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Dr John Kerr Butter

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by ZooChronicles, 22 Jun 2012.

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  1. ZooChronicles

    ZooChronicles Member

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    This is my first new thread, apologies if it is in the wrong place:)

    A couple of days ago, I uncovered some interesting leads that I must follow up whilst reading a passage in the Staffordshire Way handbook. It was regarding Sir John Giffard of Chillington Park who lived there from 1486 until 1556. Sir John had a private zoo, of what size and collection of animals were present, it doesn’t say. Legend has it that Sir John, along with his son, slayed an escaped panther (from the zoo) as it was attacking a women and child. Sir John killed it with one shot of his crossbow. A wooden cross marks the
    spot of this heroic act.

    This in itself was not the interesting part, A quick search did not turn over any new leads on the Zoo at Chilling Park, I suppose the date is to far back for any solid research to be found, however it did throw up a name of interest, Dr John Kerr Butter.

    Dr Butter, a zoologist that was, it seems held in quite high regard in the royal zoological society. He had a menagerie on the grounds of the old police station in Cannock, losing his animals from the fall out of the First World War.

    If any one has any information regarding Dr Butter I would love to hear from you.

    Cheers
     
  2. FBBird

    FBBird Well-Known Member

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    I think you will find an obituary of him in the Avicultural Magazine, which also published reviews of the Amateur Megaerie Society's jopurnal, with which he was involved. I believe he had a Chimpanzee, Emus, Rheas and possibly Kangaroos.
     
  3. ZooChronicles

    ZooChronicles Member

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    Fantastic, I will look into those leads straight away.

    Many Thanks
     
  4. FBBird

    FBBird Well-Known Member

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    I'll look forward to reading your findings on your site, which looks very impressive.
    Sorry about the 'misprunts' on my first reply to you; I'm actually quite literate.
     
  5. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Bizarrely, to provide his chimpanzee with a companion, Dr. Butter used to keep an ocelot in the same cage as his chimpanzee. (I have an old postcard depicting the two animals together.)
     
  6. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Further my earlier post in this thread, The Amateur Menagerie Club Year Book for 1918 – 19 includes an article written by Dr. John Kerr Butter about his chimpanzee “Anthony” (which he purchased from Cross, the Liverpool-based animal dealer).
     
  7. SHAVINGTONZOO

    SHAVINGTONZOO Well-Known Member

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    He's referred to in Clin Keeling's Where The Crane Danced p.30. Scots, born c.1855 died 1920. Most remarkably perhaps was his possession of a fossa!
     
  8. antonettanecchi

    antonettanecchi New Member

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    Dr Butter and the old past card

    I wonder could I have a look at the old postcard you mentioned in your post. And is it possible for me to have access to the article written by him in the Amateur menagerie magazine 1918/19
    i lived in cannock for many years and the stories of dr butter abound one suggesting that he sometimes visited patients on his giraffe !
     
  9. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Yes that can be arranged; I can send you scans of both the postcard and article.

    Please note, though, that I’m going away next week (attending ZooHistorica in Cologne Zoo) and I may not get the opportunity to do so before going to Germany. However, I will send them as soon as I can.

    Yes, Dr. Butter was an interesting character; I know it is alleged that he sometimes visited patients in a cart pulled by a zebra but I’ve never heard of the giraffe story before (and that must surely be untrue)!
     
  10. Jackwow

    Jackwow Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a tall story to me. ;)
     
  11. Deejay

    Deejay New Member

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    Hello,

    I have read your posts and am at present doing some research regarding Dr J.K Butter for the Museum I work for . We hold a Conversation Club - Hidden Gems on the fourth Friday of the month. This month it is about 'The Curious Case of Dr. J.K. Butter' as we have in our collection Dr. Butter's black metal case. I was interested in the postcard you have. I wondered if you could email me a photo of the postcard if possible.

    Deejay
     
  12. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Yes, I can send you a copy of the postcard; I will send you a pm this evening.
     
  13. Dr Alan F. Jones

    Dr Alan F. Jones New Member

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    Hello,

    I am presently involved in researching the George Edalji affair, in which Dr John Kerr Butter played a part. I would be extremely interested in any information on Dr Butter that can be offered up.

    Thank you,
    Alan
     
  14. Deejay

    Deejay New Member

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    Hello,
    I work at the Museum of Cannock Chase in the area where Dr. Butter last resided. I know that he was a police dr and had a small zoo in the middle of Cannock on the site of the old police station. What other information would be helpful?

    Kind Regards

    Diane Sanders