John Sherrin, RI (1819-1896) One of the few known pupils of William Henry Hunt, John Sherrin would come to equal his master as a painter of intimate still life compositions and animal subjects. John Sherrin was born in Westminster, London, in 1819, the eldest of the six children of the florist, John Sherrin, and his wife, Christiana (née Williamson). He was baptised at St Anne’s, Soho, on 12 July 1826, and grew up close by at 15 Church Street (now Romilly Street). His father died before 1833, the year in which his mother entered her second marriage, to John Walters. She supported the family as a plumassier and maker of artificial flowers.
Sherrin was apprenticed to Samuel Smith, a jeweller, and later worked for the designers, Howell, James & Co, Regent Street, and the goldsmiths, Matthews & Peake, Gerrard Street, Soho. In 1845, he married Frances (née Rich), from Blyth, Nottinghamshire, and, by 1851, they were living in Westbourne Place (now Cliveden Place) off Sloane Square, he giving his occupation as ‘goldsmith’.
In the years 1860-62, he gave the premises of Matthews & Peake as his address, and J P Matthews would leave him a considerable fortune, suggesting a close relationship. In this period, he and his wife lived at various addresses: 14 Flood’s Terrace, Beresford Road, Walworth (now John Ruskin Street) (1861); 19 Stockwell Private Road, Clapham Rise (now Landor Road) (1863-64); 8 Nelson Terrace, Hampton Road, Twickenham (by 1865).
Having studied under the watercolourist, William Henry Hunt, Sherrin turned increasingly to painting and, from 1859 until his death, he exhibited at the Royal Academy, the Royal Society of British Artists and the Royal Institute of Painters in Water-Colours. He was elected an associate of the Royal Institute in 1866, and a full member in 1879.
Sherrin’s first wife, Frances, died in May 1865. Three months later, he married the widow, Decima Blunt Edwards (née Vaughan), in Scarborough, North Yorkshire. Together they would have five sons and two daughters. They continued to live in Twickenham until the late 1870s, when they moved to 3 Codrington Villas, Ramsgate. He died in Ramsgate in September 1896. Of his children, Daniel and Reginald also became professional artists.