Historical Art
by Yonita Fairfax

Family History

FAMILY HISTORY
Part of this story will be about a Lost Wife in the Fairfax part of our family tree.The interest for Yonita had been that because of this wife, whose details have vanished, Yonita had been given Fairfax as a middle name. Being a curious child, this intrigued her.

She wanted to know why and how it had come about .

The following documents about the Fairfax family explained this mystery to her and she hopes it will help other memebers of the Fairfax family to find their bearings.

But first we will mention that quite by co-incidence Kate Middleton who is now married to Prince William Windsor, comes down from William Fairfax, a 4th son. Then to John Fairfax a Non Conformist minister, then to Sarah Fairfax.
An American genealogist has confirmed this on to the world wide web, with some very complicated details, but Yonita has worked out a more understandable tree.
In the directory FAMILY see Kate Middleton

That part of Kate's family comes from the same Fairfax marriage as Yonita's grandfather, Hugh William Maunsell Gabbette-Fairfax, from the line of the First Sons.
Namely that of Sir Thomas Fairfax of Walton and Gilling Castle, to Lady Agnes Ann Gascoigne, daughter of Sir William Gascoigne of Gawthorpe, Yorkshire.

Yonita's Grandfather Hugh 's ancestor was their daughter Lady Margaret Fairfax, who then as a widow, a Femme Sole, married Richard Maunsell, whose mother was Elizabeth Wingfield, perhaps brother or father from the ambassadorial family, cf.Sir Richard Wingfield.

Perhaps the father of Elizabeth had been part of the diplomatic Wingfields of the time of Henry VIII, who worked also as a diplomat, with Sir Thomas Boleyn as Ambassadords to Austria. They went to Malines give support to Margaret of Austria,the Regent and daughter of Maximilian I, who ran a very strict formal ' Finishing type establishment ' there for noble young ladies - then sadly Thomas Boleyn had to write to her who had become his friend, to bring back his daughter, Ann Boleyn when Henry broke away from the Habsburg connection.
The interesting letters caused huge controversy over Anne's age but it was decided from her handwriting that Ann was a mature 12years old when she went to France to another very strict ' finishing school' type Court of the Reine Claude, whom historians have confused with the Tudor Queen as she spoke of La Reine, since she needed the strength to carry a train. Contrary to beleif Francois Ist court was strict in that it did not involve his wife's ladies. Henry had decided to give his sister to the old French King. But according to her, MaryRose Tudor, he had promised she could marry her own choice, second time round. Hence Anne was being sent to France for the marriage of Henry's favourite sister MaryRose Tudor to Louis XII, whom French History books say he then died two and half months later, that it was of over exertion in the marriage bed!


Margaret had been a widow of William Sawyer, a Gascoigne. Hence the marriage could well have been a family arrangement. When marrying as a Femme Sole, one could think that this new marriage was a love match for Lady Margaret. She married on 5 August 1535, into the Maunsell family.

It seems there were courtiers in the family. Richard Maunsell was a 4 son. The second brother Hugh's son, hence Richard's grandson, was Groom of the Bedchamber to Henry VIII so he would have known William Carey, also a Groom, who had married Mary Boleyn. This Maunsell then became Marshall to the Hall of Queen Elizabeth I.
Ref. Burke, Maunsell family, Irish Records.page 799.
See below for the family tree details.LINE of FIRST SONS from Original document the Moor Pedigree, Barbican Archives, left side page 187. And Burke Irish Records

The Lost Wife.

