[Women’s National Anti-Suffrage League: Frances J. Balfour, Hon. Sec. of Sheffield & District Branch.] Autograph Letter Signed (possible spoof) to ‘Mr. Sayers’ [A. H. Sayers], requesting contribution so branch can become ‘influential & successful’.

Women’s National Anti-Suffrage League; Frances J. Balfour, Hon. Sec. of the Sheffield & District Branch [Rev. A. H. Sayers of Monmouth]
Publication details: 
Dated ‘Sheffield & District Branch / Arcadia / March 31st. 09’. On letterhead of Women’s National Anti-Suffrage League, Caxton House, Tothill Street, Westminster, London, S.W.
SKU: 24338

1p, 4to. In fair condition, lightly aged. Folded twice. Considering the tone of the letter, the similarity between the signatories name and that of the prominent suffragist Lady Frances Balfour (1858-1931), and the fact that there is no record of a Sheffield branch of the WNASL, nor of a place in Warrington called ‘Arcadia’, nor of any Balfours living there, one must strongly suspect that this letter is a spoof, perhaps written by in some such scenario as a pro-suffrage child of a member of the WNASL, having got hold of one of the organisations blank letterheads. Or perhaps not. The reference to the Sheffield Daily Telegraph suggests that Sayers hailed from the Sheffield area, and one wonders if he had a sister, and a mother supporting the WNASL. From the papers of Rev. A. H. Sayers, who later became leader of the Monmouth Town League of Nations Union, not exactly an organisation with which anti-suffragists would have become sympathetic. The item reads: ‘Dear Mr. Sayers, / I write to thank you for your admirable letter in the S. D. T. on [sic] a day or two ago re the ridicule the Suffragists cast at their Meeting on the efforts made in Parliament by men to help children & infants. / We are trying very hard to enlarge our Membership & make this Branch an influential & successful one, & we should be extremely glad if you would become a Member. The Subscription is anything from 1/6 to £1 - 1 - 0. I enclose enrollment form / Yours faithfully / Frances J. Balfour Hon. Sec.’