Sandys, Edwin

, a very eminent English prelate, the third son of William Sandys, esq. and Margaret his wife, descended from the ancient barons of Kendal, was born near Hawkshead, in Furness Fells, Lancashire, in 1519. The same neighbourhood, and almost the same year, gave birth to two other luminaries of the reformation, Edmund Grindal and Bernard Gilpin. Mr. Sandys’s late biographer conjectures, that he was educated at the school of Furness Abbey, whence he was removed to St. John’s-college, Cambridge, in 1532 or 1533, where he had for his contemporaries Redmayn and Lever, both great lights of the reformation, beside others of inferior name, who continued in the hour of trial so true to their principles, that, according to Mr. Baker, the learned historian of that house, “probably more fellows were, in queen Mary’s reign, ejected from St. John’s than from any other society in either university.” Several years now elapsed of Sandys’s life, during which in matters of religion men knew not how to act or what to believe; but, though the nation was at this time under severe restraints with respect to external conduct, inquiry was still at work jin secret: the corruptions of the old religion became better understood, the Scriptures were universally studied, and every impediment being removed with the capricious tyranny of Henry VIII., protestantism, with little variation from its present establishment in England, became the religion of the state.

During this interval Sandys, who, from the independence of his fortune, or some other cause, had never been scholar or fellow of his college, though he had served the office of proctor for the university, was in 1547 elected master of Catherine-hall. He was probably at this time vicar of Haversham, in Bucks> his first considerable preferment, to which, in 1548, was added a prebend of Peterborough, and in 1552, the second stall at Carlisle. Without the last of these preferments he was enabled to marry, and chose a lady of his own name, the daughter of a branch unnoticed by the genealogists, a beautiful and pious wo^ man. The next year, which was that of his vice-chancellorship, rendered him unhappily conspicuous by his | yielding to the command or request of Dudley, duke of Northumberland, and preaching a sermon in support of lady Jane Gray’s pretensions to the crown, after the death of Edward VI. The designs of Dudley’s party having been almost immediately defeated, Sandys was marked out for vengeance; and the popish party in the university, as the first step towards regaining an ascendant, resolved to depose the vice-chancellor, which was performed in a manner very characteristic of the tumultuous spirit of the times. From this time, in July 1553, he ceased to reside in college, or to take any part in the administration of its concerns.

He then left the university, amidst the insults of his enemies, and the tears of his friends, who reasonably anticipated a worse fate than that which befel him. On his arrival in London, he was ordered to be confined in the Tower, where the yeomen of the guard took from him every thing which he had been permitted to bring from Cambridge; but his faithful servant, Quintin Swainton, brought after him a Bible, some shirts and other necessaries. The Bible being no prize for plunderers, was sent in, but every thing else was stolen by the warders. Here, after remaining three weeks, solitary and ill accommodated in a vile lodging, he was removed to a better apartment, called the Nun’s Bower (a name now forgotten in that gloomy mansion), where he had the comfort of Mr. John Bradford’s company. In this apartment they remained twenty-nine weeks, during which time the mildness yet earnestness of their persuasions wrought on their keeper, a bigoted catholic, till he became a sincere protestant, "a son begotten in bonds/‘ so that when mass was celebrated in the chapel of the Tower, instead of compelling his prisoners to attend, the converted gaoler frequently brought up a service-book of Edward VI. with bread and wine, and Sandys administered the sacrament in both kinds to himself and the other two.

Here they continued until their apartments being wanted for the persons concerned in Wyat’s conspiracy, they were removed to the Marshalsea. On their way there they found the people’s minds greatly changed. Popery, unmasked and triumphant, had already shewn its nature again, and general disgust had followed the short burst of joy which had attended the queen’s accession. Sandys walked along the streets attended by his keeper: and as he was generally | known, the people prayed that God would comfort him, and strengthen him in the truth. Struck with these appearances of popularity, the keeper of the Marshalsea said, “These vain people would set you forward to the fire: but you are as vain as they, if you, being a young man, will prefer your own conceit before the judgment of so many worthy prelates, and so many grave and learned men as are in this realm. If you persist, you shall find me as strict a keeper, as one that utterly misliketh your religion.” Dr. Sandys nobly replied, “My years, indeed, are few, and my learning is small but it is enough to know Christ crucified and who seeth not the blasphemies of popery hath learned nothing. T have read in Scripture of godly and courteous keepers, God make you like one of them; if not, I trust he will give me strength and patience to bear your hard dealing with* me.” The keeper then asked, “Are you resolved to stand to your religion” “Yes,” said Dr. Sandys, “by God’s grace.” “1 love you the better, therefore,” said the keeper, " I did but tempt you: every favour which I can show, you shall be sure of: nay, if you die at a stake, I shall be happy to die with you.’ 7 And from that day such was the confidence which this good man reposed in Sandys, that many times he permitted him to walk alone in the fields; nor would he ever suffer him to be fettered, like the other prisoners. He lodged him also in the best chamber of the house, and often permitted his wife to visit him. Great resort was here made to Dr. Sandys for his edifying discourses, and much money was offered him, but he would accept of none. Here too the communion was celebrated three or four times by himself and his companions, of whom Saunders, afterwards the martyr, was one, to many communicants.

