Josephine Butler to Miss Forsaith

Scope and Content

Written from Eversley, Balham (Mrs de Selincourt's home).

She says that as the time is short (the LNA Committee is being held on Monday 3 Jul, with the public meeting the same evening) she is sending Annie to her with 'a rough outline of what may be a groundwork for the Committee to work out. She thinks two substantial Resolutions will be enough. One important Resolution is for providing help for Mrs Tanner as Treasurer. JB is sending a letter to be read at the LNA Committee on this subject. Gives directions about speakers at the evening meeting.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sunday [1 Jul 1899]

Enclosed is letter signed by JB to 'The Ladies Committee met at Exeter Hall 3 Jul 1899'. This was originally sent separately to Miss Forsaith

Date: The fact that Annie was sent up to see Miss Forsaith on the Saturday shows that this was 1 Jul as, if it had been the Saturday before, there would have been no hurry. There was obviously no time on this Saturday to get an answer by post on Monday. 'Annie' was JB's maid.

'Mrs Tanner, the need of help as Treasurer' Mrs Tanner (sister of the Miss Priestmans) had been Hon Treasurer of the LNA since its inception in 1870

'The niece of Mrs Tanner' This was the daughter of William and Helen Clark, of Street, friends of JB and generous donors to the Cause. Helen Clark was a daughter of Elizabeth Priestman who married John Bright, and was a sister of Mrs Tanner. Esther Clark married a Mr Clothier and she was the great niece of Mrs Tanner.

A sketch of her is given in the letter of 3 Jul to be read to the Cttee, enclosed now with letter of 1 Jul

'I am so glad about Mrs Wilson's paper. It was sure to be good' This referred to the paper read by Mrs HJ Wilson at the International Congress of Women, at the meeting held on Friday 30 Jun 1899 at the Church House, Westminster. On this day they were met to consider the 'Social necessity for an equal moral standard for men and women'. Mrs Butler was to have introduced the subject but her state of health prevented her, and Mrs Wilson was invited to take her place. She first read a letter from Mrs Butler and then read a paper which dealt entirely with the subject of the State Regulation of Vice.

For further details about the Congress and the papers read see The 'Shield' May 1899 p 29 and Jul 1899 p 47 (See also letters of 22 Apr and 22 May 1899)

'Mrs Creichton [sic] I never had the least confidence in' Mrs Creighton, wife of the bishop of London presided at the Friday meeting of 30 Jun described above. She also joined in the discussion

'I wonder if the Bieber Bishop spoke' Frau Bieber Bohn read a paper at this meeting in which he paid a grateful tribute to Mrs Butler and proclaimed her entire agreement with equal laws for women and men (Shield Jul 1899 p 47)

'You will ... carefully remove all team roses' Was this injunction to Miss Forsaith a personal idiosyncrasy or a sign that she suffered from hay fever?

Biog: Annie, William Clark (of Street), Mrs Tanner, Mrs Thomas (sister), FH Poppitz, Mme de Tscherner, Mlle Vidart, Mrs Little, Mrs HJ Wilson Mrs Creichton, Bieber Bohn