Josephine Butler to Rhoda Butler

Scope and Content

Photocopy of letter. Written from Wooler, Northumberland.

Reports that George and Mia's children are well [Hetha b.1896 and Horace b. 1898] She expresses her dislike of 'Hell-fire' or 'Terrorist' preachers and relates how poor Catherine Booth is under 'the black displeasure of her father, General Booth' and 'almost expelled from the Salvation Army' because in her preaching she will have nothing to do with terror. She has had a cheerful letter from Con [Constance, sister of Rhoda Butler and daughter of Emily (youngest sister of JB) by her second husband, Jasper Bolton. Con married Dr Frank Hudson] She has received a number of letters from abroad and at home thanking her for taking up the cause of Finland in her Periodical 'Storm Bell' [The Feb Manifesto of Feb 1899 issued by the Russians virtually abrogated the legislative power of the Finnish diet] She is sending her a photograph of a picture of Marie Griffin [her great niece, daughter of Edith Leupold] taken by the famous Italian sculptor Jerracci.

Administrative / Biographical History

30 Mar [1899]

'I have not seen or heard of the Milfield people at all.' Milfield was the original home of the Grey family, i.e. John Grey and his wife Hannah, where 3 sons and 5 daughters were born (10 children altogether). They moved to Dilston in 1833 when Josephine was the 7th child, and youngest daughter Emily Georgina was born at Dilston in 1836.

The Milfield property was taken over by George Annett Grey (1815-1886) the eldest of the family. He married Elizabeth Boyd in 1878 and had a family of 2 sons and 4 daughters. The 2nd son, George Grey (1851-1915) took over Milfield and married Christian Margaret, daughter and heiress of George Grey of Middle Ord, and had 7 children. It would be the last mentioned family that JB would be referring to.

'George, Mia and Hetha came yesterday.'

George was JB's eldest son, living since is retirement from the Civil Service in 1896 on his wife's estate, Ewart Park, Northumberland. At that date [1899] George and Mia had two children, Hetha born 26 Jul 1896 and Horace born 21 Jan 1898.

'I sympathise with poor Catherine Booth, when I saw her in Brussels. She is almost expelled from the Salvation Army and is under the black displeasure of her father, General Booth, because in all her meetings she preaches only the love of God and of Christ and will have nothing to do with terror ...'

(See also letters of 16 Oct [1899] and 7 Jun 1906)

'I had a nice and cheerful letter from Con.'

This was Constance Mary (b. 30 Jan 1866) daughter of Emily (youngest sister of JB) by her 2nd husband Jasper Bolton, and sister of Rhoda married to Stanley. Constance married Dr Frank Hodson and they had 3 children.'

'Taking up the cause of Finland, in my little 'Storm Bell'.

The Feb manifesto (15 Feb 1899) virtually abrogated the legislation power of the Finnish diet and the country was gradually taken over by Russian officials.

'Storm Bell' was a monthly news sheet written and brought out by JB. It ran from Jan 1898 to Jul 1900.

'A photograph from a picture of Marie Griffin by the famous Italian sculptor Jerracci. Marie was the daughter of Edith Leupold who was married to a Swiss and lived at Geneva and she was the daughter of JB's eldest sister Eliza who married Dr William Morrison and had 4 children. Marie married as her 1st husband Sir Lepal Griffin and had two children.

Biog: Catherine Booth (daughter of General Booth), Marie Griffin