The members of the literary club who met at the Mermaid Tavern called
themselves the Friday Club, so named for the address of the tavern, which was on Friday Street in Chiswick, England. It is
unknown whether or not Shakespeare actually attended the meetings, but William Johnson, the owner of the Mermaid, was a business
associate of Shakespeare's so it is likely that he at least set foot in the tavern at one time or another.
Also known as "Shakespeare and his Friends at the Mermaid Tavern," this
engraving's focal point is William Shakespeare as he sits among his literary contemporaries. The group in this engraving includes:
(Standing, from left to right)
(Seated, from left to right)
The Artist: John Faed
John Faed, the eldest brother in a remarkably artistic family, was born
in Gatehouse of Fleet, Scotland in 1819. By the age of nine, he was painting miniatures of local dignitaries. In 1840, he
left his native town for Edinburgh, in order to further his career. From 1841 to 1895, he exhibited his work at the Royal
Scottish Academy, where he became a full member in 1851. John painted mostly Scottish historical and literary scenes,
inspired by the writings of Scott, Burns, and Shakespeare. In 1864, he moved to London, but eventually moved back to his native
town of Gatehouse of Fleet in 1880.
The Engraver: James Faed
James Faed, John's Faed younger brother, was born in 1821 in Gatehouse
of Fleet, Scotland. He became a well-known engraver and executed over 140 plates for many contemporary artists including Sir
Daniel Macnee, Sir Francis Grant and Sir Joseph Noel Paton. His portrait engravings became widely in demand, and he even was
commissioned to engrave a royal portrait of Queen Victoria and Prince Arthur. James died suddenly in Edinburgh in 1911 at
the age of ninety.