Born February 26th, 1851 at Kimberley, Sherwin moved to Cinderhill early in life and played cricket for Basford Park C.C.
Without appearing in any Nottinghamshire Colts match he was drafted into the County Xi for the match against Gloucestershire at Clifton on August 14th, 15th and 16th, 1876 as a result of the death of Samuel Biddulph – the Nottinghamshire regulars keeper up to 1875 – and the absence through injury of Biddulph’s successor, Fred Wild.
Serhwin performed successfully enough to retain his position in the County team for the remaining four fixtures in 1876. In 1877 Wild resumed as Nottinghamshire stumper, but was injured in a match against Middlesex at Lord’s when no less than five Nottinghamshire men took a turn behind the wicket.
Sherwin was again called up to take over the wicket-keeping duties in the next match and played in all but one of Nottinghamshire matches to the close of the season. He was not seen in a single Nottinghamshire match in either 1878 or 1879, for though he was undoubtedly the best wicket keeper available, his batting was exceedingly poor – in his eleven matches in 1876 and 1877 his best score was 6*.
The Committee’s idea of playing Fred Wild as a batsman/wicket-keeper was, however, a disaster, for Wild’s batting completely fell away, due in the main to the punishment his hands received in the field, and Sherwin won a permanent place in the Nottinghamshire side on July 15th 1880, after Wild had had successive innings of 3, 3, 2, 1, 4 and 0.
Sherwin’s most successful match behind the wicket for Nottinghamshire occurred against Gloucestershire at Trent Bridge in 1889 when he caught out five batsman and stumped three. On two other occasions he made seven dismissals in a match, namely v M.C.C. in 1883 and v Yorkshire in 1887.
He was the regular Nottinghamshire keeper until the close of 1893. The Committee’s decision to dismiss him met with some notes of reproval from Wisden ‘It is not easy to understand why the Committee should have thought fit to dispense entirely with Sherwin.’
After a lapse of two years Sherwin returned to the Nottinghamshire side for his final match, this being his benefit when Nottinghamshire played Cambridge University at Trent Bridge on June 8th and 9th, 1896.
Unfortunately Sherwin received nothing from the gate, for the match proved of no interest to the public.
In 1887 and 1888 he captained the County succeeding Alfred Shaw and being in his turn succeeded by J.A. Dixon. Sherwin’s leadership coincided with the beginnings of the break-up of the great Nottinghamshire team of the early 1880s and the results obtained by the Country during his two years captaining reflected this.
In 1877 Sherwin joined the staff at Lord’s, a post he retained until the close of 1902. His two best innings for the club where 30* v Kent (Lord’s) in 1883 when he and Woof added 74 for the 9th wicket, nearly double M.C.C.’s score and 37 out of 47 v Lancashire(Lord’s) in 1884. The most dismissals he took in a match for M.C.C. were 5, a feat he accomplished on a number of occasions. The M.C.C. gave him the Middlesex v Somerset match at Lord’s on May 14th 1894, as a benefit.
Sherwin’s brilliance as a wicket-keeper was not confined to County and M.C.C. matches, in 1885 he was considered the best keeper in the country and his record in the annual Gentlemen v Players matches confirmed this opinion, for he represented the Payers in 11 successive matches at Lord’s spanning the years 1883 to 1893. In the 1888 match he dismissed six batsman, including five in one innings and on two other occasions captured 5 wickets in the match.
Only once however did Sherwin represent England v Australia at home, this being at Lord’s in 1888 when the National XI’s selection was by sub-committee of M.C.C. and the cause of much controversy. Sherwin score 0 and 0* and took 2 catches. His other appearances for England were made as a member of the team which toured Australia in 1886-7. This was his only cricketing tour abroad and he played in all the 29 matches which the team contested including the two Tests.
From 1896 to 1901 Sherwin was on the list of first-class umpires and had the honour of officiating during the First Test Match played at Trent Bridge – 1899.
When not occupied on the cricket field Sherwin dispensed his good humour as mine host of various public houses in Nottinghamshire. In 1885 at the Belvoir Inn, in 1891 at the Meadow Inn in Arkwright Street and in 1892 at the Alexander hotel, Carrington Street. He was in addition a noted footballer and represented Notts County as a goalkeeper.
Mordecai Sherwin died at his residence the Craven Arms, Woodborough Road, Nottingham on July 3rd, 1910, after an illness, his condition being hopeless for some time prior to his actual demise. He left property to the gross value of £2,650-2-9.
His grandson, William H Sherwin who died in Nottingham in 1952, was a one time member of the Nottinghamshire C.C.C. Committee and a Director of Messrs. Gunn and Moore Limited.