Josephine Butler to Mr Johnson

Scope and Content

Written from The Close, Winchester (headed paper). She describes the scene when, before Mr Thomas Stamford Raffles, she made 'a statement on oath in a crowded room full of magistrates' at Liverpool. This statement was reproduced in French in the 'National' of Brussels and repeated in a 100 other journals. No attempt was made to contradict any of her statements or to prosecute her. On the contrary the result was the dismissal of three of the chief police officers concerned in the traffic.

Administrative / Biographical History

Date The first account we have of JB's deposition on oath before an English Magistrate of the charges she had made against officials in Belgium involved in the traffic of English girls to the brothels of Belgium is 'Extract of letter from Mrs Butler on Belgian denials late Autumn 1880'. (See this with Notes.) This letter of 16 May cannot have been written before 1883 as the Butlers did not move to their new home at Winchester till 3 Nov 1882. Mr Johnson was George W. Johnson, a civil servant. He and his wife were close friends of JB, HJ Wilson and James Stuart, and it was they who edited the autobiographical memoir written by Josephine Butler in 1909. Biog: George W Johnson; M. Lemoine and Schraeder; M. Lenaers; Mr Thomas Stamford Raffles; Sir Howard Vincent.