Introduction to England's Fortress New Perspectives on Thomas, 3rd Lord Fairfax
chapterposted on 27.04.2017, 10:44 by Andrew Hopper, Philip Major
[First paragraph] There is little question that Thomas Fairfax made a substantial contribution to a momentous period in the nation’s history. Captain-General of the New Model Army he had (with assistance from Philip Skippon) created, and, from 1647, Commander-in-Chief of all parliamentarian forces, he consistently defeated crown forces on civil war battlefields such as Wakefield, Nantwich, Marston Moor, Maidstone and – most pivotally – Naseby, earning him the soubriquet of England’s Fortress, from which this book’s title derives. 1 Despite this, he remains a curiously elusive and enigmatic figure. The comparatively modest volume of relevant scholarship both reflects and is partly responsible for this. Andrew Hopper’s 2007 biography has illuminated important new aspects of his life, especially those of political allegiance, religious affiliation and concepts of honour.2 However, the fact that only three other major studies exist, published in 1870, 1938 and 1985, comes as something of a surprise, particularly when contrasted with the near-industrial scale of research and publication on Oliver Cromwell.