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 remodelling of Fairfax House, inherited his title and estates in the 1720s. The Viscount married twice, losing his first wife Anne within a year of their marriage. His second marriage, to Mary Constable, 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 died aged 17, so that by 1753 the Viscount had only one remaining daughter, Anne.