Josephine Butler to an MP

Scope and Content

On 'Ought women to be in the Gallery of the House of Commons on the 27th? After giving all the stock views she ends:'... in a question so vital and solemn as this, self ought to be forgotten, and there ought never to be heard such sentimental talk either among men or women about our feelings of delicacy or any personal pain'.

Administrative / Biographical History

[Before 27 Feb 1883, c. 20 Feb 1883. 'Hopwood's motion condemning the compulsory examination of women under the CD Acts crowded out by debate on the Address.' (RR no. 437 'Shield' 3 Mar p.51) (See Note on this. Letter of JB to the Priestmans [17 Feb 1883]). The motion was brought up again Apr 20 by Mrs Stansfeld and this time passed. 20 Apr 1883.' Mr Stansfeld moved in House of Commons: that this House disapproves of the compulsory examination of women under the CD Acts.' Carried by 182 to 110. Majority of 72. (RR no. 444 'Shield' 1 May p.109) 'Sixteen members of the government voted for the resolution [Gladstone's 2nd Cabinet in Office 1880-Jun 1885]. Gladstone paired in its favour.' (James Stansfeld by J.L. Hammond and Barbara Hammond pp.229-32). The CD Acts were not finally repealed till 1886 but by this motion they were rendered unworkable.