Josephine Butler to Mr Edmondson

Scope and Content

Delighted with his Resolution 'the strongest I have seen'. The text of Mr Charley's Bastardy Bill may be altered before it is printed so they had better wait before presenting a petition. Rest of the letter is an attack on the powers that doctors have usurped. 'We may truly say the rage of these medical legislators now is 'a rebellion for the speculum that hideous instrument of hell'.

Administrative / Biographical History

'Mr Charley's Bastardy Bill' - The title of the Bill was 'A Bill to amend the law of Bastardy and for the better protection of girls'. The Bill aimed at allowing a 'reasonable' contribution from the father (instead of limit of 2/6 weekly). It also proposed raising the age of protection from 12 to 14 years. ('Shield' 15 Jun 1872 p 972)

Mr William Thomas Charley (later Sir William) was a conservative member for Salford; he was a lawyer and was the author of some useful measures

Biog: Mr Edmondson; Mr Stansfeld; Sir James Mackintosh; Charley, Sir William Thomas