"John Hayes" was a pseudonym of Edward Henry Fletcher. Fletcher was born in Hammersmith on the 23rd July 1857 (some sources say 1851). He was the son of a Bengal river pilot, and having spent his early years in India, the family returned to England while he was still a boy. He was educated at the Christ`s Hospital and later at the Chelsea School of Art where he became a close friend of Daniel Sherrin, the landscape artist.
After his marriage, Fletcher lived in Blackheath and owned a small Auction House. At about forty, he suffered a serious illness and gave up the business to become a professional painter, having previously painted as a hobby.
He also painted under the pseudonym John Hayes, and himself is often mistakenly called Edwin Fletcher. Later in life he moved away from London to live in Thames Ditton, Winchelsea near Rye and Tilehurst is Sussex, where he died. John Hayes paintings rarely appear at auction.