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Lineage: Sarah5, James4, Henry3, Edwin2, William1

  SANDYS, c.1500-aft.1690
Related Families:  Dixon | Wilsford | Chauncey | Hutchinson | Walker | Niles

Migration: Lancashire, ENG>Nottinghamshire, ENG>Berkshire Co., ENG>Boston, MA>Block Island, RI


        (1)  William Sandys signed a will on 23 April 1546, and died about 1548 in England. He was buried in Church of St. Michael's, Hawkshead, Lancashire, England.  William supported Henry VIII and was made Receiver General for the Liberties at Furnace.  He lived in Hawkshead, Furnace Fells. His principal residence was Esthwaite Hall, but he owned Graythwaite Hall as well. His death date is disputed, some give it as late as 1558, but apparently it was between 23 April 1546 (date of will) and 1549 when  during the easter term a suit was filed in the Duchy Court of Lancaster against William and Christopher Sandys, sons of William Sandys, deceased, in regard to certain smithies in Furnance Fells granted 15 November 1537 by Henry VIII jointly to William Sandys and William Sawrey.
        William was married to Margaret Dixon, died after 1548.  Claims that Margaret was of royal descent have been disproven by virtue of the fact that such genealogies place five generations being born and dying in the space of about 25 years.
        William and his wife are emtombed in the Sandys Choir in the church of St Michael's at Hawkshead, under a table monument. His will is no longer found but was quoted from in 1774.

  1. George, died on 10 September 1547 in battle on the field of Musselburg, resided at Graywaite and Field Head in
  2. Hawkshead.
  3. William, died about 1558; resided in Colton Hall and Cornishead Priory; was Baliff of the Liberties in Furnace. Had issue by both wives.
  4. Edwin, mentioned below
  5. Christopher, died in April 1588, and was buried on 15 April 1588 in Hawkshead Church, England.
  6. Myles, was a resident of Latimers and Isthahamp, Bucks and Brimpsfield, Gloucester Co., and of the Middle Temple, London.  He was High Sheriff of Gloucester.
  7. Anthony, died about November 1591, was buried on 13 November 1591 in Hawkshead Church, England. His descendant, Major George Owen Sandys occupied Esthwaite Hall in 1915.
  8. Anne, was named in her fathers will


        (2) Edwin Sandys, Archbishop of York, (at right), was born in 1516 or 1519 in Hawkshead Parish, Furnace Fells, Lancashire, England. He signed a will on 1 August 1587, and died on 10 July 1588, and was buried in Southwell Minister, Nottinghamshire, England. He had an estate probated on 22 May 1590, and he was buried in Southwell Minister, Nottinghamshire, England. Edwin was educated at St. Johns College, Cambridge University where he matriculated in 1533.  In 1547 he was master of Catharine Hall. He was named Rector of the University in 1542, Master of St. Catherine's Hall in 1547, and was Vice Chancellor of the Cambridge when Edward VI died in 1553.
        Edwin supported the cause of Lady Jane Gray.  Upon the death of Edward VI, Edwin took a stand on the side of
Protestantism, preaching a sermon before the University and the Duke of Northumberland which committed himpublically. The sermon was printed, Mary (a Catholic) was proclaimed Queen, and Sandys and was committed to the Tower of London on 25 July 1553.  Finally obtaining release, he crossed to the Continent and joined the group of exiles who were to be the forerunners in England of the church puritans. At Zurich, to which he had gone following the death of his first wife and their only child at Strasbourg, he lived for a time in the house of Peter Martur.
        After Elizabeth's accension in 1558 Edwin returned to England. He was made bishop of Worcester 21 December 1559 and in 1570 he was promoted to bishop of London. Edwin was consecrated the Archbishop of York on 8 March 1576/1577, in which office he was promient in the ecclesiastical and politcial disputes of his era.  In 1916 the family Bible of Edwin Sandys with entries of his childrens birth in his hand was existent at the Grammer School, Hawskshead. He wrote a lengthy will which still survives.
        Edwin Sandys' personality and convictions brought him many enemies, but he accepted them serelely by saying that, " . . . when Gods cause cometh to hand, I forget what displeasure may follow."  He believed that celibacy was not required of the clergy, he opposed vestments and the making of the sign of the cross, he fought against the encroachments of secular government upon church property, and he opposed Queen Elizabeth I on the subject of images. He was criticized for devising to his eldest son Scrooby Manor (at left), a noble building situated on the great road to Scotland which had been given to the See of
York. Scrooby Manor was occupied by the postmaster William Brewster who traveled to America aboard the Mayflower and was Elder of the Plymouth church.  On the whole, Edwin was admired and respected, and generally had the full support of Elizabeth. His great scholarship was evidenced in his sermons (now availabale in hardback as "The Sermons of Edwin Sandys", his translations (through the books of Chronicles) for the Bishop's Bible, his various pastoral epistles and other letters, and in his founding of the Hawkshead Grammar School.
        Edwin Sandys married first his cousin Mary Sandys of Essex, who, with their only child, James, died while he was in exile between 1554 and 1560.  Edwin was married a second time to Cecily Wilsford on 19 February 1558/1559. Cecily signed a will on 17 January 1610/1611, and died between 17 January 1610/1611 and 12 February 1610/1611. She had an estate probated on 12 February 1610/1611 in Prerogative Court of Canterbury, England. She was buried in Woodham Ferras, Essex Co., England.  According to her epitaph, "She led a most Christian and holy life, carefully educated her children, wisely governed her familye, charitably relieved the poore, and was a true mirror of a Christian matron."


