Josephine Butler to [Rhoda Butler]

Scope and Content

Photocopy of incomplete letter.

Tells of the letters she has received from members of her family about the death of the Queen. Bob 'wept a little' when he heard; Charles's appreciation of the Queen is so good she would like to publish it. Hopes she will see them when they do come for the Funeral [on 2 Feb]

Thinks Stuart is rather vexed with her for sticking to her convictions about the War, though he is not exactly a pro-Boer. She is glad 'Kitchener has put Olive Schreiner under Martial Law!!'

Has had such an interesting letter from Jack Baldwin [great nephew]

Administrative / Biographical History

[31 Jan 1901]

Date: For dating see Table of Events following Queen's death attached to letter of 24 Jan

'I think it possible Mia may have twins' This was George's wife who had been ill for some time previously to this date. The baby, a girl was born 18 Mar 1901. Mia did not long survive the birth, dying on 26 Apr

'I am glad Kitchener has put Olive Schreiner under martial law'

In 1901 Kitchener's policy in South Africa was to conquer the country by a system of block houses built first along the railways and then pushed independently across the country. Olive Schreiner was at that time living at the little village of Hanover where the population was predominantly Afrikaans. One of the many offensives carried out by the Boer leaders took place in the vicinity of Hanover. It was not surprising therefore that a well known public figure as she was who spoke and wrote in defence of the Boers was kept under strict supervision.

'As Olive had publicly championed the cause of the Boer the British authorities appear to have treated her with some rigour. She was only permitted to leave her house at set times to fetch water and supplies, and was not allowed to receive books, papers or magazines' (Not without honour, the life and writings of Olive Schreiner, by Vera Buchanan-Gould [1968] p 177

John Baldwin was a grandson of Eliza, JB's eldest sister

Biog: Olive Schreiner, Jack Baldwin, Lord Kitchener