pushed to the front as they wanted her to see 'all who were healed and those who were not'. She describes many healings but her dominant conviction was that 'the Spirit of God was there in such striking and evident power that everyone was held calm and waiting and in awe'.

Administrative / Biographical History

26 Mar 1884 'Dr Ridding's consecration on the 1st of May in St Paul's London.' Dr Ridding (1828-1904) was Headmaster of Winchester 1866-1884. He was then appointed Bishop of Southwell, a new diocese. The comment made by the Shield on his appointment was: 'We are very glad to learn that one of the most earnest and able friends of our Cause has been elevated to the new See of Southwell' (Shield Feb 1884 p 36) Hence Canon George's wish to be present at his consecration. 'The Tercentenary in Edinburgh.' Edinburgh University was founded in 1583 by a royal charter granted by James IV. 'This war in Egypt seems to get worse and larger and more sanguinary.' See note on Egypt in letter of 19 Feb 1884. 'I often wonder if poor 'Gunner Butler' will be sent out.' Arthur and Tom Bolton, were nephews of JB; sons of her sister Emily who married in 1861 as her 2nd husband Jasper Bolton. They had 5 children, 2 boys and 3 girls. 'The House of healing in North London.' The name given to this was Bethshan which means literally 'The House of Rest' (Concordance). In a letter of 10 Feb [1884] JB mentions Mrs Baxter 'the healer' who 'offered prayer in her clear voice' and she was known as the healer of Bethshan. This letter describes a visit to the House of Healing made by JB herself. Biog: Dr Ridding; General Gordon; Arthur Bolton; Tom Bolton; Canon Westcott; (Waldegrave, Granville AW 1833-1913 3rd Baron Radstock); Lady Radstock; Mr Boardman, Rev W E; Mrs Baxter.