Sir Henry Fairfax
|Born||21 January 1837|
|Died||20 March 1900 (aged 63)|
|Years of service||1850-1900|
|Commands held||HMS Forte|
|Awards||Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath|
Henry Fairfax joined the Royal Navy in 1850 and, in 1862, was promoted to commander for "distinguished valour in the capture of a pirate slaver". In 1874, as commander of HMS Volage, he led an astronomical expedition to Kerguelen Islands in the southern Indian Ocean. As another decade passed, he was in command of HMS Monarch at the bombardment of Alexandria during the Anglo-Egyptian War of 1882 and was promoted to rear admiral in 1885. In 1887 he received appointment as commander-in-chief of Australia Station, the description given to the naval command of British colonial possessions in Australia and South Pacific and, on 24 October 1889, became Second Naval Lord. He served, from 1892 to 1895, as commander of the Channel Fleet, which was historically charged with defending the waters of the English Channel. In November 1892, HMS Howe stranded on rocks at the entrance to Ferrol Harbour; Fairfax as officer commanding the squadron was court-martialled but was acquitted on the ground that the chart in use was unreliable.
As well as seagoing commands, he held several land based appointments and was captain of Britannia, the Royal Navy Officer training establishment between 1887 and 1882 as well as being Naval Aide-de-camp to Queen Victoria in 1882.
In 1872 he married Harriet Kinloch.