Until the autumn of 1869, opposition to the Acts had been confined to Florence Nightingale and her associates, and, operating quite separately, groups of philanthropists working for the reclamation of prostitutes. Now, opposition began to assume permanent, institutional form, and the pioneers gained reinforcements. Dr Hooppell of South Shields, having successfully disputed the assertions of extensionists at a meeting in Newcastle, managed to get his intervention into a newspaper where it was seen by a Nottingham doctor, Charles Bell Taylor. The two men cooperated in organising a meeting in October at Bristol during the period in which the Social Science Congress was convened. The future secretary of the National Association for Repeal, F.C. Banks, a Nottingham bookseller, handled the correspondence, and two Bristol Quakers, Thomas Pease and Robert Charleton, paid the meeting’s expenses, the latter presiding. This initial meeting attracted a number of future stalwarts including Professor F.W. Newman, then living at Clifton, Miss E.C. Wolstenholme, an activist in the struggle for the higher education of women and thus known to Josephine Butler, and Dr Thomas Worth of Nottingham; it concluded with a motion denouncing the Acts supported by all but six of the seventy present. 1 After the meeting Miss Wolstenholme sent a telegram to Josephine Butler which she received upon landing at Dover from her summer vacation in Switzerland. It urged her to ‘haste to the rescue’, introduced her to the Acts and threw her into an agony of doubt as to the correct course to take which lasted three months and was resolved by an inner conviction that this was her divinely appointed task. With her husband’s consent, she had begun to take a leading role in the agitation by the end of the year. 2