Josephine Butler to Mrs Wilson

Scope and Content

3 letters written from Wooler, Northumberland

Regarding an error in a report of an address Mrs W. made at Neuchatel, when she inadvertently spoke of the 'Central Committee of the Ladies' International Association'. 'Now there is no International Ladies' Association and there never has been, although we of the LNA have always worked cordially with the women of the Continent'. She relates how she and her sister Hatty Meuricoffre went to Geneva in the early summer of 1869 and formed a Committee there of ladies of many nationalities, and that on 25 Mar 1870 the central Committee of this Association sent from Geneva a memorial to Mr Gladstone, then Prime Minister, urging the importance of Repeal

Administrative / Biographical History

3 letters dated 25, 28, 29 Nov 1905

Letter of 25 Nov: 'It [Mrs HJ Wilson's address at Neuchatel Congress] gives prominence ... to 'North of England' work under husband's directions'

This refers to the Northern Counties League established at a meeting at Sheffield 29 Aug 1872, at which Henry J Wilson was appointed as Hon Sec with Edward Backhouse as Chairman and Joseph Edmondson, Treasurer

(For letters dealing with inauguration see 26 Aug 1872 and 18 Dec 1872 and 23 Dec 1872; and letters dealing with first meeting see 15 Sep 1873 and 4 Oct 1873

Letter of 28 Nov

'There exists now of course that Universal or worldwide Association of Women (I don't know the exact title) whose President is, I believe, the Countess of Aberdeen ... But it is of recent growth since I was laid aside by illness'

This was the National Union of Women Workers, which was formally constituted in 1895. It was largely the result of the interest in the case of friendless girls shown by Ellice Hopkins. For account of the starting of the National Union of Women Workers see under that heading 'NUWW History of the Nato Union'

For an account of the life and work of Ellice Hopkins see 'Ellice Hopkins: a memoir' by Rosa M Barrett; with introduction by Canon H Scott Holland, 1907

Biog: Mr Gladstone; Dr Worth; Countess of Aberdeen