Josephine Butler,Social Reformer, 30 December 2016

For An Australian Lectionary year A 2017

Josephine Butler (1828 – 1906)-

BBC – History


Josephine Butler in 1876-A woman looks to the left of the camera; she has shoulder-length hair and a large skirted dress 1

Josephine Butler, c.1885  Butler was a 19th century British social reformer, who played a major role in improving conditions for women in education and public health.

Josephine Butler was born on 13 April 1828 in Northumberland. Her father John Grey was a strong advocate of social reform and a campaigner against the slave trade. His cousin was Earl Grey, British prime minister between 1830 and 1834.

Josephine married George Butler in 1852. He was an academic with similar political views to her own. Together they had four children but in 1863, their six year old daughter died. In an attempt to cope with her grief, Butler threw herself into charity work,[ continued]

Source: BBC – History – Josephine Butler

Article 2 

A brief introduction to the life of Josephine Butler from the Josephine Butler Memorial trust


Josephine Butler in 1851 by George Richmond (1809-1896)

Josephine Elizabeth Grey was born in Northumberland in 1828, to a wealthy and prominent family. Educated at home in English and Italian literature and the works of the Church Fathers, she was also strongly influenced by her father’s passion for social reform and hatred of injustice. When she married George Butler, then a tutor at Oxford, in 1852, she found a like mind, and together over the course of their lives they supported the abolition of slavery, showed concern for the socially disadvantaged, and argued for better rights for marginalized women.


Living first at Oxford, then at Cheltenham College, the Butlers had four children, the youngest of whom, Eva, died at the age of six after falling from the banisters at the top of their stairs. Her daughter’s death left a deep scar in Josephine Butler, and it was particularly in the aftermath of this tragedy that she appears to have turned more to social campaigning on behalf of prostitutes, and promoting education and moral reform.[continued]

Source: A Brief Introduction to the Life of Josephine Butler


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