Fairfax Sir Thomas
Fairfax, Sir Thomas, afterwards Lord, of the same family as the foregoing, was born at Denton, Yorkshire, in 1611. His father. Lord Fairfax, sent him to Cambridge, but he preferred arms to books, and went to Holland as a volunteer under Lord Vere, whose daughter he married. A strong Presbyterian, he espoused the popular cause in the Civil War, and after presenting to the king a petition on Heyworth Moor begging him not to raise an army, he received the command of the cavalry under his father, who had control of the northern forces. At first he was no match in Yorkshire for the Earl of Newcastle, but when he raised the siege of Nantwich, fortune turned in his favour, and he effected a junction with his father and with the Scots, by the side of whom he fought at Marston Moor (1644). In that year he was severely wounded in attacking Helmesley Castle, and the fact increased his popularity. January, 1645, saw him appointed commander-in-chief in place of Essex, with Cromwell as his lieutenant. Together they won the battle of Naseby, and crushed out the Royalist spirit in the western counties. He was now so completely under Cromwell's influence that he severed himself from the Presbyterians to support the more violent Independents. In 1647 he was Constable of the Tower, and in 1648, having succeeded to the title, he held command at the siege of Colchester. He was appointed one of the king's judges, but took no active part in the proceedings. When the Scots took up arms in 1650, he declined to march against them, resigned his command, and retired into private life until 1659, when he joined Monk and seized York for the reactionary party. He subsequently served on the committee despatched to the Hague for the purpose of bringing back Charles II. The last eleven years of his life were spent at his home in Yorkshire, where he wrote an account of his public career and several minor works, dying in 1671. He left no son, the title devolving upon his cousin.