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Josephine Elizabeth Butler (née Grey) (1828-1906), Social reformer

Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue

Sitter in 2 portraits
Living in Liverpool from 1866, Butler helped to establish refuges for friendless women, housing large numbers of them in her own home. The Contagious Disease Acts of 1864, 1866 and 1869 effectively established government brothels for soldiers and sailors. They placed prostitutes under police supervision while making it hard for them to leave their line of work. Butler led the campaign for the repeal of these Acts, which succeeded in 1886. Her writings include a Life of St Catherine of Siena (1898), a Life of Pastor Oberlin (1882), The Hour Before The Dawn (a tract on the campaign to repeal the Contagious Disease Acts; 1876) and Personal Reminiscences of a Great Crusade (1896).

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