William SANDYS

(1st B. Sandys of the Vine)

Born: ABT 1472, the Vyne, Vine, Hampshire, England

Died: AFT 3 Dec 1540, Calais, France

Buried: BEF 7 Dec 1540, Bosingstoke, Hampshire, England

Notes: Knight of the Garter.

Father: William SANDYS (Sir)

Mother: Margaret CHENEY

Married: Margaret BRAY


1. Mary SANDYS

2. Elizabeth SANDYS

3. Thomas SANDYS (2 B. Sandys of the Vine)

4. Alice SANDYS

5. Margaret SANDYS

Lord Sandys lived in Basingstoke at the Vyne, a manor house now owned by the National Trust. William Sandys was well placed within court circles during the reign of Henry VII. He became a close personal friend of the King son, prince Henry, who later became Henry VIII. Sandys was a great supporter of Catalina of Aragon  who was married to Henry VIII's brother Arthur. The marriage to Arthur lasted only six months until Arthur died. When Henry VII died, she was given special permission by the Pope, to marry Arthur's brother when he became King.

Henry VIII first visited the Vyne in 1510 with Queen Catalina. Between 1512 and 1517 William went on military expeditions to Spain, Flanders and the north of France for the King. In return for his service he was appointed the post of Treasurer of Calais. Then in 1518 William Sandys was made a Knight of the Garter, alongside Thomas Dacre. Two years later he was chosen to be one of the Commissioners to arrange an interview between Francois I of France and Henry VIII at what became known as the Field of the Cloth of Gold.

In 1523, whilst fighting against the French, William Sandys became the first Lord Sandys. Then in 1526 he was appointed Lord Chamberlain in the King Household. William, 1st Baron of Vine, signed the letter to Pope Clement regarding Henrys divorce. In 1531 King Henry VIII again visited the Vyne, but the denouncement of the King's marriage to Catalina of Aragon, and the persecution of Roman Catholics that followed, upset Sandys and he gradually tried to distance himself from the royal court. But as Lord Chamberlain he was forced to take part in the public reception of Anne Boleyn when, as Henry's second Queen, she made her entry up the River Thames. In 1535 he was also forced to receive Henry and his new Queen at the Vyne.

By 23 Jun 1539, when Lord Sandys wrote to Cromwell about a dispute with his brother Richard widow. Sandys marriage to this lady, the widow of a rich alderman of London, had greatly improved his financial position. After his death she complained to Cromwell that 'she was like to go a begging' because her husband and Lord Sandys had between them 'consumed and expended of her goods above 7,000 pounds': this her brother-in-law denied, claiming that although not obliged to do so he had agreed to give her 80 pounds for life, an offer which she had first accepted and then refused.

Lord Sandys died in 1540, and he was buried in the Chapel of the Holy Ghost, which he had helped to found in Basingstoke.

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