Thomas Fairfax, 1st Viscount Fairfax

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Thomas Fairfax, 1st Viscount Fairfax of Emley (1575 - 23 December 1636) was an English landowner and politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1601 and 1626. He was created Viscount Fairfax in the Peerage of Ireland in 1629.

Fairfax was the son of Sir William Fairfax of Gilling Castle and Walton. He was at school at Gilling and entered Caius College, Cambridge in 1590. He succeeded his father to the estates of Gilling and Walton in 1597. He was a sheep farmer and an encloser. In 1600 he was commissioner for musters for the West Riding of Yorkshire. In 1601, he was elected Member of Parliament for Boroughbridge. He was a J.P. for the North Riding of Yorkshire by 1603. He was knighted in April 1603. From July 1603 he was a member of the council in the north, and was vice-president of the council in the north in 1608 and 1616. In 1621 he was elected MP for Hedon. He was re-elected MP for Hedon in 1624. 1625 and 1626. From 1627 to 1628 he was High Sheriff of Yorkshire. He was created Viscount Fairfax on 10 January 1629.[1]

Fairfax died at Howsham at the age of about 61 and was buried at Scrayingham.[1]

Fairfax married Catherine Constable daughter of Sir Henry Constable of Burton Constable in 1594 and had six sons and five daughters. She was an open Catholic and was convicted of recusancy at regular intervals from 1599 until her death. She does not appear to have been fined, which may be attributable to Fairfax's friendship with Sir Arthur Ingram who was secretary to the council in the north, and collector, for a time, of recusancy fines. She also employed Catholic maids and escaped penalty for this and although it was also an offence, at least two of the sons went abroad to Catholic colleges. She died in 1626) and in 1627, Fairfax remarried to Lady Mary Bamburgh, widow of Sir William Bamburgh, Bt., of Howsham.and daughter of Sir Robert Ford of Butley, Suffolk.[1]

References[edit]

Parliament of England
Preceded by
Henry Fanshawe
Thomas Crompton
Member of Parliament for Boroughbridge
1601
With: Richard Whaley
Succeeded by
John Ferne
Sir Henry Jenkins
Preceded by
Christopher Hilliard
William Sheffield
Member of Parliament for Hedon
1621-1626
With: Sir Matthew Boynton, 1st Baronet
Christopher Hilliard
Succeeded by
Sir Christopher Hilliard
Thomas Alured