Josephine Butler to Catty [Stanley Butler]

Scope and Content

Photocopy of letter. Written from Liverpool. No year given. Encloses George's last letter from the Gordanne [Hatty's residence] and she will send him 'a capital letter from Harry de Pledge' [the son of Josephine Butler's youngest sister, Emily, and her first husband William de Pledge of New York]. She tells him of a series of meetings held in Liverpool, an account of which is in 'The Shield' 21 Oct 1876 which she is sending him. There was also opposition at Hull at one meeting, 'It was such fun'. Miss Amelie Humbert [daughter of Prof Aime Humbert, Continental Agent of the Federation, with his home at Neuchatel] was quite new to such a scene and was 'toute tremblante de terreur'. It was in the course of the Hull meetings that Mr CH Wilson, Liberal MP for Hull, who had been opposed to them confessed himself a convert.

Administrative / Biographical History

The 'Gordanne'. This was the Swiss home of the Meuricoffres (Josephine Butler's sister Hatty who had married a Swiss banker, Tell Meuricoffre). It was situated on Lake Geneva and was a second home to Josephine Butler and her family.

Emily, Josephine Butler's youngest sister, married William de Pledge in 1856 and had 3 children: Claud, Harry and Aimee. William died in 1860 and Emily married Jasper Bolton in 1861. 'I send you also a 'Shield' which gives the Liverpool meetings'. This was 'The Shield' of 21 Oct 1876 p. 316. There is a report of the 'Conference of Public meeting during the sittings of the Social Science Congress'. The meeting convened by the Joint Committees of the National Association, London and the Liverpool Association for the Repeal of the Contagious Diseases Acts was held on 13 Oct 1876. Rev George Butler presided and among those mentioned as present were Mrs Butler, Prof and Mrs Sheldon Amos, Prof James Stuart. '... and will send the next, when it comes out about the Hull meetings. We had very crowded meetings, violent opposition at one ... and Miss Humbert quite new to such scenes was 'toute tremblante de terreur'. The Hull meeting (reported in 'The Shield' of 4 Nov 1876 p. 342) was held on 19 Oct convened under the auspices of the Ladies' National Association. Mr CH Wilson (MP for Hull) was in the chair and supporting him were Sir Harcourt Johnstone MP, Josephine Butler, Prof Sheldon Amos. Amelie Humbert (daughter of Prof Aime Humbert, Continental Agent of the Federation). In Apr 1877, Amelie Humbert accompanied Josephine Butler to Birmingham to attend a series of meetings and at the last meeting it was announced that she had been helping Josephine Butler in her labours during the last year and was now returning to Switzerland in consequence of the illness of her mother (See 'The Shield' 28 Apr 1877 p.117). 'Thick' - a pet name in the Butler family for Prof James Stuart. Biog: Mr Stansfeld; Amelie Humbert; Sir Harcourt Johnstone; Charles Henry Wilson, Liberal MP for Hull.