Yonita could be yelling in frustration as it has taken her at least 30 years to locate The Lost Wife. But thanks to modern technology, and a book which led Yonita to fold back the layers and unearth many Fairfax family papers, she feels that she is on the right track.
The book was written by a family member, Sir Clements Markham, who took the trouble to have many family letters printed, rather than throwing them away. The papers and letters show a very loving family which was dedicated to doing the best for their country at a high cost to themselves.
The Fairfaxes were an old noble Yorkshire family who had always played their part in the county's history, and felt they were now being called up to help the country itself, when they felt that King Charles I was not giving justice to the Country. Taxes were too high and bribery was rife.
They rose to the occasion as for example the letter of Sir William of Steeton shows. the letter is mentioned here. Sadly Sir William, a brave man, was killed at the siege of Montgomery Castle

Yonita feels very grateful to Sir Clements and to Brian Fairfax, who was the scribe for the Parliamentary Commander, Sir Thomas Fairfax, 3 Baron of Cameron, and also the scribe for Lord George Villiers, 2 Duke of Buckingham, (2 creation), who married Mary, daughter of Sir Thomas. In particular Brian was active and helped during the period of the recall of Charles II.
The Villiers as 2 creation is important to note. This is because a family member, on the Plantagenet side, Edward Stafford,who was 3 Duke of Buckingham had been executed, and therefore the Stafford dukedom fell vacant, and was re-created for the Villiers family.
The son Henry Lord Stafford married to Lady Urusla Pole was dispossessed of everything. There is an interesting letter from the favourite of Queen Elizabeth I who gives him some clothes.
So the Dukedom was re-created by James I for his favourite George Villiers, father of 2 Duke.

Yonita felt the finding of the bones of Richard III opened up an avenue for her to show how the Fairfax family had family links with the Plantagenets. They did navigate between various political sides, as they had always done. The Fairfax family of Gilling Castle remained Roman Catholic whilst the Steeton family became Protestant.
See Further down for Genealogical link Fairfax to Richard III FAMILY HISTORY

Often first wives feel they are more important since they are living the high life with their husband in the now; feel jealous even, and do not want to look at any past loves he might have had. Yonita's mother Renee, was a daughter from the next marriage of her father, Hugh William Maunsell Gabbette-Fairfax to Eugenie Diricq. This French lady whom Yonita never knew, might even have been faintly annoyed at the interest shown by her daughter in this other wife, who will be called for ease, the Lost Wife.
As already stated,Renee and Yonita spent many leisure hours with Burke looking for her, since she was Hugh's Fairfax cousin!
The Fairfax descent of the line the Lost Wife would of course not be the same one as that of her grandfather, Hugh, who was on the line of the First sons, of Walton and Gilling Castle to become Viscounts of Elmley, (Burke) or Elmly various spellings; of Tipperary, Ireland.

So Yonita's mother, Renee, must have asked her much older father the relevant questions, and without those questions, and her own, to her mother, much of the family connection would have been lost.
Because her mother started to become a minimalist, to destroy papers, and letters, therefore when Yonita saw this, even as a young child, she kept what she could.
She re-wrote the Gabbette Maunsell family tree, not even thinking of linking it to the Fairfax tree as is now done, or to the Plantagenet connection provided by a friend .
The Gabbette paper needed to be so large that it became unmanageable, so not much progress was made. Even the date of birth of her grandfather was contested by a cousin, who said he was in the same form at Uppingham. Hugh was either born in 1848 or 1849, he said. His second wife, Eugenie, put up a cross for him at Weymouth in the very old cemetery of Melcombe Regis. Perhaps they lived there at one time.Another fact to reserch.
From the gravestone it says Hugh died in 1920, when he was 72.Sadly Eugenie's name does not appear. What happened to her? It is thanks to her that there is a gravestone at all, and Eugenie also had a monument erected to their son, Oliver, Renee's brother killed in WWI.
In the same 'vanishing' way Yonita did not ask what her mother did with Stanley Ward, her husband, Yonita's father.
The question remains to ask what sort of records to keep, and for whom which is also why Yonita is writing up these records, for any other member of the Fairfax family, in particular those who came through the female line.

It might help someone - not having to delve for years into a vast number of books as she has.

