Jesse was born into the Butler family in Lambeth, one of the nouveau riches families of the borough. After the deaths of his parents, he felt that it was up to him to keep Lambeth in his hold in order to live up to his family name.
Butler joined the Blighters and started enforcing his illegal taxes on merchants, vendors and landowners. These practices caught the attention of the Metropolitan Police Service, and Sergeant Frederick Abberline in particular. He asked Jacob and Evie Frye to bring him in. The Frye twins located Butler at the Lambeth marketplace, from where they managed to kidnap him, after which they delivered the criminal to Abberline.