After nine weeks confinement in the Marshalsea, he was set at liberty, by the intercession of sir Thomas Holcroft, knight-marshal. This, however, was not accomplished without much difficulty, and so intent was Gardiner, bishop of Winchester, on bringing Sandys to the stake, that it required some management on the part of sir Thomas before he could succeed; and no sooner was Sandys liberated than Gardiner, being told that he had set at liberty one of the greatest heretics in the kingdom, procured orders to be issued to all the constables of London to search for, and apprehend him. In Sandys* s final escape, as related by his late biographer, the hand of Providence was

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| strikingly visible. While he was in the Tower, wanting a pair of new hose, a tailor was sent for, who, not being permitted to measure him, had made them too long, and While he was now concealed at the house of one Hurleston, a skinner in Cornhill, he sent them, as Hurleston’s own, to a tailor to be shortened. This happened to be honest Benjamin the maker, a good protestant, who immediately recognized his own handy work, and required to be shown, to the house where Dr. Sandys was, that he might speak with him for his good. At midnight he was admitted, and informed Dr. Sandys, that all the constables of the city, of whom he himself was one, were employed to apprehend him, thai it was well known that his servant had provided two geldings, and that he meant to ride out at Aldgate tomorrow. “But,” said he, “follow my advice, and, by God’s grace, you shall escape. Let your man walk all the day to-morrow in the street where your horses are stabled, booted and prepared for a journey. The servant of the man of the house shall take the horses to Bethnalgreen. The man himself shall follow, and be booted as if he meant to ride. About eight in the morning I will be with you, and here we will break our fast. It is both term and parliament time, and the street by that hour will be full of people; we will then go forth look wildly, and, if you meet your own brother in the street, do not shun, but outface him, and assure him that you know him not.” Dr. Sand3‘s accordingly complied, and came out at the appointed hour, clothed in all respects as a layman and a gentleman. Benjamin carried him through bye-lanes to Moorgate, where the horses were ready, and Hurleston as his man. That night he rode to his father-in-law’s house, but had not been there two hours, when intelligence was brought, that two of, the guard had been dispatched to apprehend him, and would be there that night. He was then immediately conducted to the house of a farmer near the sea-side, where he remained two days and two nights in a solitary chamber. Afterwards he removed to the house of one James Mower, a ship-master, near Milton-shore, where was a fleet of merchant-men awaiting a wind for Flanders. While he was there, Mower gathered a congregation of forty or fifty seamen, to whom he gave an exhortation, with which they were so much delighted, that they promised to defend him at the expence of their lives. On Sunday May 6, he embarked in the. same vessel with | Dr. Coxe, afterwards bishop of Ely, and the ship was yet in sight, when two of the guard arrived on the shore to apprehend Dr. Sandys.

His danger was not even yet entirely over, for on hi arrival at Antwerp, he received intelligence that king Philip of Spain had sent to apprehend him, on which he escaped to the territory of Cleve, from thence to Augsburgh, where he remained fourteen days, and then removed to Strasburgh. Here he took up his abode for the present, and here unquestionably spent the most gloomy portion of his life. His own health was at this time deeply, injured; he fell sick of a flux (the usual concomitant of hardships and afflictions), which continued without abatement for nine months; his only child died of the plague; and his beloved wife, who had found means to follow him about a year after his flight from England, expired of a consumption, in his arms. In addition to his sorrows, the disputes concerning church discipline broke out among the English exiles, on which several of his friends left the place. After his wife’s death, he went to Zurich, where he was entertained by Peter Martyr, but, his biographer thinks, the time did not permit him to receive any deep tincture either as to doctrine or discipline from Geneva or its neighbours. Within rive weeks the news of queen Mary’s death arrived; and after being joyfully feasted by Bullinger, and the other ministers of the Swiss churches, he returned to Strasburgh, where he preached; after which Grindal and he set out for their native country together, and arrived in London on the day of queen Elizabeth’s coronation.