As we have said, Hugh himself was already a Fairfax from the Gascoigne marriage of the line of First Sons, through Lady Margaret, daughter of Sir Thomas Fairfax to Agnes Ann Gascoigne, but when he wanted to marry his Fairfax cousin, her mother stepped in.
She was a very determined lady. She would not allow this marriage unless her conditions were fullfilled.
These were that Hugh needed to promise that the FAIRFAX name would be kept in perpetuity in his family line. This she said was because it had been requested by one of her ancestors, Sir Robert, the Admiral, because so many sons had been killed in the service of our country, and he did not want important family information to be lost.
Hugh promised her mother and married his cousin.
Yonita wants to add here that her mother Renee stood by the promise. Yonita thought she had made this clear to her sons, but they turned a deaf ear.

And it would appear that in Scottish history Charles II reign starts on the date of execution of his father in 1649, and therefore ignores the period called the Interregnum.
Does this mean that the civil war and its valliant deaths for a Parliament for this country were also wiped out?
In English History the date of Charles II reign starts in 1660. It was Sir Thomas Fairfax and other Generals who rode to the Netherlands and invited Charles back to reign in England.
It is shameful that once King,he did not honour the brave men of the civil war, who fought for justice, for the country especially about honesty in law and fair taxation, but had the 59 commissioners who were signatories to his father's sentance executed, amongst whom were the Chaloner brothers, cousins of Sir Thomas.

Going back to the Lost Wife.
'Then what happened', Yonita asked her mother.

'She was killed in a tragic accident'. Since she had two children from a previous marriage, Yonita presumed they were also killed since her mother did not elaborate further, and she did not like to ask.
Hugh an engineer, had a rubber plantation in Java, and when Krakatoa exploded, he lost everything.Then when the ship SSNaipal went down, he lost 5 trunks, all his medals and diaries. All so very sad.

Yonita much preferred the name Fairfax to her father's name, Ward, and felt grateful to have been given it.
She thought Hugh looked really nice holding his Panama hat in a photograph she saw of him.

After such a trajedy, she was really glad that Hugh had finally had a child he loved, her mother, Renee, who lived. Because as well as losing his first wife, the Lost Wife, and his step children, then having married again, to Eugenie, Oliver his son was killed in WWI but not declared dead for 5 years. Frances the first daughter had died young.

The story must have affected Yonita.
Strangely enough one of her first Artworks was showing something similar to an explosion like the smoke from a volano such as Krakatoa although the artwork 's content was felt,seen and taken as an Environmental Cry for humanity.

The Genealogical tree of the First Sons of Walton and Gilling which shows Yonita's Grandfather's connection is included here. It is a copy of an Original handwritten Document from the Barbican Archives. And published here in full in its original handwriting.
It was a huge tome very heavy and for clarity the page has been split in two to show the Parliamentary Commander on another page as he was on the right hand side since coming from the lineage of a Second son, Sir Guy who built STEETON Manor house into a Castle.

Sir Thomas' daughter Lady Mary married George Villiers, 2 Duke of Buckingham, with whom she fell in love when engaged to be married to someone else.
George built Cliveden and there was a house near De Villiers Street, Strand. Then because of the way George Villiers, behaved by bringing in a mistress, a Talbot, to live in the same house with Lady Mary Fairfax, one can imagine why there was no issue. This story is elaborated further on. Various people have commented on this ' How could Sir Thomas let his daughter marry such a man?'

Hence the lack of issue means that the title moved accross and on.
In this instance one needs to look to the right on the family tree over to the knights who lived on the DENTON side, inherited through a wife,
Then down to the person who was living at the time, who inherited and who then became the next 4 Baron of Cameron. This was Thomas, son of the Rev. Henry. It was The Rev. Henry who baptised the Chaloner and Stapleton children. Henry was the brother of Sir Thomas' father, hence Sir Thomas' uncle. Then one presumes this line leads to the current holders of the Baron of Cameron title.

For Yonita's own specific family search,for the Lost Wife, we go on to another line, via Gabriel, various scandals, to the Castle of STEETON and the Manor house at NEWTON KYME, then down to The Admiral Robert, to the above mentioned missing member of the family; the Lost Wife, being the First wife of her grandfather Hugh Maunsell Gabbette-Fairfax.

