The Fairfaxes and York

Viscount Fairfax was by nature a town dweller and, in his younger days, regularly journeyed to London and sometimes to Bath. However, by the mid-1750s he was spending most of the winter season in York, leasing a property on High Petergate.

In 1758, evidently persuaded by York’s vibrant social scene and perhaps feeling the burden of the arduous if not perilous 200 mile journey by coach down to London, the Viscount decided to establish a permanent base in the city with the purchase of a property on Castlegate, then one of York’s principal streets. The house was to be a sumptuous new residence for the family, firmly establishing them amongst the city’s wealthy elite. It is likely that the property was also to have been a lasting financial provision for Anne, who by the late 1750s was in her mid-thirties, had experienced two broken engagements, and following the Viscount’s death would have no male heirs to protect her.