SANDYS, Sir Samuel (1560-1623), of Ombersley, Worcs.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



1 Nov. 1609

Family and Education

b. 28 Dec. 1560, 1st s. of Edwin Sandys, abp. of York, and his 2nd. w. Cecily, da. of Sir Thomas Wilsford of Cranbrook, Kent; bro. of Sir Edwin* and Sir Miles*. educ. Merchant Taylors’ Sch. 1571; M. Temple 1579. m. 1586, Mercy (bur. 20 Jan. 1630) da. of Martin Culpepper of Astwood, Worcs., 4s. incl. Edwin*, 7da.1 suc. fa. 1588;2 kntd. 23 July 1603.3 d. 18 Aug. 1623.4

Offices Held

J.p. Worcs. 1597-d.;5 collector subsidy, Upton and Worcester division Worcs. 1598;6 member, High Commission, Worcs. 1598;7 commr. oyer and terminer Oxf. circ. 1605-d., Wales and the Marches 1621,8 charitable uses, Worcs. 1605, 1616, 1619, 1620, 1621,9 subsidy, Worcs. 1607-10, 1621-2;10 collector aid, Worcs. 1609, 1612,11 commr. survey manor of Salford Priors, Warws. 1610,12 sewers, Worcs. 1611;13 collector, Privy Seal loan, Worcs. 1613;14 sheriff, Worcs. 1618-19;15 dep. lt., Worcs. by 1623;16 member, Council in the Marches of Wales 1623.17

Member, Virg. Co. 1609, cttee. 1612; member, Somers Is. Co. 1615,18 E.I. Co. by 1622.19

Commr. trade 1621-2, exacted fees 1623.20


The eldest of a trio of brothers who sat under James, Sandys was born while his father was bishop of Worcester, most likely in the bishop’s residence at Hartlebury.21 In 1582 he obtained, with the help of his wife’s fortune, the lease of the extensive royal manor of Ombersley, situated in the north-west of the county between Worcester and Kidderminster.22 After studying at the Middle Temple he initially resided in Essex, where his mother held land and where his eldest son was baptized in 1591,23 but soon after he settled at Ombersley. Sandys’s endeavours to maximize his income from the manor resulted in protracted litigation with the tenants. To his chief local opponent, Thomas Nash, Sandys was ‘the Arch-Enemy to our plough, the Engrossing Depopulator’.24

Sandys supported Sir Henry Bromley* and Sir William Ligon* in the acrimonious 1604 Worcestershire election.25 In early 1606 he lobbied (Sir) Michael Hicks* ‘to move my countries cause’ to Robert Cecil†, 1st earl of Salisbury. He was probably seeking Salisbury’s support for the bill introduced by Sir Herbert Croft in February 1606 to exempt Worcestershire and the other English border counties from the jurisdiction of the Council in the Marches. However, he was summoned before the Privy Council, where he was berated by Salisbury for ‘speeches that I should use concerning him’. Sandys subsequently assured Hicks ‘he would rather forgo the cause, then undergo his [Salisbury’s] dislike’.26 Following the death of Sir William Ligon in 1609 Sandys was returned to the Commons, where he had not sat since 1586. Ralph, 3rd Baron Eure†, president of the Marcher Council, was alarmed, and wrote to Salisbury warning that Sandys ‘hath been a great opposer to the jurisdiction His Majesty laboureth to add to the authority of the president and Council in these parts’, and would ‘be found contrarying hereafter in Parliament to other good purposes His Majesty intends to effect in the country’. Eure also attacked the ‘suddenness and secrecy’ of Sandys’s election, which he said ‘the better sort of the gentlemen of that county repine and complain of’.27

When Parliament assembled in 1610, Sandys was named to 11 committees. His legislative appointments concerned forcible entries (24 Feb.), the preservation of timber (22 Mar.), the Great Fens (26 Mar.), suits against magistrates (28 Mar.), the 6th earl of Derby’s title to the Isle of Man (19 June) and the New River Act (20 June).28 He was also appointed to bill committees concerned with a private estate (12 Mar.), the naturalization of Levinus Munck† (18 Apr.) and the relief of three prisoners (2 July).29 His non-legislative appointments were to help prepare for a conference about impositions (14 July),30 and to consider the petition of the messengers, probably the servants of the serjeant-at-arms (17 July).31 He was also named to the conference for the bill against the execution of those canons that had not been confirmed by statute (5 July).32 Sandys made his only recorded speech of the session on 18 July 1610, when, confirming Eure’s prediction, he supported Sir Herbert Croft’s successful motion to include the abolition of the jurisdiction of the Council of the Marches over the four English border counties in the Great Contract.33 He is mentioned only once in the surviving records for the fifth session. This was on 16 Nov., in the immediate aftermath of the failure of the Great Contract, when he opposed Salisbury’s proposals for a mini-contract, arguing that ‘since we cannot get the fair Helen, we will not woo her foul apron’.34

