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Sir Andrew Fairbairn (5 March 1828 – 30 May 1901)[1] was a British Liberal politician.

Fairbairn was born in Glasgow, the son of Sir Peter Fairbairn, of Woodsley House, Leeds and his wife Margaret Kennedy. He was educated at Geneva, at Glasgow, and at Peterhouse, Cambridge.[2] He was called to the bar at Inner Temple in 1852. He became a captain in the Yorkshire Hussar Yeoman Cavalry and major in the 7th West Riding Rifle Volunteers. He was chairman of the engineering firm of Fairbairn, Naylor, Macpherson, & Co. of Leeds. He was Mayor of Leeds and chairman of Leeds School Board from 1871 to 1878. He was a member of Executive Committee of Leeds Exhibition of Fine Arts and a Royal Commissioner of the Paris Exhibition in 1868. He was a J.P and Deputy Lieutenant for the West Riding of Yorkshire and a J.P. for Leeds.[3]

Fairbairn was elected at the 1880 general election as one of the two Members of Parliament (MP) for Eastern West Riding of Yorkshire.[4] When that constituency was divided at the 1885 general election,[5] he was elected for the new Otley constituency. When the Liberals split over Irish Home Rule, Fairbairn joined the breakway Liberal Unionists, and was defeated at the 1886 general election by the Liberal party candidate.[5]

Sir Andrew lived at Goldsborough Hall, near Knaresborough during the 1870s, leased from the Lascelles family of Harewood House and built Askham Grange in 1886 as his country house. Askham Grange in Askham Richard, near York is now a women's open category prison. He married Clara Loraine, daughter of Sir John Lambton Loraine Bt and had no children.


  1. ^ "FAIRBAIRN, Sir Andrew". Who Was Who. A & C Black. 1920–2008. Retrieved 2009-07-18. 
  2. ^ Fairbairn, Andrew in Venn, J. & J. A., Alumni Cantabrigienses, Cambridge University Press, 10 vols, 1922–1958.
  3. ^ Debretts Guide to the House of Commons 1886
  4. ^ Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1977]. British parliamentary election results 1832–1885 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 492. ISBN 0-900178-26-4. 
  5. ^ a b Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1974]. British parliamentary election results 1885–1918 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 442. ISBN 0-900178-27-2. 

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Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Christopher Beckett Denison
Joshua Fielden
Member of Parliament for Eastern West Riding of Yorkshire
With: Sir John Ramsden, Bt.
Constituency abolished
see Barkston Ash, Osgoldcross, Otley, Pudsey, Ripon and Spen Valley
New constituency
Member of Parliament for Otley
Succeeded by
Sir John Barran, Bt.


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