Josephine Butler to Miss Forsaith

Scope and Content

Photocopy of letter.

She refers to 'The letter of the Army Chaplain' as 'very interesting' and also about the 'Army Order' as having a better motive 'than we had supposed' [See notes on both of these] Discusses difficulties of a Standing Army in Peace Time; also the position of 'fallen women' as a class apart.

Administrative / Biographical History

'The letter of the Army Chaplain is very interesting'

Entry in the 'Shield' Apr, 1898 p 101

The following is part of a recent letter from an Army Chaplain:

'... I thank you for the leaflet re State Sanctions of Vice. The latter is a subject I hear of occasionally both from men and officers among whom I am. And it is significant that while the latter almost to a man would revive all the hideous licensing and inspection practices, the men (whom one may suppose they speak for) are all loud in condemning the sanctions of prostitution by the Army Authorities'

'When I first heard of this Army order'

An article in the Shield Oct 1897 pp 41-42 says:

'A general order has been issued by the Commander in Chief in India, Sir George White beginning with the statement':

'The extent of venereal diseases in the British Army in India has become a consideration of such extreme gravity that very special means must be adopted to decrease its prevalence'

The means to be taken were the obvious restrictions and limitations on the trade of prostitution, but more important the encouraging of soldiers in healthy exercise and physical recreation and also by selected

'combatant and medical officers being invited to deliver lectures to the men of the evil consequences of consorting with loose women in India'

'When I was delayed at York on my last visit to Northumberland'

JB went up to stay with her son George at Ewart early in Jan 1898.