In March 1614 Sandys purchased the manor of Ombersley from the Crown for £2,000.35 In the Addled Parliament he again sat for Worcestershire and his eldest son, Edwin, was elected for Droitwich. He made five recorded speeches and was appointed to three committees. On 10 May, during the debate over the disputed election at Stockbridge, where his cousin Lord Sandys was a patron, he asserted that Sir Thomas Parry* should answer the accusations against him at the bar.36 On the following day he defended the return of Sir Walter Cope*, but the Commons declared the entire election void.37 On 12 May Sandys and Sir Dudley Digges were appointed to take over the part assigned to Sir John Bennet in the conference concerning impositions. They were to put the practical arguments against the duties; however, on 19 May responsibility for doing so was assigned solely to Digges, and Sandys was given the task of concluding the arguments.38 This conference never took place, due to a dispute with the Lords. On 27 May Sandys opposed a proposal to leave with the Lords the message protesting against Bishop Neile’s speech. Later that day he also contributed to the debate concerning the king’s message reproaching the Commons for suspending business until they had received satisfaction concerning Neile. Despite having sat only twice before, and then just briefly, Sandys began by claiming that he had ‘been 30 years’ past in Parliament’. He then alleged that ‘more bones’ had been ‘cast in this Parliament to divert the good proceedings of the House than in all the parliaments he has known’ and that ‘we that come to reform disorders have nothing but disorders among us’. By ‘disorders’ he meant the unauthorized reporting of proceedings to James, for he proceeded to criticize the Speaker for showing the Commons Journal to the king, who had called for it after having been misled about their proceedings. Nothing, he thought, should henceforth be ‘carried out of the House to the king without leave’, and every Member should declare on his reputation that he had not misinformed James.39 Sandys was subsequently named to two committees concerning Neile, one to draw up a message to the Lords (30 May) and the other to consider further proceedings (1 June). Two days later Sandys moved that Francis Lovett, a recusant to whom Neile was alleged to have given a certificate of conformity, should attend the latter committee.40 As in 1610, Sandys was appointed to the committee for the forcible entries bill (31 May).41

After the dissolution it was reported that Sandys and the other Members who had been appointed to speak at the intended impositions conference were ordered to bring their papers to the Privy Council to be burnt.42 Sometime that year Sandys signed the petition of Worcestershire gentleman which thanked the earl of Somerset for his support in their continuing campaign against the jurisdiction of the Council in the Marches.43

Sandys reached the apogee of his parliamentary career in 1621. Early in the proceedings, on 10 Feb., Chamberlain numbered him among the four ‘chief speakers’ of the Commons.44 Indeed, during the first sitting he made 61recorded speeches, received at least 29 committee appointments, and was named to six conferences. On 5 Feb. he was nominated to the privileges committee and the sub-committee appointed by the committee of the whole House to draw up a petition to the king in defence of their liberties.45 On 12 Feb. he was also required to help draft a petition to the king defending the Commons’ right to freedom of speech.46 During this Parliament Sandys often contributed to debates on electoral disputes,47 but not always with authority, for on 7 Feb. he felt obliged to explain that he had not intended to oppose the examination of sheriffs’ returns in his speech on the Gatton dispute.48 Sandys also spoke frequently on procedural matters, arguing on 7 Feb., for example, that no Member should be present while charges against him were being debated.49 When on 8 May it was discovered that a proviso had been surreptitiously inserted into the monopolies bill, Sandys argued that precedent prevented the bill from being given a third reading.50 However, he was not always consistent. On 18 Apr. he defended Sir Walter Earle when the later tried to speak twice in the debate on tobacco,51 but quickly slapped down Sir Francis Seymour for the same offence on 24 April.52 Despite his inconsistency his concern with procedure was part of a wider belief that that to maintain its authority the House had to conduct itself in an orderly and dignified manner. On 19 Feb. he cautioned ‘let not the zeal of our affections anticipate order and duty’,53 and on 16 Mar. he expressed dismay at the disorder which marked the debate on the Yorkshire election dispute, proclaiming ‘I rise like Neptune to call down a storm. The liberties of this House are much broken by this disorder and interruption. Justice depends upon judgment, judgment on information, information comes by debate; and if you hinder debate you bring your own resolutions into contempt and cut off the way of justice’.54