  1. Sir Samuel, born on 28 December 1560, died on 18 August 1623, buried in Wickhamford, Worcestershire, England. He was Sheriff of Worcestershire 16 James I (1618), a member of Parliment 13 (1615) and 18 (1620) James I, and a member of the Virginia Company. He held manors at Worchestershire, Essex, and Yorkshire. A monument to him and his wife, Mercy Culpepper, stands at the Wickhamford church.  They had 11 children including daughter Margaret who married Sir. Francis Wyatt, Governor of Virginia. One of his descendants, Samuel Sandys, was created Baron Sandys in 1743.
  2. Sir Edwin, born on 9 December 1561, died in October 1629, was buried in Northbourne Church, England.  He married first Margaret Eveleigh; second Elizabeth Nevinson; third Catherine Bulkeley; fourth Anne Southcott.  He was Treasurer of the Virginia Company and was instrumental in obtaining the charter that the Pilgrims needed to be granted passage to the Americas.
  3. Miles, born 29 March 1563, died 1644; married Elizabeth Cooke.
  4. William, born 13 September 1565
  5. Margaret, born 22 December 1566; married Sir Anthony Aucher
  6. Thomas, born 3 December 1568
  7. Anne, born 21 June 1570; married William Barne
  8. Henry, mentioned below
  9. George, born 2 March 1576/1577; he signed the Third Charter of Virginia


        (3)  Henry Sandys, born 30 September 1572 in Furnesse Fells, Lancashire, England, died 1654 in New England; married Priscilla Chauncey.  He was was admitted freeman of Boston in the year 1640.  Henry was one of the signers of the Third Charter of Virgina with his brothers Edwin and George.  Parents of:

        (4)  James Sands, born 1622 in Reading, Berkshire Co., England, died 13 March 1694/1695 in New Shoreham, Block Island, Rhode Island; married 1651 in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, Sarah Walker, daughter of John Walker and Katherine Hutchinson.
        It was in 1658 that John with his wife came from England and landed at Plymouth, and soon after this he undertook
the building of a house for Mrs. Hutchinson.  Capt. Sands was a young man at the time the noted Ann Hutchinson (his wife's grandmother) was banished her from the Massachusetts Bay Colony on account of Antinomian preaching. Anne settled in East Chester, New York, and employed John to build her house, the following account of which is given by the Rev. Samuel Niles, who was the grandson of John and Sarah:

