Fairfax, the name of a family of English landowners and Scottish peers.
(1560–1640), First Baron Fairfax of Cameron, was employed by Queen Elizabeth I as a diplomat. He was created a baron in 1627.
(1584–1648), Second Baron Fairfax, commanded Parliamentary troops in Yorkshire during the English Civil War.
(1612–1671), Third Baron Fairfax, served under his father, Ferdinando, in the Civil War. He distinguished himself at the Battle of Marston Moor in 1644 and in the following year was appointed commander in chief of the Parliamentary army, with Oliver Cromwell as his principal field general. In 1645 Fairfax won the war's decisive battle, the Battle of Naseby. He opposed putting Charles I to death, and found himself increasingly out of sympathy with the more extreme policies of the Independents. When ordered to invade Scotland in 1650, he resigned his post instead and was succeeded by Cromwell. In 1660 Fairfax came out of retirement to aid in the Stuart Restoration.
(1692–1782), Sixth Baron Fairfax, inherited more than 5,000,000 acres (20,000 km 2) of land in Virginia. In 1747 he settled there permanently. Young George Washington helped survey Fairfax's estate. Washington's brother Lawrence was married to Fairfax's cousin. At the time of the American Revolution Fairfax was the only British peer living in America. Because he was a Loyalist his lands were confiscated after the war.