Sandys often worked in the Commons in conjunction with his brother, Sir Edwin, who had been returned for Sandwich. On 6 Feb. he unsuccessfully tried to obtain leave of absence for Sir Edwin, who was busy preparing a new charter for the Virginia Company, of which Sandys was also a member. He may also have been acting on Sir Edwin’s behalf when he persuaded the House not to send for Sir Robert Naunton* on the same day.55 As a prominent member of the Virginia Company, Sandys was interested in the tobacco trade, the mainstay of the colony’s economy, and at the committee for trade during the Easter recess he supported Sir Edwin’s motion to prohibit imports from Spain.56 However when Lord Cavendish moved to have it put to the question on 18 Apr., Sandys raised procedural objections, to his brother’s discomfort, and was contradicted by Sir Edward Coke.57 On 19 Apr. Sandys was appointed to a sub-committee to prepare for the grand committee on trade. He took the chair on 21 Apr., when he allowed his brother Sir Edwin to speak first.58 It was perhaps recognition of his own conflict of interest concerning the tobacco trade that led Sandys to speak in favour of allowing representatives of the Merchant Adventurers’ Company to attend the committee for the free trade bill (28 April).59

On 20 Feb. Sandys joined in the attack on monopolies, supporting Hakewell’s criticism of the alehouse patentees. He argued that ‘nothing was more complained of’, and that the patent had been sold so many times that it was difficult to say who had it, although he was willing to describe them as the ‘principal bankrupts of all the county’.60 On 27 Feb. he was appointed to the committee to search for precedents in the case against (Sir) Giles Mompesson*,61 and on 7 Mar. announced that witnesses against the patent for gold and silver thread were at the door.62 Five days later he was appointed one of the speakers at the conference about monopolies.63 He was anxious that the attacks on the alehouse patent should not degenerate into witch-hunt, for on 6 Mar. he argued that ‘we must proceed against the whole business lest we seem to aim rather at the person of Sir Giles Mompesson, than at the grievance’.64 He subsequently emerged as one of the most moderate voices in the attack on the patents. On 27 Apr. he opposed the motion to condemn the patent for gold and silver thread as a grievance both in the creation and the execution, arguing that while the attorney-general had extended the patent’s scope too far, it had been legal for the king to grant it, and he argued unsuccessfully for the questions to be put separately.65 On 2 May he opposed the exclusion of the monopolist Sir Edward Villiers, lamenting that ‘I am sorry that we have so many unhappy divisions; daily, we are diverted by motions rather springing from passion than judgment’.66

Sandys supported Edward Alford’s attack on the use of Proclamations to enforce Lent and fish days, which he argued served merely to drive up the cost of licences to eat meat. Moreover, he moved that the king should be petitioned ‘not to press Proclamations, but where necessity of state enforceth’. As with monopolies, it was not royal power that he objected to, but the uses to which it was put. He concluded by arguing ‘we are ready to serve the king with our persons and our estates; let such a course be taken that we may sustain ourselves in both’. In this way he connected the redress of grievances to supply, and possibly also hinted that he favoured war.67

On 2 Mar. Sandys was appointed to the committee for the bill for free trade in Welsh cottons, although he did not attend either of the two recorded meetings.68 He was more interested in the economic interests of landowners than manufacturers. On 8 Mar. he supported the bill to prohibit the import of corn, arguing that unless the price of grain rose farmers would not be able to pay their rents. Low prices, he added only benefited ‘the handicraftsman, citizens and townsmen’.69 The bill was reported on 17 May, when a motion was passed to recommit it. Almost immediately the result was called into question and there were calls for the question to be put again. Sandys, a member of the committee, protested that either the motion had been passed or it had not and if the question was to be put again he wanted to be heard ‘for my country’.70 On 12 Mar. he opposed Cranfield’s motion to reform the subsidy assessments, supporting Sir Edwin who had argued in favour of the exemption of the Cinque Ports. He pointed out that ‘if you take away all exemptions those that are charged for lands will be likewise taxed for their goods, for that is an exemption’.71 On 19 Apr. he opposed the bill against the return of insufficient jurors, because it prescribed a property qualification, which would put the value of freeholders’ estates on record, which could be used to raise their subsidy ratings.72 Despite his opposition to the bill he may have been appointed to the committee.73

