SANDYS, Sir Richard (by 1488-1538/39).

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. by 1488, yr. s. of Sir William Sandys (d. 26 Oct. 1496) of The Vyne, Sherborne St. John, Hants by Margaret, da. of John Cheyne of Shurland, Isle of Sheppey, Kent. m. (1) 1s.; (2) 1534, Denise, wid. of Walter Champion of London. Kntd. 1 Nov. 1523.1

Offices Held

Gent. usher by 1509, to Princess Elizabeth 1536; bailiff, scunage of Calais and islands of Coulogne in marches of Calais 1521-d.; commr. subsidy, Hants 1523, 1524; other commissions 1530-5; jt. lt. Claren don forest, Hants and Wilts. 1524-d., j.p. Hants 1529-d.; knight of the body by 1533.2


Sir Richard Sandys doubtless owed his election to the Parliament of 1529 either directly or indirectly to the King. The writ for Hampshire was one of those which Henry VIII had sent to him at Windsor, where Sandys may well have been in attendance. Both in his own right, and as the brother of William, 1st Baron Sandys, one of the King’s favourite courtiers, he was a natural choice for the knighthood of a shire in which his family held a leading place.3

Although Richard Sandys succeeded to all the lands which his father had purchased, he seems not to have had an establishment of his own but to have lived in his brother’s household. He was a gentleman usher at Henry VII’s funeral. In 1513 he accompanied his brother on the expedition to France, and in the following January the two were at Portsmouth preparing for a French attack. From 1517 Lord Sandys was frequently at Calais, and Richard was probably there with him: both served under Suffolk in the expedition of 1523 and Richard was one of those knighted at its close. In that year he was named a subsidy commissioner for Hampshire, but was ‘beyond the sea in the King’s wars’ when his own assessment came to be made. He was at Calais during Wolsey’s visit in 1527 and the King’s in October 1532.4

Nothing is known of Sandys’s part in the proceedings of the Parliament, but during its lifetime he remained closely associated with his brother. On 6 May 1533 he and his son John were granted the office of bailiff of the scunage of Calais which he had held alone since 1521: when his right to the office was challenged by the mayor of Calais, Lord Sandys wrote on his behalf to the deputy, Viscount Lisle, assuring him that Sir Richard had long been bailiff both of the scunage and of Coulogne. In January 1535 the same writer informed Cromwell in an indignant letter that his brother had been attacked the day before in the Queen’s park of Stratfield Mortimer, Berkshire, by ‘young Trapnell’, son-in-law to Sir Thomas Englefield, and six of his servants, an assault for which he demanded redress. This was a reversal of the role imputed to Sandys in a Star Chamber case in Wolsey’s time, when Francis Digneley complained of an attack by him in Alice Holt forest, Sussex.5

Sandys probably sat in the Parliament of 1536 in accordance with the King’s request for the reelection of the previous Members. During the northern rebellion he was one of the gentlemen appointed to attend upon the King. In the same year he became a gentleman usher to Princess Elizabeth and he was present at the christening of Edward VI on 15 Oct. 1537 and the funeral of Queen Jane a month later. He was alive on 3 June 1538, when he witnessed a deposition against a priest who looked forward to the end of the royal supremacy, but was dead by 23 June 1539, when Lord Sandys wrote to Cromwell about a dispute with his widow. Sandys’s 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 £7000’: this her brother-in-law denied, claiming that although not obliged to do so he had agreed to give her £80 a year for life, an offer which she had first accepted and then refused.6

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Patricia Hyde


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Test. Vet. ed. Nicolas, ii. 432; CP, xi. 441; LP Hen. VIII, iii, vi, vii.
  • 2. LP Hen. VIII, i-vi.
  • 3. Ibid. iv.
  • 4. Test. Vet. ii. 432; LP Hen. VIII, i. iii; SP1/29, f. 7; Chron. Calais (Cam. Soc. xxxv), 39, 42.
  • 5. LP Hen. VIII, iii, iv, vi, viii; St.Ch.2/13/241.
  • 6. LP Hen. VIII, x-xiii; SP1/156, ff. 169-70; 2/Q, ff. 31-35.