Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 18.djvu/137

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Fairfax
Fairfax
131

of foot, a position which he held in Monck's army in Scotland at the time of the Restoration. Upon Monck's march into Yorkshire he was appointed governor of the town of Kingston-upon-Hull. This office he held only about a year, and then retired to his antiquarian and literary pursuits at Menston with a pension of 100l. a year, granted him by Charles II out of the customs at Hull. He died there in December 1673. The registers of Fewston parish church record his burial, and also that of his wife in 1657, but there can be no doubt they were both buried in the Fairfax transept of the parish church at Otley (vide will of Charles Fairfax and the Analecta Fairfaxiana), where there is a mural monument to their memory.

Among his children were twin brothers, John, a captain in the army, and Henry [q. v.], a fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, and dean of Norwich, who were so alike as to be indistinguishable by their own mother.

Fairfax wrote a work yet in manuscript, and of which probably only two copies exist, entitled ‘Analecta Fairfaxiana.’ It contains pedigrees, carefully written and blazoned on vellum, of all the branches of the Fairfax family, and of many of the families connected with it, interspersed with many genealogical and literary notes, and about fifty anagrams, epigrams, and elegies in Latin, and chiefly from the pen of the compiler, upon the different members of the family and their connections. Brian Fairfax, the nephew of the compiler, says: ‘He was an excellent scholar, but delighted most in antiquities, and hath left many valuable collections of that kind. He hath left a most exact pedigree of our family of Fairfax, proved by evidences’ (Fairfax Correspondence, i. 257). These Fairfax MSS. are now at Leeds Castle, Kent (ib. i. cxxxix).

The collection and preservation of the invaluable volumes known as the ‘Dodsworth MSS.,’ now in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, was the joint work of Fairfax and Roger Dodsworth, and they were for some time in the care of the former. It is usually stated that Lord Fairfax gave these volumes (160) to the Bodleian; but in a note to an account of Edward Fairfax in Atterbury's ‘Correspondence’ by Brian Fairfax it is stated that it was Henry Fairfax, dean of Norwich (son of Charles), who gave ‘Roger Dodsworth's 160 volumes of collections to the university of Oxford.’

By his will, dated 1672, Fairfax bequeathed valuable manuscripts to Lincoln's Inn, according, as he says, to a promise made ‘to my late dear friend Dr. Samuel Browne, knt., one of the justices of the common pleas, … the said books to remain as my gift and legacy in the public library of the said house, of which I formerly had the honour to be a member.’

[Analecta Fairfaxiana (manuscript); Fairfax Correspondence; Atterbury Correspondence; Herald and Genealogist, September 1870; Hart's Lecture on Wharfdale.]

T. P.

FAIRFAX, EDWARD (d. 1635), translator of Tasso's ‘Gerusalemme Liberata,’ was a son of Sir Thomas Fairfax of Denton, Yorkshire. Douglas says that he was born to Sir Thomas ‘by Dorothy, his wife, daughter of George Gale of Ascham Grange, Esq.;’ but in the ‘Visitation Pedigree,’ 1585, there is no Edward among the children of Sir Thomas Fairfax by his wife, Dorothy Gale; and Roger Dodsworth, in ‘Sancti et Scriptores Ebor.,’ states that he was a natural son. Thoresby, in ‘Ducatus Leodiensis,’ places Edward and his brother, Sir Charles, among the sons of Sir Thomas Fairfax, but connects them only with a line of dots, ‘thus intimating that there was something peculiar’ (Hunter, Chorus Vatum). Edward was born at Leeds in ‘an ancient house near the church.’ He married a sister of Walter Laycock of Copmanthorpe, Yorkshire, chief aulnager of the northern counties, and several of his children were born in Leeds.

In 1600 he published ‘Godfrey of Bulloigne, or the Recoverie of Jerusalem. Done into English heroicall verse,’ fol., the first complete translation of Tasso's ‘Gerusalemme Liberata.’ The work is dedicated to Queen Elizabeth in four six-line stanzas, and the dedication is followed by a prose ‘Allegorie of the Poem.’ Richard Carew had previously translated a portion of the poem, and Fairfax made full use of his predecessor's labours. But in refinement and poetic instinct Fairfax far surpasses not only Carew but the translators of later times. Brian Fairfax states that ‘King James valued it above all other English poetry,’ and that it solaced Charles I in the time of his confinement. Dryden in the preface to his ‘Fables’ says: ‘Many besides myself have heard our famous Waller own that he derived the harmony of his number from “Godfrey of Bulloigne,” which was turned into English by Mr. Fairfax.’ On the other hand, Ben Jonson, in one of his conversations with Drummond, gave it as his opinion that the translation was ‘not well done.’ A second edition appeared in 1624, fol., and in 1817 the work was edited by S. W. Singer, 2 vols. 8vo.

Fairfax also wrote twelve eclogues. Brian Fairfax says that they were written in the first year of James I, and lay neglected in