View previous topic | View next topic

Branwell Booth

Page 1 of 1

Frederick The Monk
2069.  Tue Nov 25, 2003 6:27 am Reply with quote

In the 1920's the Salvation Army, perhaps suprisingly, fell victim to a military coup. It had always been the intention of the Founder and 'General' of the Salvation Army - William Booth - that the leadership of the organisation should be chosen by him and his heirs. On his death he left a sealed envelope naming his successor, who not surprisingly turned out to be his son Branwell, and instructions that this method of 'election' for the General should continue.

As Branwell approached his 'promotion to Glory' (as the Sally Army call death), his thoughts naturally turned to the succession once more. When he informed his fellow officers of his intention to personally nominate his successor there seems to have been some degree of consternation amongst them although the Salvation Army will not reveal who exactly he nominated. As Branwell became progressively more autocratic and frankly irrational during 1929, the senior officers of the Sally Army arranged to meet in secret conclave or 'High Council' as these meetings have since become known. During the first of these in that year they agreed that Edward Higgins, Branwell's Chief of Staff would succeed him regardless of the General's wishes. Branwell found out and objected to what clearly was a coup against family control of the army, at which point he was forcefully removed from office. Later that year he was 'promoted to Glory'.

History of the Salvation Army ~A R Wiggins

48173.  Sun Jan 29, 2006 3:50 am Reply with quote

I invoke the UPR (unanswered posts rule)

Bramwell Booth’s connection with the Eliza Armstrong case makes interesting reading.

The Eliza Armstrong case was a major scandal in the United Kingdom involving a child supposedly bought for prostitution for the purpose of exposing the evils of white slavery. While it achieved its purpose of helping to enable the passage of the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1885, it also brought unintended consequences to its chief perpetrator, William Thomas Stead.
With the help of Josephine Butler and Bramwell Booth of the Salvation Army, Stead got in touch with Rebecca Jarrett, a reformed prostitute and brothel-keeper who was staying with Mrs. Butler in Winchester as an assistant. Although Mrs. Butler had no problem with Rebecca meeting up with Stead, she was actually unaware of Stead's reason for doing so.
Stead prevailed upon Jarrett to help him to show that a girl of thirteen could be bought from her parents and transported to the Continent. Despite her reluctance on going back to her old brothel contacts for help, Jarrett agreed to help.
Rebecca Jarrett met up with an old associate, a procuress called Nancy Broughton. Through her Jarrett learned of a thirteen-year old named Eliza Armstrong whose alcoholic mother Elizabeth was in need of money. She arranged for Jarrett to meet Mrs. Armstrong, who lived in the Lisson Grove area of West London, and although Rebecca told the mother that the girl was to serve as a maid to an old gentleman, she believed that Mrs. Armstrong understood that she was selling her daughter into prostitution. The mother agreed to sell her daughter for a total of £5. On June 3 the bargain was made.
On the same day Jarrett then took Eliza to a midwife and known abortionist named Louise Mourez, who examined her and attested to her virginity and sold Jarrett a bottle of chloroform. Then Eliza was taken to a brothel and lightly drugged to await the arrival of her purchaser, who was none other than Stead himself. Stead, anxious to play the part of libertine almost in full, drank a whole bottle of champagne despite the fact that he was a teetotaler. He entered Eliza's room and waited for her to wake up from her stupor. When she came to, Eliza screamed. Stead quickly left the room, regarding that as confirmation that he "had his way" with her. Eliza was quickly handed over to Bramwell Booth who spirited her to France where she was taken care of by a Salvationist family.
In the meantime, Stead wrote his story.
By the end of the series he just about threw Victorian society into an uproar about prostitution. Fearing riots on a national scale, the Home Secretary, Sir William Harcourt pleaded with Stead to cease publication of the articles; Stead replied that he would comply if the Bill would be carried without delay. Since Harcourt could not make that guarantee, Stead ordered the Pall Mall Gazette presses to continue until paper ran out.
Although Stead was supported in his investigation by the Salvation Army and such religious leaders as Henry Edward Cardinal Manning and Charles John Ellicott, the Bishop of Bristol, his plan backfired on him. Rival newspapers like The Times, began to dig up the original "Lily". Eventually the true details of the story, including the fact that it was Stead himself who was the "purchaser", were unearthed. Mrs. Armstrong protested and went to the police, claiming that she had not given her consent to her daughter into prostitution, insisting instead she let her go with the understanding that she would go off into domestic service. In any case, Rebecca Jarrett did not get the permission of the child's father -- she believed that the mother could speak for both parents, so Charles Armstrong, Eliza's father, also brought suit.
Thus Stead, Rebecca Jarrett, Bramwell Booth, as well as Louise Mouret, the midwife, and two others were haled before the court on September 2 for the assault and abduction for Eliza Armstrong without the agreement of her parents.
Without such evidence, Stead, Jarrett and Mourez were found guilty of abduction of procurement. Bramwell Booth and the others were acquitted. Jarrett and Mourez were sentenced to six months, while Stead was sentenced to three months, which he took in good grace. He was sent to Coldbath-in-the-Fields prison for three days and later to Holloway as a first-class inmate for the rest of his sentence.
While many groups protested against Stead's imprisonment, it seemed that he was treated well in prison. "Never had I a pleasanter holiday, a more charming season of repose", he afterwards would say. While in prison, he continued to edit the Pall Mall Gazette, and his Christmas card played up his martyrdom. After his release he wrote a threepenny pamphlet entitled My First Imprisonment. He asked the prison governor whether he could keep his prison uniform. The governor agreed, and thereafter, every November 10, the anniversary of his conviction, Stead would dress up in his prison garb to remind people of his "triumph".
As for Eliza Armstrong, the Salvation Army returned her to her parents, while Rebecca Jarrett went to work for the Salvation Army.

