Sir Thomas Fairfax, 1647 (c)
Engraving by Francis Engleheart after Edward Bower, 1647, published by Edward Jeffery, 1808.
Fairfax had fought briefly for the Dutch in the Netherlands. In the crisis of 1641-42, he was one of the moderates who were anxious for agreement between King and Parliament.
In the confused fighting of 1643, Fairfax held the West Riding of Yorkshire for Parliament. Although defeated by the Marquess of Newcastle at the Battle of Adwalton Moor (30 June), he later managed to prevent Hull from falling to the Royalists. Later that year he fought with Cromwell at the Battle of Winceby (11 October), which secured Lincolnshire for Parliament.
In 1644, Fairfax defeated the Royalist forces at the Battle of Nantwich (25 January) and commanded the right wing of the Parliamentarian army at the Battle of Marston Moor (2 July). The following February he was appointed Captain General of the New Model Army, later winning the crucial victories of Naseby (6 June) and Langport (10 July).
With the fighting over, Fairfax still hoped for a settlement with Charles I. He refused to participate in trial and execution of the King, and resigned his command in 1650.
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National Army Museum, Out of Copyright
National Army Museum, Study collection
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