Josephine Butler to Mr Wilson

Scope and Content

Written from Liverpool. When in London saw Mr Mundella and a few of our friendly MPs who all agreed that Mr Fowler should continue with his Repeal Bill. They also urged the presenting of Petitions at once (Sheffield thanks to Mr Wilson had presented a monster one). She has been to Newcastle, York and Cambridge speaking on the question and wishes they could work other towns in the matter of Petitions.

Administrative / Biographical History

Saturday [Apr 1872]

'The desirableness of Mr Fowler going on at once with his Repeal Bill' See note on letter from JB to Mr McLaren of Glasgow, 27 May 1871 when Mr Fowler had twice tried to introduce a Repeal Bill and failed. The Repealers continued to urge the introduction of a Repeal Bill. On 13 Apr a Resolution was sent from Newcastle Associations urging Mr Fowler to introduce his Bill for Repeal. (Rough Record 13 Apr 1872 no 187)

Jul 9 1872 Mr Fowler's Repeal Bill 'counted out on reassembling at 9 o'clock and before he had said anything. (Rough Record 195)

His final effort was made 21 May 1873 when the Second Reading of the Repeal Bill was thrown out 128 for, 251 against. (RR 242 Stansfeld voted for this Bill)

'Mr Rylands and Warrington' - Mr Rylands was a member for Warrington from 1868 to 1874. JB says 'I would like to give him a little whipping through his constitution' In the General Election early in 1874 Mr Rylands failed to be reelected. In 1876 he was returned as member for Burnley.

'Mr Stuart's letter in the Shield on the Mutiny Bill' - The Mutiny Bill that laid down the military law of England was re-enacted every year. The chief objection to it for those interested in the welfare of the soldier's family was Section 40 of the Act which expressly exempted every soldier in HM's service from liability for the maintenance of his wife and children. Mr Stuart in his letter draws attention to the 'immorality and injustice' occasioned by this section, and points out that the more extended 'localisation' of the army [see Cardwell's army reforms not on letter 12 Mar 1872 JB to Repealers of the CD Acts] 'will soon expose many more districts to the evil teaching' (The Shield Apr 20 1872 p.908)

'The Infant Life Bill' - Following on an enquiry on the means of preventing the high mortality rate of infants put out to nurse for hire by their parents was an Act passed in 1872 which provided for the compulsory registration of all houses in which more than one child under the age of one year were received for a longer period than 24 hours

(Enc Brit 11th ed)

'The Bastardy Bill' - See note on 'Mr Charley's Bastardy Bill' in letter from JB to Mr Edmondson 28 Mar 1872

Biog: Mr W Fowler; Mr Mundella; Mr Rylands; Sir William Thomas Charley