(Archbishop of York)


Born: 1519, Hawkshead, Furnace Fells, Lancashire, England

Died: 10 Jul 1588, Southwell, England

Father: William SANDYS of Esthwaite

Mother: Margaret DIXON

Married 1: Mary SANDYS (d. 1558, Strassburg, Germany) (dau. of William Sandys of Wadham) BEF 1553, Germany


1. James SANDYS (d. 1557, Germany)

Married 2: Cecily WILFORD (b. ABT 1537 - d. 12 Feb 1611/12) (dau. of Thomas Wilford of Hartridge and Rose Wethenhal) 19 Feb 1558/59, London


2. Samuel SANDYS of Ombersley (Sir Knight MP Sheriff)

3. Edwin SANDYS (Sir Knight)

4. Miles SANDYS of Wilberton (Sir Knight Bt.)

5. William SANDYS

6. Margaret SANDYS

7. Thomas SANDYS (Esq.)

8. Anne SANDYS

9. Henry SANDYS (Esq.)

10. George SANDYS

Born in 1516 or 1519 in Hawkshead Parish, Furnace Fells, Lancashire, England, second son of William Sandys and Margaret Dixon. Educated at St. Bees School, in Cumberland, in Company with Edmund Grindal, a native of the parish of St. Bees, and in succession Bishop of London, Archbishop of York, and Archbishop of Canterbury in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. Educated at St. Johns College, Cambridge University where he matriculated in 1533. Edwin embraced the clerical profession, and was an early confessor of the protestant faith. 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. Having from the pulpit, before the University and the Duke of Northumberland, recommended the cause of Lady Jane Grey, when Mary was proclaimed, he was committed to the Tower 25 Jul 1553, and afterwards removed to the Marshalsea prison. He was in an extraordinary manner, and particularly by the generous conduct of Sir Thomas Holcroft, knight marshal, delivered from confinement, and assisted to escape into Germany.

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 Dec 1559.

After Bishop Oglethorpe was deprived of the see of Carlisle in 1559, by the influence of the Earl of Bedford and of Bishop Sandys, it was offered to a distinguished member of a distinguished Westmorland family, Barnard [more usually Bernard] Gilpin, rector of Houghton-le-Spring, and a kinsman of Sandys. Sandys must have known well the sort of man that the diocese of Carlisle wanted, and in his letter to Gilpin, announcing that the Queen had nominated the latter Bishop of Carlisle, he strongly urges acceptance of the offer:

"I am not ignorant that your inclination rather delighteth in the peaceable tranquility of a private life. But if you looke upon the estate of the Church of England with a respective eye, you cannot, with a good conscience, refuse this charge imposed upon you: so much the lesse, because it is in such a place, as wherein no man is found fitter than yourself to deserve well of the Church"

Gilpin resolutely declined, and the reason he gave was, that:

"...he refused not so much the bishopricke as the inconvenience of the place, for if I had bene chosen in this kinde to any bishopricke elsewhere, I would not have refused it; but in that place I have been willing to avoide the trouble of it, seeing I had there manie of my friends and kindred, at whom I must connive in many thinges, not without hurte to myselfe, or else deny them manie thinges, not without offence to them"

It is probable that Gilpin thought he could not advance the reformed religion in the diocese of Carlisle, in opposition to his extensive family connexions there. Less charitable persons have suggested that as Houghton-le-Spring was worth about 400 a year, and the bishopric of Carlisle only, according to Strype, 268 (a falling off from the value in the Valor of Henry VIII of 541), other reasons might have moved Gilpin.

In 1570 Sandys was promoted to Bishop of London. Edwin was consecrated the Archbishop of York on 8 Mar 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.

Scrooby Manor




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, 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 Feb 1558/1559. By Cecily he had nine children.

He signed a will on 1 Aug 1587, and died on 10 Jul 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. Ancestor of Sandys-Lumsdaine, and in the female line of Lord Sandys of Ombersley.

His widow survived. Cecily signed a will on 17 Jan 1610/1611, and died between 17 Jan 1610/1611 and 12 Feb 1610/1611. She had an estate probated on 12 Feb 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".

Archbishop Sandys and his wife, Cecily

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