Josephine Butler to Mr HJ Wilson

Scope and Content

Thanks him warmly for his help. Thinks their dining room will be big enough for the Committee meeting to be held on 19 Mar. Would like to introduce him to an Italian, Londini, librarian at the Athenaeum at Liverpool, who has helped her with Italian statistics, and is sympathetic to their cause. On a separate sheet she gives suggested Agenda for the Meeting on the 19th which begins with settling the constitution and title of the Federation. She adds that some people may fear that the foreign work may divert attention from the work at home. On the contrary she thinks that the interaction of the two will work for the good of the English movement (cites two examples of this). This was the meeting of the British and Continental Federation for the Abolition of Government Regulation of Vice

Administrative / Biographical History


Constitution of the Federation

This was the first meeting of the Committee of the British and Continental Federation for the Abolition of Government Regulation of Vice (alternatively known as the International Federation for Abolition of Government Regulation of Prostitution). The formation of this Federation was the direct outcome of Josephine's Report of her winter campaign on the Continent in the winter of 1874/5 delivered for the first time at a small Conference held at Westminster Palace Hotel on 4 Mar. It met at JB's house in Liverpool on 19 Mar when the government of the Federation was determined and the chief English officers affronted. President, Mr Stansfeld; Secretaries, JB and HJ Wilson; Treasurer (later), M William Crosfield ('Shield' 1 Apr 1875 p 102)

'Charlotte' - HJ Wilson's wife

'Dr Despres pamphlet'

Dr Despres, Professor of the Faculty of Medicient in Paris, and for many years surgeon to the Lourcine Hospital in the largest venereal hospital for women in Paris. His opinion of the Parisian system of regulating prostitution with the object of preventing the spread of venereal diseases was expressed in a pamphlet published in 1870 entitled 'Estoil un moyen d'arreter la propogation des maladies veneruennes?' His view was that the system as practised in France achieved by way of remedy 'nothing or almost nothing' (See 'Shield' 1 Apr 1875 p106)

'Lecour's pamphlet' - Mr Lecour stated in his pamphlet that the result of State interference had been a continued diminution in the number of three registered women but on the other hand prostitutes ('insoumises') so that all that had happened was a change of form, but attended with an increased peril to the health of the male who had recourse to them ('Shield' 1 Apr 1875 p 108)

Biog: Mr Backhouse; Londini; Dr Despres; Mr Buisson; M Humbert; M Lecourt; Mr Stansfeld; HJ Wilson; Mr William Crosfield