Edward Fairfax was a translator, the natural son of Sir Thomas Fairfax the elder, of Denton in Yorkshire, and thus a half-brother of Sir Thomas Fairfax.
Fairfax lived at New Hall, Fewston, near Harrogate, Yorkshire, England in peace and prosperity. His translation of Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered, for which he is best known, is considered a masterpiece, one of the comparatively few translations which in themselves are literature. It was highly praised by Dryden and Waller. The first edition appeared in 1600, and was dedicated to Queen Elizabeth I of England. Fairfax also wrote a treatise on demonology, in which he was a devout believer.
Edward's daughters Elizabeth and Anne were baptised in Fewston village church in 1606 and 1621 respectively.