Sir William FAIRFAX of Steeton

Died: 31 Oct 1558, Steeton, England

Father: William FAIRFAX of Steeton (Sir)

Mother: Elizabeth MANNERS

Married: Isabel THWAITES 1518

Children:

1. Guy FAIRFAX

2. Thomas FAIRFAX of Denton (Sir)

3. Francis FAIRFAX

4. Edward FAIRFAX

5. Gabriel FAIRFAX

6. Henry FAIRFAX

7. John FAIRFAX

8. Anne FAIRFAX

9. Mary FAIRFAX

10. Bridget FAIRFAX

11. Ursula FAIRFAX

12. Agnes FAIRFAX

13. Eleanor FAIRFAX?


High Sheriff of the County of Yorkshire 1535 & 1540. He joined the Pilgrimage of Grace, 1536, but appears to have been pardoned for his share in that outbreak. He acquired the Manors of Bolton Percy and Nun Appleton in 1542 and Bilbrough in 1546. He was buried at Bolton Percy Church. His wife Isabel was of Denton, Askwith, and Bishop Hill and Davy Hill, York. She was made an heiress by her brother, John Thwaites. Her mother was daughter and heir of Nicholas Middleton. Isabel was the ward of the abbess of Nun Appleton. The story of the romance of Sir William and Isabel Thwaites was printed in the Baltimore Sun on 15 Jan 1903 and reads as follows:

"A romance equal to the Scottish ballad of Young Lochinvar twines about his marriage. The young Sir William Fairfax loved and was loved in return by Isabel Thwaits, a beautiful Yorkshire heiress, who was guarded like a rare flower within the walls of a Cisterclan nunnery, on the River Wharge. She was under the care of the Abbess, Anna Langton. The abbess was not slow to perceive the blossoming of love's springtime between her ward and the gallant young knight. Hence she prohibited all meetings between the pair, and the young suiter, finding supplication, diplomacy and even commands from those in high authority unavailing, stormed the nunnery in warlike fashion, captured the willing lady of his heart, carried her off in triumph to Bolton Percy Church, and without loss of time or speech with her abbess guardian made her his wife. Since all the world loves a lover the Ainsty region rang with rejoicings over the match, and Isabel Fairfax and her gallant knight lived happily ever after. Through his wife, William acquired Denton Castle and through her descendants the nunnery where she was confined was wrestled from the abbess, and Nun-Appleton, built upon its sight was afterward the home of Thomas Fairfax, 3rd baron, whose daughter's wooing was less tempestuous, but whose married life as Duchess of Buckingham was full of sorrow. The hothead himself, Sir William Fairfax was less patient with others of a like nature. Upon his death, he was succeeded by his second son, the eldest having died. Sir Thomas Fairfax of Denton who received that estate from his mother, but who lost Steeton Castle to his youngest son, Gabriel. The unruly son Thomas had offended his father by aiding the Duke of Bourbon at the sacking of Rome, hence his name is not even mentioned in the will. This will, copies of which still exist, is a curious document, in which the son fallen under the father's displeasure is never mentioned."

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