John Butler and John Sherringham

Old Bailey Proceedings Online (, version 6.0, 01 October 2011), January 1872, trial of JOHN BUTLER (27) JOHN SHERRINGHAM (26) (t18720108-118).

Dated: 8th January 1872.

JOHN BUTLER (27), and JOHN SHERRINGHAM (26), were indicted for stealing a truss and ninety yards of damask, of the Great Eastern Railway Company.

MR. METCALFE conducted the Prosecution.

GEORGE EVANS . I am a carman, in the employ of the Great Eastern Railway Company.  I was in charge of a van, on Friday, 24th November, in Cutler Street, Houndsditch. I had occasion to leave the van for a few minutes, to make a delivery, when I came back to the van I saw that my goods were all right, and I jumped up and drove off. When I had got about half way down Cutler Street, I missed a truss, in consequence of what was said to me I saw Butler carrying the truss in a bag on his back.  I pursued him, when I got within a few yards of him, I heard a whistle, and three or four men came up. I went and caught hold of Butler and asked him what he had got there. He said “Oh let me go, let me go, you are not going to buckle me with that.” Sherringham came up and said “You have got your truss, let the man go,” and he up with his foot and kicked me in the side. I believe him to be the man. When he kicked me, I let go of Butler, but I stuck to the truss and took it back to the van.

Sherringham. Q. Are you positive I am the man? A. Well, I never saw you before, and I was not so cool as I am now, and it was all the work of a moment; still your features answer the description, and I picked you out of the prison on. 5th December, I went round to about a dozen before I came to you. There were several persons in the crowd, but no one was kind enough to assist me, so you may judge what sort of men they were. To the best of my belief you are the man.

NATHAN ISAACS . I am a clothier, and live at 7, Scarboro Street, Goodman’s Fields. On 24th November, I saw the Great Eastern van, in charge of Evans, who was holding the horse’s head. I saw the two prisoners and another one come away from the tail of the van. Sherringham had a truss on his shoulders, they leant it up against the Clothes Exchange, put it in a bag that Butler had, and he put it across his shoulder and went up Devonshire Square with it. I went up to Evans and asked him what he had lost, and he went up to Butler. I am sure that the prisoners are the men.

Sherringham. Q. Are you positive you saw me there? A. Yes, you took the truss out of the van, and the three of you were together.

BARNET ISAACS . I live at 8, King Street, Aldgate. I am a clothier, no relation to the last witness. On 24th November, I saw the Great Eastern van in Cutler Street. I saw three persons come by the “‘Change,” following behind the van; Sherringham took out a truss, put it into a small bag, and Butler, I think, went up Devonshire Square with it. He looks very much like the man. I told the carman and he went after the man.

Butler. Q. Did you see me go up to the van? A. No, you were standing by the Exchange, you were all three together.

WALTER FISHER . I am a Police Sergeant, in the employ of the Great Eastern Railway Company. I apprehended Butler on 30th November, in High Street, Whitechapel. He and Sherringham were together. Evans was with me. They went along Whitechapel together, Sherringham turned and saw Evans, and made off. He was pursued, but got away. I took Butler. I told him the charge, he said “I did not take it; I was only carrying it; it was another man that took it. I found this sack on him, at the station; it is large enough to hold a truss. This other sack was left with the property.This hat was dropped from Sherringham’s head when he escaped.

GEORGE FOSTER (Detective Officer H). I saw the prisoners together, in Leman Street, on 28th November. There were three together, in a public-house.

JOHN WILLIAM FREDERICK MARYON . I am assistant to Jackson & Company, of Shoreditch. This truss was consigned to us, it contains ninety yards of damask, worth 16l.


They also PLEADED GUILTY to having been before convicted.

BUTLER   Seven Years’ Penal Servitude.

SHERRINGHAM    Twelve Years’ Penal Servitude.