SEE How the Story of his LOST WIFE goes down to Hugh William Maunsell Gabbette Fairfax, the Grandfather of Yonita From the line of the First Sons. Namely that of Sir Thomas Fairfax of Walton and Gilling Castle, to Lady Agnes Ann Gascoigne, daughter of Sir William Gascoigne of Gawthorpe, Yorkshire.

All the entries for the first sons show that they lived at W which stands for WALTON then G which stands for GILLING CASTLE.

Here is shown the Large Hall with heraldic shields of the related families from the wives. The Document of the LINE of the FIRST SONS is from the Original handwritten document the Moor Pedigree, at the Barbican Archives, left side page 187

But how did the 'missing lady' the Lost Wife fit into the family tree? Yonita like the baby elephant had insatiable curiosity. On further questioning, Renee, Yonita's mother, tore off a scrap of paper, wrote down the name ' Parliamentary Commander, Sir Thomas Fairfax'- drew a horizonatal line to the right, then wrote the name Robert further down vertically.
Renee knew her history.Chambers' Encyclopedia was bedtime reading for her in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, where she died. But she did not explain further except to say at times, "Royalist to a Parliamentary family, Irish and French, what can you do?"

Renee's scrap of paper meant nothing to Yonita. But being a child this just highlighted the mystery for her which she became determined to unravel. Strangely enough a son has been born to Yonita's third son, Flint Gabbett-Fairfax, on the same day as Renee's birthdate, 13th June, and whose name will be Thomas Spencer Macgregor.
He has jet black hair just like 'Black Tom' the Parliamentary Commander.

It was only names to her but it started her interest in genealogy. This became an interest which has taken over much time in her life, particularly as at Roedean, she preferred the idea of Geography to History since History seemed already so complicated and one had to choose one or the other. So the history has come very late in life, and is really connected to the overall family connections.

In a family full of Thomses, Williams, Johns, Edwards, there seemed to be not many Roberts. She found an Ann Spencer who had married a Robert but that led to a charming Mr. Rookledge, not our Robert.
The only Robert who fitted Yonita has now found was the Admiral Robert Fairfax whose portrait hung in Fairfax House, York.
She was very fortunate in being able to visit Walton in Sept 2012, whose name she had seen on the main family tree in conjunction with Gilling Castle. The village was really connected to Sir Thomas of the Wars of the Roses era , since there was a book written by a researcher, which mentioned a Sir Thomas Fairfax.

On the Plantagenet side, which comes in via the Maunsells, Yonita had been researching George, Duke of Clarence and his part in the War of the Roses, -but what a coincidence with relevance to her research, when she found by looking at his dates, that this Fairfax ancestor, Sir Thomas, had dates that exactly paralleled the War of the Roses, was a Knight and moreover lived at Walton, near York. He seemed to have survived Bosworth even, dying in 1505, having been knighted by Henry VII, quite a feat.

This was a link between both sides of the genealogical tree. Perhaps they had met-certanly one would think he most certanly would have heard about George, if not disowning any connection with him, since George was considered to be a traitor. Very embarassing for what history she did learn at school!

Her direct Plantagenet family members were some of the ones who were persecuted and executed by the crown. George Duke of Clarence being a case in point, and there is material here from the Chancellors that is not mentioned elsewhere.
Clarence's character seems to have been left with the stigma of the drowning in the barrel of Malmsey wine. There was a lot of hate and resentment around.
Yet overlooked is the fact that without his help 'Warwick' Richard Nevill, would not have been able to re-instate Henry VI, and without the help of his troops Edward IV would not have been able to gain back his throne. So perhaps one wonders whether Clarence should share with Warwick the title of 'Kingmaker'.

There is a strong case for the illegitimacy of Edward's marriage as outlined in the book, Eleanor the Secret Queen.

Clarence does not seem to have addressed the situation in a way other than that which led to his own execution. It seems there are few historical books about Clarence because he never became king.