Dr. Sandys was now somewhat less than forty years old, in the vigour of his mental faculties and with recruited bodily strength. The first public scene on which he appeared was the great disputation between the leading divines of the protestant and popish side, in which, if his talent for debate bore any proportion to his faculty of preaching, he must have borne a very conspicuous part. On the 21st of December, 1559, he was consecrated by archbishop Parker to the see of Worcester. Browne Willis has most unjustly accused our prelate of having enriched his family out of the lands of this see; on the contrary, he transmitted it to his successor, exactly as he found it, that is, saddled with the conditions of an exchange which the crown had by statute a right to make. He accepted it | onthese conditions, and what he was never seized of, it was impossible for him to alienate. After all, this was scarcely a matter sufficient to excite Browne Willis’s superstitious reverence,- for the rental of the manors taken away was no more than 193l. 125. 8f^. per ann. and that of the spiritualities given in exchange 194l.

At Worcester began the inquietudes and vexations which pursued bishop Sandys through his latter days. The papists in his diocese hated him, and he was at no pains to conciliate them. At Hartlebury, in particular, it was his misfortune to have for his neighbour sir John Browne, a bigoted papist, who took every opportunity to insult the bishop, and to deride his wife (for he had by this time married Cecily, sister of sir Thomas Wilford), by calling her " My Lady‘,’ 7 a style which in the novelty of their situation, some of the bishop’s wives really pretended to; so that in conclusion a great affray took place between the bishop’s servants and those of the knight, in which several were wounded on both sides. At Worcester Dr. Sandys remained till 1570, when on the translation of his friend Grindal to York, he succeeded him in the see of London, a station for which he was eminently qualified by his talents as a preacher, and as a governor. During this period, he had interest to procure for his kinsman Gilpin, a nomination to the bishopric of Carlisle, but Gilpin refused it. At London, Dr. Sandys sat six years, when he was translated to York, on the removal of Grindal to Canterbury.

Years were now coming upon him, and a numerous family demanded a provision; but as it was a new and unpopular thing to see the prelates of the church abandoning their cathedrals and palaces, and retiring to obscure manor-houses on their estates, in order to accumulate fortunes for their children, an abundant portion of obloquy fell upon Sandys, who seldom lived at York, and not very magnificently at Southwell. Yet he visited his diocese regularly, and preached occasionally in his cathedral with great energy and effect. In 1577, during a metropolitical visitation, he came in his progress to Durham, the bishopric of which was then vacant, but was refused admittance by Whittingham, the puritan dean. The archbishop, however, with his wonted firmness proceeded to excommunication. The issue of this contest will come to be noticed in our account of Whittingham. In the month of May 1582, being once more in a progress through his dipcese, a diar | bolical attempt was made to blast his character. He happened to lie at an inn in Doncaster; whertf, through the contrivance of sir Robert Stapleton, and other enemies, the inn-keeper’s wife was put to bed to him at midnight when he was asleep. On this, according to agreement, the inn-keeper rushed into the room, waked the archbishop with his noise, and offered a drawn dagger to his breast, pretending to avenge the injury. Immediately sir Robert Stapleton came in, as if called from his chamber by the inn-keeper; and putting on the appearance of a friend, as indeed he had formerly been, and as the archbishop then thought him, advised his grace to make the matter up, laying before him many perils and dangers to his name and the credit of religion that might ensue, if, being one against so many, he should offer to stir in such a cause; and persuading him, that, notwithstanding his innocency, which the archbishop earnestly protested, and Stapleton then acknowledged, it were better to stop the mouths of needy persons than to bring his name into doubtful question. With this advice, Sandys unwarily complied; but, afterwards discovering sir Robert’s malice and treacherous dissimulation, he ventured, in confidence of his own innocency, to be the means himself of bringing the whole cause to examination before the council in the star-chamber. The result of this was, that he was declared entirely innocent of the wicked slanders and imputations raised against him; and that sir Robert Stapleton and his accomplices were first imprisoned, and then fined in a most severe manner. This affair is related at large by sir John Harrington, a contemporary writer; and by Le Neve, who gives a fuller account of it, from an exemplification of the decree, made in the star-chamber, 8 May, 25 Eliz. preserved in the Harieian library.

