Mr Wilson to |Mr Edmondson]

Scope and Content

Copy of letter. Deals with the work of the Society and correspondence and the work of John Hardy (Agent).


Dear Mr Edmondson,

I have told Whitehead to send you by this post a copy of a letter from [? Marlbroth] to Mrs Butler about ladies in House of Commons.

I only got it this morning from London but Mrs Butler also writes asking for our opinion on it in time for her committee tomorrow so I hope you will write if you can tonight. I have not enough knowledge of Fowler or of any others to pretend to offer advice, and I shall say so to Mrs Butler and to Banks. As they put it, it is not a matter of choice but of necessity.

We also forward for perusal a letter of Herfords in which I very much concur.

About John Hardy of Bradford. I am rather concerned at what seems a horrible failure with him. I never dreamed of his being a fit man to attend a conference of that kind and make a long speech.

I looked at him as a man to push about among the masses and get up their interest, and he seems to me to have his head nearly turned by the kind reception of your wealth Quaker friends.

Pray stand no nonsense from him, snub him and send him among his own people.

As far as I see it comes to this: he had Monday to Thursday night to bring in the popular element and he utterly failed. The 14 people who attended would have responded to any invitation from yourself I take it. I fail to get from him that he rooted out even 20 men in the 4 days. He says he was waiting for a list of somebody else's! Why his 'end of being' is to find out people new and old.

His report is a perpetual ringing the changes of Priestmans and Cooke & Co. Nobody new at all!

Then comes his speech, for which he has no qualifications, which seems very long and very rubbishy and very erroneous. What possible connection had the formation of the League with the Deputation of Working men. The League was so far conceived that I had a long talk with Hooppell about it on the day for the deputation!

So with other points, utter folly!

Of course I am in considerable ignorance as to what you have asked him to do, but he seems to me to have mistaken his (? rank) as a pioneer among the crowd and to be quite 'stuck up' with his new dignity as a teacher of educated politicians.

He says you want him to have and carry about the Blue Book of Evidence. He says he could have explained the Acts and Bruce's Bill as well as you did if he had been in possessions of the Acts!!! Impudence!

Now this brings us to the very question, what are his functions. I say to pioneer, to call on people, to distribute papers, to get bills posted, to deliver a popular address and to arrange when needful for better men to follow him. If in time he shows fitness for a higher kind of work - well and good. If you are satisfied he is fit for better work now - well and good. Meantime he is in your charge and you have lifted him out of the work and the class I contemplated him as adapted for!!

Yours truly in haste

Henry J Wilson

Administrative / Biographical History

11 Nov [187]2. Biog: Mr Whitehead (Agent); Mr John Hardy (Agent); Mr Charles J Herford; Dr Hooppell