On 7 Apr. Sandys spoke in support of the petition of Capt. William Hill against Sir John Bennet*, judge of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, who had granted the administration of the estate of Hill’s cousin to a stranger, and he spoke again for the petitioner on 10 April.74 In the debate on Bennet (20 Apr.), Sandys argued that he should not be suspended and moved to hear Bennet’s answers before sending the case to the Lords. Later that day, after arguing that Bennet should have a copy of the articles against him, he was appointed to the committee to prepare the articles themselves.75 After Bennet refused to answer the accusations, Sandys turned on him again, arguing (23 Apr.) that his refusal was tantamount to a confession and that he should be expelled.76 Nevertheless, as Bennet was reported to be ill he thought he should be committed to the custody of one of the sheriffs of London, rather than to the Tower.77

On 25 Apr. Sandys was appointed to the committee for regulating Chancery.78 Two days later he spoke in the debate on the petition of the masters in Chancery. In what the diarist John Smith called an ‘excellent speech’,79 he lambasted the masters, accusing them of being the cause of Chancery’s corruption. Taking his cue from the Book of Genesis, he argued that as God punished the tempters, Eve and the Serpent, more heavily than the offender, Adam, the Commons should punish the masters for buying their places and bribing the lord chancellor, Viscount St. Alban (Sir Francis Bacon*) to approve a new schedule of increased fees. He mitigated St. Alban’s offence in accepting the master’s bribes, arguing that ‘ingenious natures may be misled by money’, but nevertheless moved that after a full investigation it should be presented to the Lords as a grievance.80 He was subsequently appointed to the committee to investigate the masters in Chancery,81 whose faults, he argued on 28 Apr., should be reported to the Lords. He also added that they should be forced to make their submission in court.82

On 26 Apr. Sandys opposed Hakewell’s motion to petition the king about the general pardon, preferring to leave this matter to James’s discretion, but he supported Sir Robert Phelips’ proposal for a committee to organize the business of the Commons, to which he himself was then named.83 Later that day, at the meeting of the committee, he and his brother Sir Edwin were appointed to report back to the Commons on the progress of public bills, though it was Sandys alone who delivered the report the next day.84 On 2 May Sandys was added to the committee to survey grievances,85 and a fortnight later he was appointed to help draw up a list of the patents and other grievances condemned by the Commons which were to be presented to the king.86 On the following day Sandys objected to an order against proceeding with private bills until the public ones were finished, on the grounds that some public bills were private and some private bills were public. He proposed that they should not delay the passage of bills that had been engrossed.87

On 26 Apr. he supported the motion to establish a select committee for Ireland, and was appointed to the committee.88 He intervened in debates on appeals against Chancery decrees on 27 Apr. and 1 May.89 In the debate on the second reading of the bill to make the estates of attainted persons liable for debts (28 Apr.), he moved a proviso to prevent those plotting treason from preserving their estates by entering into fraudulent bonds with their friends, and was subsequently appointed to the bill committee.90 On 1 June he raised the issue of Humphrey Davenport, who had made accusations of corruption against the bishop of Landaff before the Commons, only to withdraw them before the Lords.91 Sandys may have by now abandoned his earlier opposition to the Council in the Marches, for on 13 Mar. he was appointed to the committee for the bill to abolish the Crown’s power to change the law in Wales, which specifically safeguarded the Council’s jurisdiction.92

On 2 May Sandys was appointed to the committee to draw up a petition to the king concerning Edward Floyd, a Catholic lawyer who had spoken disrespectfully of the king and queen of Bohemia while a prisoner in the Fleet.93 On 4 May, in response to a message from the king that the case should be left to the Lords, he defended the Commons’ right of jurisdiction. He started by trying to pre-empt any attempt by his colleagues to back down, arguing that ‘a kingdom or family being divided cannot stand’, and that no Member should question a decision of the House once it had been made. He defended the Commons’ judgment, arguing that it stemmed from their ‘love and zeal’ for the royal family. He also maintained that offences against the Crown were within their cognizance because the Commons was a royal court and the king was present in his courts. He next turned to James’s objection that the witnesses against Floyd had not been sworn, which raised the question of the Commons’ power to administer an oath. Sandys argued that the Commons was a court of record, and that as such it had the power to swear witnesses, but he added, rather confusingly, that the House often decided matters of great importance without administering an oath, that the practice of giving oaths was relatively new in other courts, and that the witnesses in this case had voluntarily sworn to the truth of their evidence, which was as good as a formal oath. After the debate Sandys was named to the committee to draft the Commons’ judgment against Floyd.94 On the following day he spoke three times in the debate which followed the receipt of the Lords’ request for a conference concerning Floyd. Realizing that the Commons lacked precedents for their case, he suggested that they should argue from reason derived from the fundamental laws of the kingdom, as reason was the ground of all precedents. While proposing that the Commons should keep to the specifics of the case, he nevertheless asserted that the issues which needed to be resolved were whether the Commons was a court of record, whether it could administer an oath and whether it could judge without one. His appeal to reason seems to have made some uneasy, for while speaking he noted that he was being made to suffer ‘for using the word’. Nevertheless Sandys, together with his brother Sir Edwin and Sir Dudley Digges, was appointed to prepare arguments from reason for the conference, which was to meet that afternoon.95

