Josephine Butler to Miss Emily Ford

Scope and Content

Photocopy of letter. Written from Bern. She describes the struggle they had to save her husband's life and how the doctors had said that for three weeks he was 'face to face with death', but now 'he improves a little every day'. All their sons visited them in turn, and George was with them at the moment.

Administrative / Biographical History

15 Nov [1886]. Miss Emily Ford was the 2nd daughter of Mrs Hannah Ford of Leeds, who was an old friend of JB's and very generous to her in gifts for special projects and in helping her 'times of illness involving herself or family. 'She died 21 Mar 1886. The daughter Emily carried on the friendship and the generous help in time of trouble as this letter shows. The Butlers had come out to Switzerland again in Sep 1886 hoping to restore the Canon to health but he had been stricken down again with rheumatic fever and heart. They had moved out of Bern to a small pension in the country most unsuited for nursing a sick man when the autumn chills settled down on the country. Finally they managed to get him to Bern to the comforts of a good hotel; so that she could write: 'the danger seems to be over.' 'Will you be so kind as to send this letter to Lady Mount Temple from which I had a most precious note as my husband had from Lord Mount Temple.' JB in 'Recollections of George Butler' recounts a visit Lord Mount Temple paid to his sick friend in the summer of that year in Winchester. 'His strength and simplicity of faith were fortifying to us both and my husband never forgot the kindness of that visit' p.422. Biog: Mrs Hannah Ford; Miss Emily Ford; Lord and Lady Mount Temple (Cowper Temple)