The last act of the archbishop’s life seems to have been the resistance he made against the earl of Leicester, who wanted to wrest from the see a valuable estate. It is to be regretted that after having made this noble stand, our prelate should have granted a long lease of the manor of Scroby to his own family.

Of the decline of archbishop Sandys’ s age, and of the particular disorder which brought him to his grave, no circumstances are recorded. He died at Southwell, July 10, 1588, in the sixty-ninth year of his age, and was buried in the collegiate church of that place. He was the | first English bishop who, by his prudence or parsimony, laid the foundation of a fortune in his family, which has justified their subsequent advancement to a peerage. With his father’s savings, the manor of Ombersley, in Worcestershire, was purchased by sir Samuel Sandys, the eldest son, whose descendants, since ennobled by the family name, still remain in possession of that fair and ample domain. There also the archbishop’s portrait, together with that of Cicely his second wife, is still preserved. She survived to 1610, and has a monument at Woodham Ferrers, in Essex, where she died.

Dr. Whitaker, whose late life of archbishop Sandys we have irs general followed, as the result of much research and reflection, observes that after all the deductions which truth and impartiality require, it will still remain incontestable, that Sandys was a man of a clear and vigorous understanding, of a taste, in comparison, above that of the former age or the next, and, what is more, of his own: that he was a sincere Christian, a patient sufferer, an indefatigable preacher, an intrepid and active ecclesiastical magistrate. W r hat was his deportment in private life, we are no where told. On the other hand, it cannot be denied, that the man who after his advancement to the episcopal order, in three successive stations, either, kindled the flames of discord, or never extinguished them, who quarrelled alike with protestants and papists, with his successor in one see (Aylmer) and with his dean in another, who in his first two dioceses treated the clergy with a harshness which called for the interposition of the metropolitan, and who drew upon himself from two gentlemen of the country, the extremity of violence and outrage, must have been lamentably defective in Christian meekness and forbearance *. In every instance, indeed, he had met with great provocation, and in the last the treatment he received was atrocious; but such wounds are never gratuitously in-, flicted, and rarely till after a series of irritations on both sides. In doctrinal points his biographer attempts, by various extracts from his sermons, to prove archbishop Sandys less inclined to Calvinism than some of his contem­* We know not if Mr. Lodge has be. easy elegance of a courtier trith as

stowed the same attention on the con- imichlpiety, meekness, and benevolence,

duct of archbishop Sandys, but his in- as ever ornamented the clerical chafereuce is somewhai different. “This racter.” Lodge’s IHqstrations, vol. Ji.

prelate’s conduct happily united the p. 222. | poraries. On the other hand Dr. Whitaker asserts the clear, systematic, and purely evangelical thread of doctrine which runs through the whole of his sermons, namely, salvation through Christ alone, justification by faith in him, eanctification through his holy Spirit, and lastly, the fruits of faith, produced through the agency of the same Spirit, and exemplified in every branch cf duty to God, our neighbour and ourselves. These “Sermons” were first printed almost immediately after the archbishop’s decease, and again in 1613, in a quarto volume, containing twenty- two, but have lately become so scarce that Dr. Whitaker undertook a new edition, with a life prefixed, which was published in 1812, 8vo. The archbishop was also concerned in the translation of the Bible begun in 1565, and the portion which fell to his lot was the books of Kings and Chronicles. Several of his letters and other papers are inserted in Strype’s Anna*ls and Lives of Parker and Whitgift, and in Burnet’s History of the Reformation, Fox'Jj Acts, &c. 1


Life by Dr. Whitaker. Biog. Brit. —Strype’s Cranmer, p. 314, 401. —Strype’s Parker, p. 63, 78, 103, ‘208, 296, 333, 357, 438. —Strype’g Grindal, p. 2. 192,228, 245. —Strype’s Whitgift. p. 283. Harrington’s Brief Viet he Nere’s Archbishop’s vol. II. Fox’s Acts and Monuments.