Sandys was the first to speak at the conference. He began by claiming that the Commons had no intention of encroaching on the Lords’ jurisdiction, but he acknowledged that the House had extended their jurisdiction ‘to the utmost’, and expressed the hope that it would ‘never be paralleled’. Implicitly acknowledging the irregularity of the Commons’ proceedings, he stated that its Members had considered Floyd so worthy of censure that they had taken ‘the nearest and speediest way to the punishment thereof’. He concluded with the hope that the Commons would not be denied its ‘possessory right’, but not surprisingly he failed to convince the Lords.96 On 8 May he was appointed to speak at a conference about Floyd ‘as occasion shall offer’, although there is no evidence that he did so, and that afternoon he was appointed to a committee to settle the dispute with the Lords.97 At a further conference three days later he offered to leave the punishment of Floyd to the Lords.98

On 7 May Sandys contributed to the debate about the quarrel between Sir Charles Morrison* and Clement Coke*, when he argued that the failure of the Commons to adjudicate in a previous dispute meant that the matter had become the subject of a suit in the Earl Marshal’s Court, in defiance of the House’s privileges. He therefore argued that the Commons should examine the quarrel the following morning.99 Sandys again spoke on the dispute two days later, when he also returned to the question of the Commons’ power to administer an oath. He argued that as the dispute concerned two Members of the House it was unquestionably within their jurisdiction, and that they were entitled to administer an oath to those witnesses who were not Members. His intention may have been to establish a precedent for administering an oath, but as Coke confessed his fault further proceedings were thought unnecessary.100

On 11 May a letter was produced addressed to the Commons which had been found in Westminster Hall. Some Members thought that it was a libel and should be burnt unopened, but Sandys argued that it should be read, citing the example of the anonymous letter which had led to the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot. He was then appointed to the committee to view the letter, which proved only to be a further complaint against Sir John Bennet.101

When Calvert announced on 28 May that Parliament would be adjourned in a week’s time, Sandys initially reacted with some confusion. While stating that he wished ‘that such as persuade the king for this sudden breaking of the Parliament did love him and his honour better’,102 he also said that it was ‘fit that we recede, for most have spent their old stock of money and need [to] go home for more’. The Commons, he added, should abandon its unfinished legislation to focus on reform of Chancery, for otherwise Chancery’s corruption would infect Bacon’s successor. He therefore proposed that they present to the king a petition for regulating the court, together with those patents that had been condemned.103 However, like many other Members, Sandys’s attitude hardened over lunch. In the afternoon he argued that the power to adjourn lay with Parliament, and moved that they should go to the king to ensure their liberties were preserved. Furthermore, he suggested that when they returned home they would receive a worse welcome than in 1614, when no supply had been granted, for now they had voted two subsidies but had got nothing in return. He compared the Parliament to ‘the curse tree, which bore fair leaves but no fruit’. Had he a residence in another county he would not return home to face his constituents’ ‘mock and scorn’.104 Sandys was subsequently appointed to help prepare a petition to the king from both Houses asking for more time.105

The next day the king repeated that Parliament would adjourn the following Monday. When the Commons learned this there was uproar, and a general cry of ‘rise, rise’. In response the Speaker called for the keys, for which he was rebuked by Sandys, who retorted ‘You are our Speaker, not our gaoler, and you ought not to do this without the assent of the House, especially in this discontent’.106 However by the following day his attitude had moderated, for he now argued that they should obey the king and discuss with the Lords how to settle all the business still in hand.107 On 31 May Sandys even defended James’s decision to adjourn the Parliament. He stated that they had made some progress towards reforming the courts, giving them something to show for their efforts, even if they had not made much progress in solving the country’s economic difficulties. He added that the king’s commission to adjourn was only a statement of pleasure, and it would not encroach on their privileges if they acquiesced in his request.108 It is not clear why Sandys had now changed his tune, but that same day Sir Edwin Sandys announced that his brother - a reference to Sir Samuel rather than Sir Miles, it seems - had been threatened with questioning by the Privy Council after the Parliament.109