Stead was a sometime friend and confidante of Cecil Rhodes and died on the Titanic

With all his unpopularity, and all the suspicion and opposition engendered by his methods, his personality remained a forceful one both in public and private life. He was an early imperialist dreamer, whose influence on Cecil Rhodes in South Africa remained of primary importance; and many politicians and statesmen, who on most subjects were completely at variance with his ideas, nevertheless owed something to them. Rhodes made him his confidant, and was inspired in his will by his suggestions; and Stead was intended to be one of Rhodes's executors. At the time of the Boer War of 1899 he threw himself into the Boer cause and attacked the government with characteristic violence. His name was struck out (see his Last Will and Testament of C. J. Rhodes, 1902).
Stead boarded the RMS Titanic for a visit to America to take part in a peace congress at Carnegie Hall at the request of William Howard Taft. While the ship sank he sat quietly reading a book in the First Class Smoking Room.
Stead had made two possible premonitions concerning the Titanic. In 1886, he published an article named 'How the Mail Steamer Went Down in Mid-Atlantic, by a Survivor', where a steamer collides with another ship, with high loss of life due to lack of lifeboats. Stead had added 'This is exactly what might take place and will take place if liners are sent to sea short of boats'. In 1892, Stead published a story called 'From the Old World to the New', in which a White Star Line vessel, the Majestic, rescues survivors of another ship that collided with an iceberg.

William Bramwell Booth (March 8, 1856 – June 16, 1929) had three daughters: Olive, Dora and Catherine.

Dora Booth (1893-1989), Salvation Army Officer
Olive Booth (1891-1989), Salvation Army Officer
Catherine Bramwell-Booth (1883-1987), Salvation Army Officer

48186.  Sun Jan 29, 2006 6:54 am Reply with quote

What an interesting story - thanks for that.

48196.  Sun Jan 29, 2006 7:34 am Reply with quote

And only slightly over two years late. I may be slow but I'm slow.


Page 1 of 1

All times are GMT - 5 Hours

Display posts from previous:   

Search Search Forums

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group