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The Mermaid Tavern
The Mermaid Tavern
The Mermaid Tavern
This undated image shows 'Christmas Eve, at the Mermaid Tavern, in Shakespeare's Time'. The Mermaid was a pub long reputed to have associations with Shakespeare. Ben Jonson wrote of it in his "Inviting a friend to Supper"

But that which most doth take my muse and me
Is a pure cup of rich Canary wine,
Which is the Mermaid's now, but shall be mine;

The deed for Shakespeare's house in Blackfriars contains the name of William Johnson, assumed to be the landlord of The Mermaid at that time, but other than the association with the Blackfriars property, there is no specific evidence connecting Shakespeare with the inn. However, legend has it that Shakespeare was a member of 'The Mermaid Club', instituted by Sir Walter Raleigh and counting Jonson, Donne, Beaumont and Fletcher as members. The Mermaid was located just to the south of Cheapside, with entrances in Friday Street and Bread Street.
London Metropolitan Archives
T C Noble Ephemera
Pasquier, James Abbott
wood engraving