The next day Sandys moved that all Members should be cleared of having spoken offensively in the Commons. He also hoped that the king would allow them to keep their privileges during the adjournment.110 On the same day he was appointed to speak at a conference about the adjournment, and in the debate which followed he argued that they should send messages of thanks to the Lords and the king.111 On 4 June he argued against a more severe punishment than imprisonment for a bailiff who had arrested a servant of Sir James Whitelocke*, arguing that they should ‘depart as men that are dying in the peace of God and men and leave no bitter remembrance’.112 He was also appointed to help draft the declaration of their readiness for war.113

On 23 June Joseph Mead reported that Sandys had been arrested by the king. In fact this was incorrect, as only Sir Edwin, John Selden* and the earl of Southampton were detained. Shortly before Parliament reassembled in mid-November, Sandys was appointed by the Privy Council to a commission on trade.114 He delivered his first speech of the new sitting on 21 Nov., the day after he witnessed a seaman assault Timothy Levinge* outside the Commons. When Levinge took hold of his assailant the mariner’s cloak fell open revealing a pistol, which Sandys promptly seized, telling the stranger that it was not a writ returnable in Westminster Hall and that he would therefore be custos brevium (keeper of the writs). Sandys was subsequently appointed to the committee to examine the seaman.115 Sandys had drawn attention to himself by his quick action in defending Levinge, but when Sir Edward Sackville nominated him to chair the committee of the whole House to consider the questions of religion and supply (28 Nov.), he excused himself on the ground of ‘want of hearing and sight’ and ‘decay of memory’, and proposed Sir Dudley Digges instead.116

Sir Edwin Sandys had not attended the House since it had been reconvened and Members believed he was still imprisoned by the king. However when his case was debated (1 Dec.) Sandys, expressed considerable reluctance to speak, confessing he did not know why his brother had been examined. However, he advised the House not to proceed further, as his brother had written to him that his absence was due to ill health. He also pointed out that monarchs had a legitimate right to question and confine those whom they felt threatened their safety. Sandys failed to sway the House, however and two Members were dispatched to question Sir Edwin about the cause of his absence.117

Sandys made no recorded contribution to the foreign policy debates of the second sitting, although he spoke three times on 7 Dec. during the debate on the Commons’ reply to the king’s letter of 3 Dec., in which James had denied the right of the House to debate foreign policy without his consent. It may have been in an attempt not to exacerbate the dispute that Sandys suggested that the petition, which had formerly been drawn up calling for war with Spain, should not be annexed to their answer. However on the question of whether the Commons should proceed with other business while they waited for a reply Sandys sensibly pointed out that the purpose of the petition was to explain that they could not proceed until they were free to debate what they chose.118 After the House received James’s message of 18 Dec., in which the king offered to forego the supply voted on 28 Nov. but asked the Commons to complete the bill for the continuance of expiring statutes, Sandys was one of four Members appointed to draw up a letter of thanks and to explain why the House could not proceed with its business.119 In his final recorded speech of the session that same day, Sandys opposed Sir George More’s motion to establish a penalty for Members who arrived late, arguing that ‘negligence of any punished sufficiently by our own consciences’.120

Following the dissolution Chamberlain observed that Sandys had ‘stood mute all this meeting’.121 This observation is an exaggeration, but Sandys was certainly much less active in the Commons during the second sitting than he had been in the first. Indeed, he gave only nine speeches, and he studiously avoided controversy until he came out in support of the suspension of business on 3 December. Towards the end of his life there are signs that Sandys enjoyed official favour. In 1622 he was appointed a commissioner to examine exacted fees and the following year he was added to the Council in the Marches, a body whose existence he had previously deplored. In his will, drawn up on 16 Feb. 1622, he left land in Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, Gloucestershire and Essex, as well as stock in the East India Company, which he instructed should be increased to £4,000. (Sir) Lawrence Tanfield* was appointed one of the overseers.122 He died on 18 Aug. 1623 and was buried two days later in Wickhamford Church, Ombersley. A magnificent monument erected by his wife, praised his integrity and diligence, ‘in which the great and frequent assemblies of Parliament were approving witnesses’.123 Sandys’s eldest son, (Sir) Edwin, survived his father by only 21 days, whereupon the estates passed to Sandys’s grandson and namesake, who represented Droitwich in the Short and Long Parliaments.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Glyn Redworth / Ben Coates


