Archbishop of York
(1517 - 1588)
(Father of Sir Edwin Sandys)
Edwin Sandys senior 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 Grey. Mary (a Catholic) was proclaimed Queen, and Sandys 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 married his cousin Mary Sandys of Essex, who, with their only child, James, died while he was in exile, 1554-1560. On 19 February 1558/59 he married Cecily Wilford, daughter of Sir Thomas Wilford of Cranbrook Kent, they had seven sons and two daughters.
There Children were:
1 - Sir Samuel Sandys, (1560-1623) - He was Sheriff of Worcestershire (1618), a member of Parliment (1615, 1620) and a member of the Virginia Company. He held manors at Worcestershire, Essex, and Yorkshire. A monument to him and his wife, Mercy Culpepper, can be found at the Wickhamford church, Worcestershire. They had 11 children including daughter Margaret who married Sir. Francis Wyatt, Governor of Virginia.
2 - Sir Edwin Sandys, (1561 - 1629) - Of Northbourne.
3 - Sir Miles Sandys, (1563 - 1644) - of Wilberton in Cambridgeshire, who was created a baronet in 1612, and frequently sat in parliament. He married Elizabeth Cooke.
4 - William Sandys, born 1565 and died young.
5 - Margaret Sandys, born 1566 - married Anthony Aucher of Bishopsbourne, Kent.
6 - Thomas Sandys, born 1568 .
7 - Anne Sandys, born 1570 - married William Barne of Woolwich.
8 - Henry Sandys, (1572 - )
9 - George Sandys, (1578-1644) - Poet and traveller he signed the Third Charter of Virginia.
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.
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 founded of the Hawkshead Grammar School in 1585.
The Archbishop died on 10 July 1588 and was buried in Southwell Minister, Nottinghamshire. His widow survived until 5 February 1610 and was buried in Woodham Ferrars, Essex. 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.'