Letters of Thomas Faed R.A. (1826-1900)

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 237 Coll-666
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      4 letters, 1 cutting. Access to records in a fragile condition may be restricted.
  • Location
      Gen. 1981/93-96; Dc.4.101-103 Faed; Gen. 863/8/21-22

Scope and Content

The letters are composed of: those to various correspondents 1851-1886 and also undated, with photographs; those about private view tickets and insurance, 1866 and 1890; cutting showing illustration The village school; letter to Mr. Nicol about a chair, and London fog, 1886; and, letter to L. Emanuel Jr. saying he is hanging pictures at the Royal Academy.

Administrative / Biographical History

Thomas Faed was born in Kirkcudbright on 8 June 1826. He was the brother of the artists George Faed (1830-1852), John Faed (1819-1902), James Faed (1821-1911), and Susan Bell Faed (1827-1909). Thomas showed talent as a painter already as a boy but at the age of sixteen he was apprenticed to a draper in Castle Douglas. Painting was too strong however and he went to Edinburgh to work on miniatures for his brother. He entered the Trustees Academy at the Royal Scottish Academy, Mound, Edinburgh and was taught by Sir William Allan (1782-1850) and Thomas Duncan (1807-1845). At the age of eighteen he exhibited A scene from the 'Old English Baron'at the RSA. His greatest strength was the painting of scenes of rural and Scottish domestic life. In the 1840s he illustrated Scott's Heart of Midlothian. Between the 1850s and the 1890s he exhibited at the Royal Academy. In 1855 his The mitherless bairn received great acclaim and is now in the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia. He is represented at the Tate, the National Gallery of Scotland, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Aberdeen, and Glasgow, and at Royal Holloway College, the Ashmolean, and in Montreal, Vancouver, Baroda, and Durban. Thomas Faed R.A. H.R.S.A. died in St. John's Wood, London, on 17 August 1900. His son John Francis Faed (1859-1904) was an accomplished oil and watercolour painter of seascapes.

Access Information

Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.

Acquisition Information

Letters 1851-1886, purchased Goodspeed's, Boston, Mass., July 1968, Accession no. E68.23. Letter to Mr. Holden, 1879, purchased G. H. Paton, June 1988, Accession no. E88.40.


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) McEwan, Peter J. M. Dictionary of Scottish art and architecture. pp.199-200. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Antique Collectors' Club, 1994.

Compiled by Graeme D Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections Division.

Other Finding Aids

Important finding aids generally are: the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives, consisting of typed slips in sheaf binders and to which additions were made until 1987; and the Index to Accessions Since 1987.


Check the local Indexes for details of any additions.

Related Material

The local Indexes show a reference to John Faed related material (check the Indexes for more details): letter to Lumb Stocks, engraver, with detailed suggestions for the revision of some plates, 1857, at Dc.4.101-103. The local Indexes also show a reference to Thomas Faed related material (check the Indexes for more details): mention of a dinner in honour of Faed from Professor J. S. Blackie to R. Herdman, at Gen. 1730 onwards.

The UK National Register of Archives (NRA), updated by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, notes: letters to Henry Septimus Sutton, Nottingham University Library, Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections, NRA 12432 Sutton.