  • 1. E.S. Sandys, Hist. of Sandys Fam. ii. ped. C; Reg. Merchant Taylors’ Sch. comp. C.J. Robinson, 17; M. Temple Admiss.; Worcs. RO, MF281/1, Wickamford par. reg.
  • 2. Oxford DNB sub Sandys, Edwin
  • 3. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 115.
  • 4. Sandys, Hist. ii. ped. C.
  • 5. C231/1, f. 35; Cal. Q. Sess. Pprs. ed. J.W. Willis Bund (Worcs. Hist. Soc.), ii. 365.
  • 6. E179/201/241.
  • 7. C66/1478, m. 8.
  • 8. C181/1, f. 116v; 181/3, ff. 26, 109r-v.
  • 9. C93/2/20; 93/7/11; 93/8/3; 93/8/4; 93/9/14
  • 10. SP14/14/31/1; 14/123/16; E179/201/273; 179/283/4; E115/55/33; C212/22/21.
  • 11. SP14/48/147; E403/2732, f. 81v.
  • 12. E178/4676.
  • 13. C181/2, f. 143v.
  • 14. E403/2732, f. 89v.
  • 15. List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 159.
  • 16. Cheshire Archives, DNE 16.
  • 17. NLW, Add. 339F, pp. 148-9.
  • 18. A. Brown, Genesis of US, i. 211, ii. 549, 770.
  • 19. PROB 11/142, f. 211v.
  • 20. APC, 1621-3, pp. 80, 208, 325.
  • 21. Worcs. RO, MF135/1, Hartlebury par. reg.
  • 22. P. Large, ‘Rural Soc. and Agricultural Change’, Eng. Rural Soc. ed. J. Chartres and D. Hey, 107; T. Nash, Colls. for Hist. of Worcs. ii. 222.
  • 23. Soc. Gen. Woodham Ferrers par. reg.
  • 24. Large, 114, 123.
  • 25. STAC 8/201/17, f. 19.
  • 26. Lansd. 89, f. 162; P. Williams, ‘Attack on the Council in the Marches’, Trans. Hon. Soc. Cymmrodorion 1961, p. 3.
  • 27. SP14/49/26. Only one j.p. William Ingram, was named in the indenture, lending credence to Eure’s statement that Ingram was the only member of the bench present. C219/35/2/138; C66/1822, mm. 23v-4v.
  • 28. CJ, i. 399a, 413b, 414b, 415b, 441a, 442a.
  • 29. Ibid. 409a, 419a, 445a.
  • 30. Ibid. 450a.
  • 31. Ibid. 451a. The messengers may have been protesting against rates for travel expenses fixed on 14 May. Ibid. 428a.
  • 32. Ibid. 446b.
  • 33. Ibid. 451b.
  • 34. Parl. Debates 1610 ed. S.R. Gardiner, 136; Procs. 1610 ed. E.R. Foster, ii. 336.
  • 35. E401/1891, unfol.
  • 36. Procs. 1614 (Commons), 193, 199.
  • 37. Ibid. 208.
  • 38. Ibid. 214, 226, 291.
  • 39. Ibid. 367, 369, 373.
  • 40. Ibid. 381, 405, 413.
  • 41. Ibid. 394.
  • 42. Chamberlain Letters ed. N.E. McClure, i. 539.
  • 43. SP14/78/75.
  • 44. CD 1621, ii. 342.
  • 45. CJ, i. 507b; CD 1621, 26, n. 29.
  • 46. CJ, i. 518a.
  • 47. CD 1621, iv. 25, 29-30, 161-2; Nicholas, Procs. 1621, ii. 90.
  • 48. CJ, i. 512b.
  • 49. Ibid. 512a.
  • 50. CD 1621, iii. 199.
  • 51. Ibid. iii. 11.
  • 52. Nicholas, i. 311.
  • 53. CD 1621, ii. 104.
  • 54. Ibid. iv. 161-2.
  • 55. Ibid. iv. 18. Sir Edwin Sandys was a friend of Naunton, who told Buckingham that he entreated his friends to oppose a motion for his summons. Ct. of Jas. I ed. G. Goodman, ii. 226; R.E. Schreiber, Pol. Career of Sir Robert Naunton, 84-5.
  • 56. CD 1621, ii. 288.
  • 57. CJ, i. 581a; CD 1621, ii. 299, iii. 7-8.
  • 58. CJ, i. 582b, CD 1621, iii. 45.
  • 59. CD 1621, vi. 108.
  • 60. CD 1621, ii. 106-7; Nicholas, i. 67.
