James, Matthew, Christopher, and Thomas had known each other in childhood through their families, but James only became close to the other three during his time at the Shadowhunter Academy. After they were expelled, Matthew moved to London permanently to become parabatai with James, and Christopher and Thomas's families—who had been living between their homes in Idris and London—eventually lived in London more permanently.
Soon, the boys, having decided that they needed a private space of their own away from their families, were able to lease a room in the Devil Tavern, which James was able to secure because the pub owner was well-acquainted with his father. The four of them began meeting at the Devil regularly and became well known and welcomed by the Downworlders who frequented the bar, despite them being Shadowhunters.
Founders and members:
- After a rude remark by Lavinia Whitelaw, James and Matthew took to calling themselves the Shadowhooligans for a while; before having been dubbed the Merry Thieves by Polly.
- The name is a reference to Robin Hood. James suspects he was meant to be Robin, Matthew as Will Scarlet, and Thomas as Little John.