The Fairfax Family
The Fairfaxes were a long established Yorkshire Catholic family who owned extensive land and property in the county. Their principal residence was Gilling Castle, 20 miles north of York.
Charles Gregory Fairfax, ninth Viscount of Emley (1700-1772), who commissioned the re-modelling of Fairfax House, inherited his title and estates in 1738 upon the death of his father William Fairfax, the eighth Viscount. The Viscount married twice, losing his first wife Elizabeth Constable (nee Clifford) within a year of their marriage in 1721. His second marriage to Mary Fairfax, a not so distant cousin, produced nine children – seven of whom died in infancy – with Mary surviving barely two years after the birth of their last child. A further daughter, Elizabeth, died aged 17, so that by 1753 the Viscount had only one remaining daughter, Anne.