Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/210

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Faed
Fairchild
198

FAED, THOMAS (1826-1900), painter, third son of James Faed, an engineer and millwright, by Mary McGeoch, his wife, was born at Barlay Mill, Kirkcudbrightshire, on 8 June 1826. He studied under Sir William Allan and Thomas Duncan at the Edinburgh School of Design, where he gained many prizes, and for some years assisted his brother John, who was already a painter of repute. He commenced exhibiting at Edinburgh at an early age, and in 1849 was elected an associate of the Scottish Academy. In 1850 he produced his 'Scott and his Friends at Abbotsford,' which attracted much attention, and was engraved by his brother James. In 1851 he exhibited for the first time at the London Royal Academy, and in the following year removed to the metropolis, where he settled permanently. His reputation was established by his 'The Mitherless Bairn,' exhibited in 1855, and from that time almost to the end of his career he was one of the most popular of British painters. His subjects were usually pathetic or sentimental incidents in humble Scottish life, and the sincerity and dramatic skill with which he told his story appealed strongly to the public taste. He was also an excellent draughtsman, and his pictures were always solidly and conscientiously painted. Among the most successful were: 'Home and the Homeless,' 1856; 'The First Break in the Family,' 1857 ; 'From Dawn to Sunset,' 1861; Baith Faither and Mither,' 1864 ; 'The Last of the Clan,' 1865 ; 'Ere Care begins,' 1866; and 'A Wee Bit Fractious,' 1871. Faed's works have been largely engraved by W. H. Simmons, H. Lemon, S. Cousins, C. W. Sharpe, J. B. Pratt, and others. His 'Bo Peep' and 'First Letter from the Emigrant' were published by the Royal Association of Fine Arts, Scotland, in 1849 and 1850, and several have appeared in the 'Art Journal.' He was elected an associate of the Royal Academy in 1861 and a full member in 1864, and was a constant exhibitor until 1892, when failure of his eyesight compelled him to abandon his profession, and in 1893 he was placed on the list of retired academicians. He was elected an honorary member of the Imperial Academy of Vienna in 1875. He died at his house in St. John's Wood, London, on 17 Aug. 1900. His remaining works were sold at Christie's on 16Feb.1901. By his wife, Fanny Rantz, Faed left one son. John Francis, who is a marine painter. His elder brothers, John Faed, retired R.S.A., and James Faed the engraver, survive.

[Ottley's Dict. of Painters; Men of the Time; Times, 23 Aug. 1900; Scotsman, 23 Aug. 1900; private information.]

F. M. O'D.

FAIRCHILD, THOMAS (1667?-1729), gardener, born probably in 1667, established himself about 1690 as a nurseryman and florist at Hoxton in the parish of St. Leonard, Shoreditch, where he carried on a prosperous trade, and was one of the latest cultivators of a vineyard in England. His gardens are said to have extended from the west end of Ivy Lane to the New North Road ; they were known as 'the City Gardens,' and 'were greatly resorted to, as well for the delectable situation as for the curious plants therein contained.' Richard Bradley, F.R.S., frequently speaks of him in the highest terms. In one passage (Philosophical Account of the Works of Nature, 1721) he mentions 'that curious garden of Mr. Thomas Fairchild at Hoxton, where I find the greatest collection of fruits that I have yet seen,' and adds that 'no one in Europe excels him in the choice of curiosities, such as a universal correspondence can procure.' Pulteney classed him with Knowlton, Gordon, and Miller, as one of the leading gardeners of his time.

Fairchild united practical knowledge of his business with acute powers of observation and a love of scientific research. He corresponded with Linnæus, and it may fairly be claimed for him that he was one of those who prepared the way for the theory of evolution; he helped by his experiments materially to establish the existence of sex in plants, and he was the first person, in this country or any other, who succeeded in scientifically producing an artificial hybrid. This was Dianthus Caryophyllus barbatus, a cross between a sweet william and a carnation pink. He introduced Pavia rubra, Cornus florida, and other plants.

In 1722 he published a little book called 'The City Gardener,' which may still be read with pleasure. It is devoted to a description of the trees, plants, shrubs, and flowers which would thrive best in London. We learn that pear trees still bore excellent fruit about Barbican, Aldersgate, and Bishopsgate, that in 'Leicester Fields' there was a vine producing good grapes every year, and that figs and mulberries throve very