Yonita tries to address Clarence's actions, and found digging was necessary as a result of the way the War of the Roses is written up, every book only from their own point of view. Little is said about him yet Clarence played an important part.
With few books mentioning Clarence, it seemed easier reading for her at first to focus on Clarence's daughter, the 'Blessed Princess Margaret Plantagenet' , and Cardinal Reginald Pole, Archbishop of Canterbury, her son who had had their places mapped out. Cardinal Pole's not very pleasant as he was part of the Inquisition.

Similarly the fact that the De la Gabbette family, her mother's family had according to the memoirs of Major Suffield, 5the Baron, Lord -in -Waiting to Queen Victoria, been the grandmother's family of the mother Arlette de Grestin of William the Conqueror. [Ref. Memoirs of Lord Suffield, page 386].

It is tedious to repeat historical facts yet that is what historical books do endlessly without the aid of genealogical trees.

Without the trees how can you explain who is who.

Yonita address that point as she situates people within their families with a tree. Her essays are comments on what she has found, in particular with respect to the War of the Roses. In particular the Nevills and the Dukes of Somerset, the Beauforts, during the War of the Roses are often confusing. The Dukes of Somerset 's family name was Beaufort, and not Somerset .They are often mentioned without stating which one is the current player. This is confusing even to a reader who knows their history.
Many historical books which quite naturally state the titles of the people, do not then, when the title has been given to someone else state this change over. The author often still uses the name of the titles, without mentioning the person has changed.
Often the titles alone are mentioned as if one is meant to remember who is now inside them. In order to address this confusion Yonita has made a list of the dramatic personae with their titles and their names, and where possible explains whom she is referring to.
Yonita therefore in these pages has joined these elements together with her own Art work and photographs, as well as some from the public domain. Vignettes which here stand for End Notes, come at the end, because E would come in the middle of a memory stick when allied to the alphabet-( a question of beating the machine) These are facts found from various encyclopedias, but the aid of genealogical trees explain the modus operandi of the medieval characters, who are historically correct.
These pages are accurately researched and for those interested in the past rather than a theory of postmodernism or postcolonialism. Hence in her other writing, we weave from 'the now' to 'the medieval' and back again. Yonita would like to clarify the historical discussions that are under way about her family members who are mentioned here which is the difference between writing out numbers of a sum on paper and doing the calculation in your head. Yonita found in her life many of the same situations, and that on dates of significance for her, like 13 June, and 13 October,events of significance had arisen for her ancestors.As already mentioned many were executed, George Duke of Clarence born 21 October 1449 till his execution on 18 Feb 1478 and one hopes that the dissent between the brothers did not carry on down the generations. George's daugher' The Blessed Princess Margaret' executed, 27 May 1541; as well as Edward her brother when he was the current Earl of Warwick, aged 24, having been kept in the Tower since he was 11 years old by Henry VII [when in fact the legitimate male heir to the Throne]; their in law, Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham executed on 17, May 1521, (ten days and twenty years before Margaret) meant the most powerful families in the land at the time and their descendants were attainted. David Hicks has written one of the few books on Clarence, 'False, Fleeting Perjur'd Clarence'. Not being a novelist Yonita has found the latest description from Philippa Gregory of the drowning of Clarence as unpleasant and without real foundation. It could have been a barrel used as a bath, as it is said to have been his choice, so that it could have been a peaceful end, and not the thrashing around as shown in the film about her book 'The White Queen'.


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TO SEE How the Story goes down to Hugh William Maunsell Gabbette-Fairfax, Grandfather of YonitaFairfax.
For Yonita's own specific family search,for the LOST WIFE,
we go to the Line of the Second Sons.
via Gabriel,
various scandals,
to the Castle of STEETON to Sir William killed at Montgomery Castle,
the regicides the Chaloners.
then to the Manor house at NEWTON KYME,
then down to The Admiral Robert Fairfax,
to his Stapleton grandchildren where the the above mentioned missing member of the family, the Lost Wife, will be found ie. the First wife of her grandfather Hugh Maunsell Gabbette-Fairfax. Click here

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*If you would like to see Family tree for Fairfax family Connection with RICHARD III, then Click here

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