Josephine Butler to her 'Dear Friend' [Miss Forsaith]

Scope and Content

'Private'. No date or address but written to be read at a meeting on 24 Apr 1897 called to consider the consequences of Lady Henry Somerset's published letter in 'The Times' on 21 Apr 1897 which was in favour of regulation

'I here send you a letter written almost on my knees ... It must be read at the meeting ... and it must be printed and circulated throughout the country'. This must have been addressed to a meeting of the British Committee of the Federation, not the Ladies' National Association, because she writes: 'either read it yourself or get some ardent person to read it not a Parliament man.' Also to circulate the letter throughout the country would require a central office which the Ladies' National Association did not possess.

'We are on the eve of a great defeat unless we arise in our strength'

Administrative / Biographical History

Lady Henry Somerset's six propositions

Josephine Butler was horrified by Lady Henry Somerset's six propositions purporting to be a solution of the problem which had proved insoluble to the various civilised countries of the world. But though unable to deliver speeches around the country, Josephine used her only weapon a pen, and wrote her letter to the Committee. The substance of which was reproduced in her pamphlet 'Truth before everything'

The pamphlet: 'Truth before everything'

For note giving further details see letter dated 7 Aug 1897, Josephine Butler to Miss Priestman.

Dates concerned in Josephine Butler's campaign against Lady Henry Somerset's action:

21 Apr 1897- Publication of Lady Henry Somerset's six propositions in the Times ('Rough Record' no 844)

26 Apr 1897 - Josephine Butler in her letter of Monday morning says 'I am just starting for London'

29 Apr 1897 -Meeting of the British Committee of the Federation.

Josephine Butler in her letter dated 26 Apr 1897 says 'I will come to Committee on Thursday

Date of letter marked 'Private' is therefore probably the end of the week in which Lady Henry Somerset's propositions were made public, which would be Sat 24 Apr 1897.