Josephine Butler to Miss Mary Priestman

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 106 3JBL/27/20
  • Former Reference
      GB 106 4135
  • Dates of Creation
      29 Jul 1888
  • Physical Description
      1 item

Scope and Content

Written from 9 The Close, Winchester. To say that she has left Mrs Smytton in the hands of Mrs Meuricoffre and Mrs Thomas (both her sisters) having been with her five days and nights during which time she was in a deep stupor. She saw her son Charles off for South Africa on the 19 Jul and 'we all hope the good climate will restore him'. She is anxious for the circulation of the 'Dawn' and thankful for all subs.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sunday [Jul 29 1888] 'I have just left my dear sister Mrs Smytton in the hands of Mrs Meuricoffre and Mrs Thomas.' From the Canon's letter of 24 Jul we learn that Mrs Smytton was struck down on Friday the 20th and that JB hoped to return home on the 25th. In her letter she speaks of being with her sister 5 days during which time she lay completely unconscious, until the last moment of her stay. Mrs Smytton recovered from this stroke or seizure and lived till 1895. This gives us the date of this letter. 'I am writing to Miss Bragg to thank her for hers also' [PO for £1]. The Priestman's mother was born Rachel Bragg so this Miss Bragg would be a cousin of their friends the Miss Priestmans. They also belonged to the Friends and they lived at Plymouth. 'I shall try to get to Copenhagen if I can.' The International Conference of the Federation was held this year at Copenhagen in Sep. Both the Butlers attended. 'I am anxious for the circulation of the 'Dawn' and thankful for all subscriptions. It is entirely my own undertaking.' This was a quarterly issued by JB to fill the gap left by the closing down of the 'Shield' after the Repeal of the CD Acts in 1886. The 1st no was May 1888 and it lasted till Oct 1896. It was almost entirely written by JB herself and contained news from all parts of the world. The 'Sentinel' contained some news of interest to the Federation but JB complained in a letter of 27 Feb [1888] 'not an inch of space can I get in the 'Sentinel' to report any continental news, Mr Maurice Gregory is so full of India'. Biog: Mrs Meuricoffre; Mrs Thomas; Mrs Smyttan ; (all JB's sisters); Miss Bragg.