Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 18.djvu/146

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mised Dutch squadron till the summer was passed, a westerly gale forced the fleet to take shelter in Torbay, where it was detained for several weeks, and the original idea of a landing in France had to be given up. The Berwick, by stress of weather, sprang a leak, and was found to be unseaworthy. She returned with difficulty to Portsmouth, where Lord Rivers, the general in command of the troops, with his staff, who had embarked on board, was transhipped to the Tartar frigate, while in December Fairfax, with his ship's company, was turned over to the Albemarle, and during the early part of 1707 was commander-in-chief at Portsmouth. In August, however, he was superseded, Sir John Leake having chosen the Albemarle as his flagship.

Consequent on the death of Sir Clowdisley Shovell (22 Oct. 1707), a promotion of flag-officers was made on 8 Jan. 1707–8. Fairfax, by his seniority, was properly included, and a commission as vice-admiral of the blue was made out for him, was signed by the lord high admiral, and was gazetted. It was then cancelled, and Lord Dursley, who was much his junior, was, by the political interest of his family [see Berkeley, James, third Earl of], made vice-admiral of the blue in his stead, with seniority of 10 Jan. Fairfax, naturally indignant at this unworthy treatment, refused all further service. Prince George, indeed, obtained for him a commission as rear-admiral, and half-pay equal to that of the rank which he had been deprived of; and on 20 June 1708 had him nominated a member of the council of the lord high admiral; but with the prince's death, 28 Oct., this appointment came to an end, and Fairfax retired altogether from naval life. At a by-election in 1713 he was returned to parliament for the city of York, but lost his seat in the general election after the accession of George I. He had meantime been elected an alderman of York, of which city he was further elected lord mayor in 1715. In these and other local duties, and in the management and development of his handsome property, the remainder of his life passed away, and he died 17 Oct. 1725. He was buried in the church of Newton Kyme, where sixty years before he had been christened. His wife, though ten years older, survived him by ten years, and died at the age of eighty in 1735. He left two children, a daughter, who married Mr. Henry Pawson, the son of an alderman of York, and a son, Thomas, whose posterity still hold the estates of Steeton, Newton Kyme, and Bilbrough, which last Fairfax acquired by purchase from the collateral family of Lord Fairfax. There are three portraits of the admiral, taken at the ages of thirty, forty-two, and shortly before his death. They are all in the possession of his family at Bilbrough. In a register ticket, dated 1696, he is described as a tall and well-set man of a fair complexion, which corresponds with the earlier portrait of the same date.

[The Life of Robert Fairfax, ‘compiled from original letters and other documents,’ by C. R. Markham, is a full and detailed life, not only of Fairfax, but also of his family and numerous relations. It is especially rich in the naval history of the period. The memoir in Charnock's Biog. Nav. ii. 312, is meagre and unsatisfactory.]

J. K. L.

FAIRFAX, THOMAS, first Lord Fairfax of Cameron in the Scottish peerage (1560-1640), eldest son of Sir Thomas Fairfax of Denton and Nun Appleton, both in Yorkshire, was born at Bilbrough, near York, in 1560. As a young man he saw much service in the Low Countries, where be commanded a company of foot under Sir Francis Vere. In 1582 he married Ellen, daughter of Robert Aske of Aughton, Yorkshire. Before and after the death of Mary Queen of Scots he was employed by Elizabeth on several diplomatic communications with James VI of Scotland. James offered him a title, which he had the prudence to decline. In 1586 he tendered his services to James to suppress a rebellion under Lord Maxwell; and on the death of Elizabeth he was, with six of his nearest kindred, one of the first Englishmen who went to Scotland to swear fealty to the king. He had served in France under the Earl of Essex [see Devereux, Robert, 1567-1601], and was knighted by him before Rouen in 1591.

After the accession of James I to the throne, he settled down upon his estate at Denton. He bred horses, and wrote a treatise entitled 'Conjectures about Horsemanship,' yet extant in manuscript. He ruled his household with military precision. 'The Order for the Government of the House of Denton,' laying down in great detail the duties of every servant, is also extant, and gives an admirable picture of a gentleman's household at that period.

As a member of the council of the north he was brought into connection with Lord Sheffield, its president. His eldest son, Sir Ferdinando Fairfax [q. v.], married Sheffield's daughter, Mary, in 1607. In 1620 Fairfax's younger sons, William and John, were with the English army in the Low Countries. A letter from William states that his 'white-haired father' had come over to join them, bought horses and arms, and been received with the respect due to his former services. He soon returned, however, and in 1631 heard from