Why the name Fairfax?
From the beginning of the 11 century the Fairfax family name was synonymous with the heart of Yorkshire, especially in places like Denton, Gilling, Walton, Bolton Percy, Steeton & Colton to name just a few. Many of the Fairfax generations working alongside the likes of Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots, James VI of Scotland and Charles I. Holding very high esteemed titles and many of them Knights or Sirs –even along the way blue blood that has links to the current Prince William and to his wife Princess Catherine.
The most prominent Fairfax name, no doubt all of you will remember, is Sir Thomas 3rd Lord Fairfax of Cameron who lived in Nun Appleton Hall south west of York; he was the parliamentary Commander in–chief during the English Civil War and led the cavalry to uphold the city of York against the Royalist Troops of King Charles I in 1644 at York. King Charles had issued a Royal Charter to make any form of distilling making it illegal except within the city of London, Westminster & within a 21 mile radius -maybe someone had been distilling Gin in York and King Charles wanted to bring it to an abrupt end! With the stronghold of York weakening, Sir Thomas Fairfax’s troops pushed the royalists out of the city and into the battle ground of Marston Moor which is where the troops of King Charles were defeated in a surprise attack on 2nd July 1644. The control of the north was back in the hands Sir Thomas Fairfax.
In June 1645 Sir Thomas Fairfax now the General of the New Model Army again took on King Charles at the siege of Oxford which was the home of the Royalist troops or better known as the Battle of Naseby, it was either battle here or take the risk of King Charles once again trying to take control of the North, Sir Thomas and his troops were victorious once more at this significant battle. Unfortunately King Charles lost the bulk of his veteran infantry and officers, all of his artillery and stores, his personal baggage and many arms therefore ensuring the Royalists would never again field an army of comparable quality. Captured in the baggage train were the King’s private papers revealing the fullest extent of his attempts to draw Irish Catholics and foreign mercenaries into the war. Publication of these papers gave Parliament an added moral cause to put the war to an end and finally uphold Parliamentary rule.