Butler, George (1815-1884) shoemaker and poet


ADMINISTRATIVE/BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY: George Butler was born in Winchester in 1815, the son of Noah Butler and the second eldest in a family of five children. When Butler was four years old, the family moved to London in search of employment and in later years, he learned the family trade of boot and shoemaking; a profession he was to remain in, running a shop in Ben Jonson Road, Stepney (formerly Rhodeswell Road).  He married Elizabeth Morcam (Bessie), spending the first ten years of marriage living with father, Noah, in Baker Street, Stepney, and had nine children, of which two boys and three girls reached adulthood.

In around 1850, Butler found religion and became an active member of the Open Air Mission, working together with City missionaries to offer material and spiritual support to the disadvantaged in the East End.

He died in March 1884 while living in Stepney Green and was buried in Tower Hamlets Cemetery as a non conformist in unconsecrated ground and in a public, unmarked grave.


  • Handwitten notebook, entitled 'Manuscript of various pieces of poetry and prose by A Wise Man of the East' containing religious and other poetry composed by George Butler, with notes on the inspirations and subjects for many of the poems, with photocopy of notebook (c200pp) (May 1850 - September 1883)

EXTENT: 1 box