Kitchen Accounts of Sir William Fairfax


f [7] (30 December)


Supper Sir William bellasses and his sone
Mr Ielian
Supper plaiers iij meas


  • Endnote

    The Fairfax family was resident at Gilling Castle.

    It is not clear which of Sir William's six sons dined with him on this occasion. It may very well have been his eldest son and heir, Henry Bellasis (1555–1624), who succeeded his father in 1604 and was created baronet in 1611. He was JP for the North Riding c 1586–7, c 1594–6, and from 1601 until his death. He was a member of the Council of the North from 1603 until his death and was appointed sheriff of Yorkshire for 1603–4. He was elected MP for Thirsk in 1586, 1589, 1593, and 1601, and for Aldborough in 1597 (HPO, 'Bellasis, Henry (1555–1624),' accessed 29 December 2020).

  • Document Description

    Record title: Kitchen Accounts of Sir William Fairfax
    Repository: NYCRO
    Shelfmark: ZCV(F)
    Repository location: Northallerton

    For biographical information on the Fairfax family, see the Introduction. Sir William's steward John Woodward kept daily accounts of expenditures in the kitchen. The set is virtually complete from July 1571 to March 1582, with breaks between July 1572–October 1574, October 1575–November 1578, and October 1579–March 1580. In addition to expenditures on foodstuffs, the steward records on a daily basis the presence of 'strangers' at breakfast, dinner, or supper. Most of these are Fairfax family and friends, though there are some guests of a wider national significance, such as Walter Devereux (b. 1569), first husband of Margaret Dakins (later Lady Margaret Hoby) and brother of Robert Devereux (1565–1601), nineteenth earl of Essex, who visited on several occasions in 1579–80, and (occasionally) performers as well (P&P; Hoby, Diary, p 5). These lists are clearly not exhaustive, since most conclude with the phrase 'with others.' The Great Hall at Gilling, until 2018 the dining hall of Ampleforth Junior School, underwent extensive rebuilding c 1571–85 ('St Martin's Ampleforth, Wikipedia,, accessed 5 January 2021, Yorkshire Guide,, accessed 29 December 2020; Pevsner, North Riding, p 167).

    27 December 1578–2 January 1578/9; English; paper; 14 leaves; 300mm x 215mm; unfoliated; repaired; mounted on modern paper with paper wrapper, title on front cover: '9th Book | 27 December 1578–2 January 1578/9.'

Back To Top