        "In order to pursue her purpose she agreed with Captain James Sands, then a young man, to build her a house, and he took a partner with him in the business. When they had near spent their provisions, he sent his partner for more which was to be fetched at a considerable distance. While his partner was gone there came a company of Indians to the frame where he was at work, and made a great shout, and sat down. After some time they gathered up his tools, put his broad-ax on his shoulder, and his other tools into his hands, and made signs to him to go away. But he seemed to take no notice of them, but continued in his work. At length one of them said, Ye-hah Mumuneketock, the English of which is, ‘Come, let us go,’ and they all went away to the water-side for clams or oysters. [They were near the Hudson river.]  After some time they came back, and found him still at work as before. They again gathered up his tools, put them into his hands as before they had done, with the like signs moving him to go away. He still seemed to take no notice of them, but kept on his business, and when they had stayed some time, they said as before, Ye-hah Mumuneketock. Accordingly they all went away, and left him there at his work – a remarkable instance of the restraining power of God on the hearts of these furious and merciless infidels, who otherwise would doubtless in their rage have split out his brains with his own ax.  However, the Indians being gone, he gathered up his tools and drew off, and in his way met his partner bringing provisions, to whom he declared the narrow escape he had made for his life. Resolving not to return, and run a further risk of the like kind, they both went from the business."
Mrs. Hutchinson hired others to finish her house. Soon after, she with her whole family, sixteen in all, was murdered by the Indians.
        A short time after his return from that undertaking to Massachusetts, he became involved with the enterprise of settling
Block Island, three years after his arrival from England. In what year he came to the Island is not certain, for his name
does not appear among the sixteen who went in April 1661, nor is it in the list of those who met 17 August 1660 at the house of Dr. John Alcock of Roxbury to buy the Island; and yet, in the memorandum of the survey, his name is mentioned, along with  the numbers of the lots that constituted his sixteenth part of the Island, identifying him with the first purchasers and settlers. His lots were numbered 12, and 14, and 15, the latter two owned by him and John Glover. He came from Taunton, Massachusetts, to the Island, and was soon distinguished as a prominent citizen.
        In March 1664, the General Assembly of Rhode Island notified the inhabitants of Block Island that they were under the care of the Rhode Island government, and at the same time informed James Sands, then a freeman of Rhode Island, to come "in to the Governor or deputy-Governor, to take his engagement as Constable or Conservator of the peace there."
        In May 1664, John Sands with Mr. Joseph Kent, presented to the General Assembly of Rhode Island, a petition in behalf of the Islanders that Joseph Kent, Thomas Terry, Peter George, Simon Ray, William Harris, Samuel Bearing, John Rathbone, John Davies, Samuel Staples, Hugh Williams, Robert Guthrig, William Tosh, Tollman Bose, William Carboone, Tristrome Dodge, John Clark, and William Barker might be admitted as freemen of the Colony of Rhode Island. The Assembly referred the petition to a committee consisting of Roger Williams, Thomas Olney, and Joseph Torrey, who reported favorably upon all the above names except Hugh Williams, against whom was a rumor of his having said some words reproachful of the colony. After further examination about to his loyalty, however, he was admitted freeman. John Sands had been previously admitted, and he is probably the James Sands mentioned as a freeman in 1655, and as a representative of the General Court of Commissioners, held at Newport, May the 19th, 1657 (Col. Rec., I, p. 300, 855.).  Capt. James Sands, with Thomas Terry, was the first representative from Block Island to sit in the General Court of Commissioners of Rhode Island, admitted such in 1665. In 1672, he was foremost in presenting the petition to have the Island incorporated under the name of New Shoreham, and the General Assembly granted the request, but in so doing preserved the old name Block Island, the chartered name being "New Shoreham, otherwise Block Island."
        He understood the carpenter’s trade, as is evident from his work for Ann Hutchinson. his knowledge helped him in erecting his own house on Block Island. He located it a few feet east of the house later occupied by Mr. Almanzo Littlefield, close to the mill and bridge on the road from the Harbor to the Center, or Baptist church. He built it of stone, and Rev. Samuel Niles, his grandson, frequently spoke of it in his history of the Indian and French Wars. Evidence of its location is circumstantial, but conclusive.
        His near misfortune with the Natives at Anne Hutchinson's house was nearly repeated in a later incident, an account of which survives:
        "The English, fearing what might be their [the Indians’] design, as they were drinking, dancing, and reveling after their usual customs at such times, went to parley with them, and to know what their intentions were. James Sands, who was the leading man among them, entered into a wigwam where he saw a very fine brass gun standing, and an Indian fellow lying on a bench in the wigwam, probably to guard and keep it. Mr. Sands’ curiosity led him to take and view it, as it made a curious and uncommon appearance. Upon which the Indian fellow rises up hastily and snatches the gun out of his hand, and withal gave him such a violent thrust with the butt end of it as occasioned him to stagger backward. But feeling some thing under his feet, he espied it to be a hoe, which he took up and improved, and with it fell upon the Indian."
In another connection, the author Wiles says of him:
        "He was a benefactor to the poor; for as his house was garrisoned, in the time of their fears of the Indians, many poor people resorted to it, and were supported mostly from his liberality. He also was a promoter of religion in his benefactions to the minister they had there in his day, though not altogether so agreeable to him as might be desired, as being inclined to the Anabaptist persuasion. He devoted his house for the worship of God, where it was attended every Lord’s day or Sabbath."
        That he was an enterprising citizen is evident from the simple statement: " Mr. Sands had a plentiful estate, and gave free entertainment to all gentlemen that came to the Island." To this it is added: "When his house was garrisoned it became a hospital, for several poor people resorted thither."
        John was an intimate friend of Roger Williams, the first freeman on the Island, the Orson representative from it in the Rhode Island Assembly, the one who procured the citizenships to the Islanders as freemen and presented to the State the petition for the chartered rights of a township; making his house the hospitable home of visitors from abroad, the garrison, and the place of worship for the Islanders, and a hospital for the poor and suffering.  His epitaph on his burial monument in the Block Island cemetery reads:
LIFE MARCH 13 A. D. 1695.


  1. Sarah, born about 1650 on Block Island, Rhode Island; married 14 February 1670/1671 on Block Island, Rhode Island, Capt. Nathaniel Niles, born 16 August 1642 in Braintree, Essex Co., Massachusetts, died 22 December 1727 in Braintree, Essex Co., Massachusetts, buried in Elm Street Cemetery.

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