Rev George Butler to Josephine Butler

Scope and Content

Written from Liverpool to London. Prophecies that she will be victorious in her 'fight with wild beasts' (see Note). Relates that Selwyn had been interviewed and approved by the Committee neglecting a successor to himself. Is having correspondence with Mr Holland of Cornhill (see note) about holiday duty there in July.

Administrative / Biographical History

'Tomorrow you will have your grand 'fight with wild beasts.' This refers to JB being called to give evidence before the Select Committee of the House of Commons on 5 May 1882. A Select Committee of the House of Commons was appointed in 1879 to examine the expense and the efficiency of the CD Acts. It sat for 68 days and examined 71 witnesses, beginning its work in the summer of 1880 and finishing in 1882. JB was called to give evidence 5 May. The Report was issued Aug 1882. Chief Inspector gave evidence again as he had before the Royal Commission of 1871 and upheld the views he had already well aired in 1868 and 1871; the majority report was also much as that of 1871, that is it did not recommend the repeal of the Acts. However, Sir James Stansfeld who was one of the Committee prepared, with the aid of Prof. James Stuart and HJ Wilson, a Minority Report which gave, instead of opinions based on personal opinion and hearsay, verifiable statistics. This made a considerable impact on the House of Commons and was largely responsible for the carrying of the Resolution (20 Apr 1883) disapproving of the compulsory examination of women under the CD Acts by a majority of 72. Selwyn. Appointed to succeed Rev George as Principal of Liverpool College. 'Charlie's departure with his cub.' The Butlers' youngest son had taken on a private pupil temporarily - his mother mentions him (Willy Garnett) in her letter of 4 May. Mr Holland ... will be delighted if I occupy his house at Cornhill the four last Sundays in July.' In 'Recollections of George Butler' by his wife (p.364), she writes: 'We spent some weeks of the early summer [of 1882] at Cornhill on the Tweed, where my husband took the ministerial duty of Mr Holland the vicar.' At Cornhill they were near JB's old home, Millfield Hill, where she was born, and then occupied by her brother George Grey. 'I have written to Elizabeth Grey.' This was either George Grey's second wife Elizabeth whom he married 1858 (d. 1893) or Elizabeth Neil Grey eldest daughter of George Gray by his first wife Elizabeth Boyd who died 1856. The daughter was born in 1851.

Biog: Lady Derby; (Stanley, Edward Henry, 15th Earl of Derby - 1826-93);Mrs Talbot (Mrs Reginald Talbot); Selwyn; Elizabeth Grey; Rev Holland