Josephine Butler to Mr Martineau

Scope and Content

Copy letter. Written from Winchester. Thanks him for his letter; sympathises profoundly with his view of the present crisis in their cause and of the necessity of a greatly renewed activity in it. Early in Nov would suit her for a Conference in Birmingham as she is moving from Liverpool to Winchester and could stop off on the way. With regard to his plan for calling on Mr Stansfeld she says how she herself would present the matter to him; that he has made great sacrifices for the Cause and that they feel now that it is time that they should form a Parliamentary Committee out of the House to work for and with him and that this side action will produce a great effect in the House, so that in another Session he will not find himself so isolated etc. etc. They should also try to win Mr Shaen to their ideas 'We had a most encouraging time at Neuchatel' (International conference)

Administrative / Biographical History

'I sympathise profoundly with your view of the present crisis in our Cause, and of a greatly renewed activity in it.' JB had emphasized the need of missionary work by individuals in a letter she addressed to the Committee of the British, Continental and General Federation, 11 Jan 1879: 'It is not by official machinery that we shall conquer,' she says, 'but by self sacrifice and by unwearying missionary zeal without which no great cause was ever won.' 'The earliest date you can fix in Nov would suit me best.' The Conference in Birmingham was finally fixed for Tues 7 Nov 1882. Notices of it issued by W Wastell, Sec., MCEU (Midland Counties Electoral Union). 'The National' was the 'National Association for Repeal of the Acts' formed in 1870 to be the central body of the Repeal movement with Headquarters in London. '... and you have been and are visited by severe domestic trials' [suggested things to say to Mr Stansfeld if Martineau calls upon him]. This refers to the severe trial Stansfeld was under at that time: in the spring of 1881 his wife, Caroline, was struck down by an incurable disease affecting mind and body. She lingered till 1885. 'We feel now that it is time that we should form a powerful Parliamentary Committee out of the House, to work for and with you ...' This was adopted as a Resolution at the Parliamentary Committee set up at meeting of 7 Nov 1882 at Birmingham. 'I have had grave thoughts in my mind ever since our Bill was postponed.' '13 Feb 1882, Repeal Bill introduced by Mr Stansfeld RR 418. 19 Jul, Repeal Bill - 2nd reading. Motion to exclude strangers defeated by 175 to 38. 'Previous question' carried. RR 423 (see 'Shield', 29 Jul, p.149-153). 'We had a most encouraging time at Neuchâtel.' This referred to the meeting of the International Conference held at Neuchâtel, 19 Sep 1882. It was the home town of the Humbert family. 'Westminster Chambers' Address of the Central Office of the National Association. Biog:Mr James Stansfeld; Mr Shaen; Mr RF Martineau .