Josephine Butler to 'Dear Friend' [Miss Forsaith]

Scope and Content

Written from Ashbourne, Sunderland, [The home of Mrs Backhouse]. No year.

Reported that they had had 'a large and splendid women's meeting at Sunderland' but after the meeting the President of the Sunderland Branch of the BWTA [British Women's Temperance Association] came to tell her that their members had received the circular signed by Mr McLaren enclosing the memorial form to send to Lord George Hamilton against the Regulation, but quickly after came a circular from Lady Henry Somerset telling them not to sign it; her reasons for this would follow. They had all been much moved by JB's address, but said 'it is almost impossible for the women generally of the BWTA to question anything Lady Henry does or says'. For herself she is 'faint but pursuing' and will fight to the last.

Administrative / Biographical History

1 Jul [1897]

'enclosing a memorial form to send to Lord G Hamilton'

2 Jul 1897 Prof Stuart sends LNA Memorial (61,437 signatures) to Lord G Hamilton protesting against any re-introduction of State Regulation. (See 'Shield' for Aug 1897) (Rough Record 880A)

Lord George Hamilton was Secretary of State for India in Lord Salisbury's 3rd Cabinet 1895-1902.

A memorial form for signature has been sent to each member of the Sunderland Branch of the BWTA but quickly after it a circular from Lady Henry Somerset telling them not to sign it.

21 Apr 1897 Lady Henry speaking as President of the British Branch of the WWCTU had declared herself in favour of Regulation in a letter to Lord George Hamilton published in the 'Times' (Rough Record 844)

29 Nov 1897 JB resigned her office in the WWCTU (Rough Record 937)

8 Feb 1898 Lady Henry's 'retraction' appeared in some of the daily papers.

(Shield and Sentinel Mar 1 1898 Rough Record 956)

JB writing from Sunderland says:

'We have had a large and splendid women's meeting here'

In the Shield for Jul 1897 p 30 it says:

'Other meetings have been held; for instance a Conference at Sheffield ... and meetings for women addressed by Mrs Butler and others at Sunderland and at Clifton, which we have no space to report'

Biog: Lady Henry Somerset, WSB McLaren, Lord George Hamilton, Mrs Backhouse