Thomas Fairfax (Gilling)

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Sir Thomas Fairfax (c. 1475 – 1520) was an owner of Gilling Castle, near Gilling East, North Riding of Yorkshire, England.

Sir Thomas Fairfax (father)[edit]

Fairfax's father, also named Thomas,[1] was presumably a supporter of the House of York in the Wars of the Roses. His original home was near the site of the Battle of Towton. Based on the 1349 marriage between Margaret de Etton and their ancestor, a third Thomas Fairfax of Walton,[1] the elder Thomas Fairfax successfully claimed the ownership of the Gilling Estate during two inquisitions, the first of which was in 1489.[2]

The elder Thomas Fairfax married Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Sherburne of Lancashire.[3] Their son, the younger Thomas Fairfax, was the eldest of nine children; his brothers' names were Richard, Robert and John, and his sisters were Jane, Elizabeth, Isabel, Anne and Dorothy.[1]


In 1513, the younger Fairfax served with Henry VIII on his expedition to Artois. He was knighted when the city of Tournai (now in Belgium) surrendered to the king.[2] Upon his father's death in 1505, the younger Thomas Fairfax inherited the Gilling estate.

Marriage and family[edit]

The younger Fairfax's wife was Agnes (or Anne) Gascoigne,[1] daughter of Lady Margaret Percy, the daughter of Henry Percy, 3rd Earl of Northumberland and through him, a descendant of Edward III.[2][4] Agnes's father was Sir William Gascoigne "the Younger" of York, a descendant of another Sir William Gascoigne.

Fairfax had six sons and six daughters.

A celebrated member of the Fairfax family is Thomas Fairfax, 3rd Lord Fairfax of Cameron (17 January 1612 – 12 November 1671) – the distant cousin of Sir Thomas Fairfax (Gilling) – who was a general and Parliamentary commander-in-chief during the English Civil War.[5]

Records[6] reveal that in his will, dated 26 November 1520, Sir Thomas Fairfax names his wife Anne (Agnes) – "Dame Anne Fairfax, my wif" – as an executrix and she is granted administration 11 April 1521.


  • Marwood, John (1995). "Chapter 9.1: The Fairfax Family". A History of Gilling. Available publicly online through APL-385.
  1. ^ a b c d Norcliffe, Charles Best (1881). "The Visitation of Yorkshire in the years 1563 and 1564 made by William Fowler, Esq Norroy King of Arms". The Publications of the Harleian Society. The Harleian Society. XVI: 117–119.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Marwood 1995, Chapter 9.1
  3. ^ Adolph, Anthony (July 2012). "The Fairfax ancestry of the Duchess of Cambridge – a correction". Genealogists' Magazine. Vol. 30, no. 10. London: Society of Genealogists.
  4. ^ Burke, John (1835). A genealogical and heraldic History of the Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland. Vol. II. London. p. 115.
  5. ^ Cracroft-Brennan, Patrick. "Fairfax of Cameron, Lord (S, 1627) – Cracroft's Peerage". Heraldic Media Limited. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  6. ^ "The will of Sir Thomas Fairfax of Walton, Knight". Testamenta Eboracensia. Vol. V. Durham: Andrews & Co. 1884. pp. 121–123.
Preceded by Owner of Gilling Castle
Succeeded by