Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Sherman, Edward

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SHERMAN, EDWARD (1776–1866), coach-proprietor, was born in Berkshire in 1776. Coming to London on foot in 1793, he obtained employment at twelve shillings a week. He eventually saved money, and about 1814 became proprietor of the Bull and Mouth Hotel, Aldersgate Street, London. In 1830 he rebuilt the house, at a cost of 60,000l., and renamed it the Queen's Hotel. (It has since been absorbed in the General Post Office.) At the same time Sherman became one of the largest coach-proprietors in England, keeping about seventeen hundred horses at work in various parts of the country, and doing a business the annual return of which has been estimated at more than half a million of money. In 1830 the celebrated Wonder coach did the 158 miles between London and Shrewsbury in fifteen hours and three-quarters, while the Manchester Telegraph accomplished its journey of 186 miles in eighteen hours and fifteen minutes. When railways were introduced he gradually gave up coaching, and, establishing wagons for the conveyance of heavy goods, became one of the most extensive carriers in the kingdom. He was also a promoter, and then a director, of the Thames, the first steam-packet plying between London and Margate, 1814. He was well known in the city, where he dealt largely in stocks and shares. He died at the Manor House, Chiswick, Middlesex, on 14 Sept. 1866.

[City Press, 29 Sept. 1866, p. 5; Thornbury's Old and New London, 1889, ii. 219–20; Tristram's Coaching Days, 1888, pp. 139, 337–9; Duke of Beaufort's Driving, Badminton Library, 1889, pp. 213, 219.]

G. C. B.