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Butler, Josephine

Butler, Josephine (1828–1906). Campaigner for women. Born in Northumberland, daughter of John Grey, a political agent for the Whigs, she married George Butler, an academic and later dean of Winchester, in 1852. She first took up philanthropic work amongst poor women in Oxford and continued it after moving to Liverpool in 1864. She became president of the North of England Council for the Higher Education of Women (1869–70) and secretary (1869–85) of the Ladies' National Association for the Repeal of the Contagious Diseases Acts, passed in 1866–9 to regulate prostitution in garrison towns and ports. She campaigned against this abuse of women's rights and its double standard of morality until repeal in 1883–6. In 1874 she took up the cause of girls exported for prostitution, and later supported W. T. Stead's National Vigilance Association. She withdrew from public life after the death of her husband in 1890.

Edward Royle

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