  • 61. CJ, i. 530b.
  • 62. Ibid. 542b.
  • 63. CD 1621, vi. 56.
  • 64. Nicholas, i. 124.
  • 65. Ibid. i. 339-40, CD 1621, v. 352.
  • 66. CJ, i. 603a; CD 1621, iii. 132 (where this speech is incorrectly attributed to Sir Edwin), vi. 125.
  • 67. CD 1621, iv. 90; Nicholas, i. 80-1.
  • 68. CJ, i. 534b; C.R. Kyle, ‘Attendance Lists’, PPE 1604-48 ed. Kyle, 190.
  • 69. Nicholas, i. 133; CJ, i. 545a.
  • 70. CD 1621, iii. 283.
  • 71. CD 1621, iv. 146-7.
  • 72. CJ, i. 582a; CD 1621, v. 81.
  • 73. CJ, i. 582b. The cttee. included a ‘Sir M. Sandys’. As it also listed Sir Miles Sandys, this was presumably an error for either Sir Samuel Sandys or Sir Edwin.
  • 74. Nicholas, i. 235, 241.
  • 75. CD 1621, iii. 29, v. 339; Nicholas, i. 284; CJ, i. 584a.
  • 76. Nicholas, i. 298, CD 1621, vi. 90.
  • 77. CD 1621, iv. 248.
  • 78. CJ, i. 590b.
  • 79. CD 1621, v. 352.
  • 80. Nicholas, i. 335; CD 1621, ii. 327-8; iii. 99-100; v. 104. Sandys argued that making Eve subject to Adam was the greatest punishment that could be inflicted on a woman.
  • 81. CJ, i. 594b.
  • 82. CJ, i. 596a; Nicholas, i. 348.
  • 83. CJ, i. 592b; Nicholas, i. 326.
  • 84. CD 1621, iii. 95; CJ, i. 593b-4a.
  • 85. CJ, i. 602b.
  • 86. Ibid. 622a. Holland assigns this cttee. appointment to the following day. CD 1621, vi. 163.
  • 87. CJ, i. 623b; CD 1621, ii. 378, iii. 279
  • 88. CD 1621, iii. 92; CJ, i. 593a.
  • 89. Nicholas, i. 343; CJ, i. 599b.
  • 90. CJ, i. 595b; CD 1621, v. 110.
  • 91. Nicholas, ii. 150.
  • 92. CJ, i. 551b; Williams, 15.
  • 93. CJ, i. 605a.
  • 94. CJ, i. 608b, Nicholas, ii. 21-2; CD 1621, iii. 167; iv. 303-4; v. 141; vi. 136-7.
  • 95. CJ, i. 610a, 610b; Nicholas, ii. 26-7, 29; CD 1621, iii. 174, 176, 179; iv. 309, 311; v. 144, 368; vi. 140.
  • 96. Nicholas, ii. 30; CD 1621, iv. 311-12; iii. 179-81.
  • 97. CJ, i. 614a, 614b.
  • 98. CD 1621, iii. 232.
  • 99. Nicholas, ii. 34.
  • 100. CJ, i. 616a-b; Nicholas, ii. 49.
  • 101. CJ, i. 618b; Nicholas, ii. 57.
  • 102. R. Zaller, Parl. of 1621, p. 133; CD 1621, iii. 325-6.
  • 103. Nicholas, ii. 111-12; CD 1621, iii. 327; vi. 174.
  • 104. Nicholas, ii. 115-16; CD 1621, iii. 334.
  • 105. CJ, i. 630a, Nicholas, ii. 117.
  • 106. LJ, i. 139; CD 1621, iii. 344-5.
  • 107. CD 1621, iii. 357.
  • 108. CJ, i. 633a; CD 1621, iii. 369.
  • 109. CD 1621, iv. 399.
  • 110. Nicholas, ii. 152-3, CD 1621, vi. 187.
  • 111. CJ, i. 636b, CD 1621, iii. 402.
  • 112. CD 1621, ii. 426, v. 197.
  • 113. CJ, i. 639a.
  • 114. T. Birch, Ct. and Times of Jas. I, ii. 262, 266.
  • 115. Nicholas, ii. 183; CJ, i. 641b.
  • 116. CJ, i. 650a, CD 1621, iv. 447, vi. 205
  • 117. CD 1621, ii. 285-6.
  • 118. Nicholas, ii. 295-6, 297; CJ, i. 660a, 661a.
  • 119. CJ, i. 668a; CD 1621, ii. 537.
  • 120. CJ, i. 668a.
  • 121. Chamberlain Letters ed. N.E. McClure, ii. 416.
  • 122. PROB 11/142, ff. 211v-12v.
  • 123. E.A.B. Barnard, ‘Ombersley and the Sandys Fam.’, Trans. Worcs. Arch. Soc. xvi. 50-1; Worcs. RO, MF281/1, Wickhamford par. reg.