As royal governor of Virginia, Fauquier often hosted lavish parties where Jefferson (then a College of William and Mary student) played his violin and drank imported wines. Fauquier County in Northern Virginia is named in his honor. Also, due to his connection to several prominent members (both student and faculty) of The College of William & Mary, a building and a secret society (The Fauquier Society) on the campus are named for him.
Fauquier was born in England.
His father, Doctor John Francis Fauquier, born in France, relocated to Britain to work with Sir Isaac Newton. Doctor Fauquier later became director of the Bank of England.
Like his father, Fauquier was brought up to be a renaissance man with expertise in both science and industry, with interests in the arts and charity. He became director of the South Sea Company in 1751.
In that same year he also became one of the governors of the charitable Foundling Hospital for abandoned children.
He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1753. He came to the colony of Virginia as Lieutenant Governor in 1758 succeeding Robert Dinwiddie, and remained in that position until his death. He published several financial essays, among them the idea Raising Money for Support of the War, which was published in 1756, and served as an audition for the replacement of his Virginian predecessor.
In the absence of the governors—the Earl of Loudoun (1756-1763) and Jeffery Amherst (1763-1768)—he was the chief administrative officer
Instructions sent with him demanded that the office of treasurer of the colony be taken from the Speaker of the House of Burgesses, but he disobeyed these instructions and gained and maintained the friendship of the house. He commissioned in 1759 Andrew Burnaby to write a series of observations upon the state of the colonies.
In 1760 he informed the government of the trend toward opposition to British policies in the colony and proposed that British tax policy be changed. In 1765, however, he dissolved the House of Burgesses when it passed a resolution against the Stamp Acting.
Patrick Henry was a thorn in Fauquier"s side for some time.
He always called Henry "young and hotheaded". Except in combating disloyalty, he sympathized with the colonists, and was one of the ablest and most popular of the royal governors. Fauquier died in Virginia in 1768 at the age of 65.