SANDYS, Sir Walter (c.1376-1435), of Sherborne 'Coudray', Hants. and East Cholderton

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1386-1421, ed. J.S. Roskell, L. Clark, C. Rawcliffe., 1993
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Apr. 1414

Family and Education

b.c.1376, 1st. s. of Sir John Sandys*. m. (1) by 1401, Agnes (d. bef. 1407), da. and h. of Thomas Warrener of North Ashley and Preston Candover, Hants by his 2nd w. Joan, 2s. 1da.; (2) by Aug. 1427, Margaret (c.1394-Mar. 1443), da. and h. of John Erleigh of Beckington, Som. by his w. Isabel (d.1434), wid. of John Seymour (d.1415), yr. s. of Richard, Lord St. Maur (d.1401), of Castle Cary, Sore. Kntd. by 1401.

Offices Held

Sheriff, Hants 29 Nov. 1410-10 Dec. 1411, 13 Nov. 1423-6 Nov. 1424.

J.p. Hants 30 Dec. 1416-July 1424, 27 Apr. 1431-d.

Commr. of array, Hants June 1424; inquiry Aug. 1424 (ownership of a ship’s cargo), May 1425 (poaching of fish); to take musters, Hampton Heath Apr. 1425; raise royal loans, Hants June 1426, May 1428, Mar. 1431, Feb. 1434; of oyer and terminer Nov. 1433.


When Sandys’s father died in 1395, he acted as an executor of his will, and in February 1397 he took an oath in Chancery regarding Sir John’s assignments as sheriff of Hampshire, these having been left in a confused state. Walter cannot have yet attained his majority, and in any case the family estates remained for the most part in the possession of his mother, who within a few months of Sir John’s death married Sir Thomas Skelton*, the chief steward of the duchy of Lancaster. These estates, situated in Hampshire, Sussex and Wiltshire, and estimated in 1412 to be worth some £147 a year, did not pass to Walter until his stepfather’s death in 1416, although he did take seisin earlier of his parents’ lands in Catherington and Clatford in Hampshire and of the manor of Berkham in Fletching, Sussex. Even so, an early and profitable marriage was clearly a sensible course of action, and he added to his property by his match with Agnes, the only daughter of Thomas Warrener, a kinsman of Bishop Wykeham of Winchester, and the bishop’s bailiff of the Soke. In his will of July 1403 Wykeham left as much as £100 to Walter’s wife and her children. Agnes predeceased her father, upon whose death, in September 1407, her infant son, Thomas Sandys, inherited the manors of Preston Candover and North Ashley, of which Sir Walter secured custody during his son’s minority, retaining them until Thomas came of age in June 1425. Thus, in 1412 he was holding lands in Hampshire and Sussex with an estimated value of about £61 a year. His second wife, Margaret Erleigh, stood to inherit the manors of Rowden and Box in Wiltshire, and Beckington, Babcary, Purye and durston in Somerset, but the bulk of these estates were not to be transferred to her until November 1434 on the death of her mother (Isabel, wife of sir John Rouden), and up to then she and Sir Walter only had possession of the site of the manor of Durston and some 260 acres of parkland there. However, as her dower as the widow of Lord St. Maur’s younger son, Margaret held lands in Blackford and Prestleigh, in Somerset, and a third of the manor of North Molton along with the shared patronage of the churches of North Molton and black Torrington in Devon. One of Sandy’s larger properties, the manor of Sherborne ‘Coudray’, he settled on his daughter, Joan, within a few years of her marriage to their neighbour, William Brocas* of Beaurepaire, this alliance having taken place in 1414, probably about the time that Sandys and Brocas represented Hampshire in Parliament together. It seems likely that after the settlement Sandys lived at East Cholderton, where, according to Leland, there was ‘a fair maner place buildid for the moste part of flint’.1

Sandys had been knighted a year or more before October 1402, when he sailed for Gascony in the retinue of the veteran soldier, Sir Matthew gournay, seneschal of Les Landes. Two years later, in June 1404, he was among the knights mustered under the command of Thomas, Lord Berkeley, the admiral of the west, and in 1407 he became a member of the garrison of the castle at Guînes, near Calais. However, during the latter part of Henry IV’s reign and the early years of Henry V’s, he stayed at home in Hampshire, serving as sheriff (as such he officiated at the parliamentary elections at Winchester in 1411) and sitting in his one and only Parliament. He took part in the royal expeditions to France of 1415 and 1417, on both occasions with his own quite modest retinue of three men-at-arms and nine archers, and he was in Normandy in the summer of 1418. In December 1419 his name appeared on the list sent to the King’s Council by the j.p.s. for Hampshire in response to a request for information as to whom they considered as best able to defend the realm.2

That Sandys was a figure of some standing is suggested by the grant, made to him early in 1414, of a papal indult to have his own confessor, and also by the status of some of his associates. Before 1420 he acted as a co-feoffee with Bishop Beaufort of Winchester and the latter’s cousin, Thomas Chaucer* of Ewelme, of the manor of Hinton Daubney (Hampshire), and in 1427 he was a trustee with none other than the Protector, Humphrey, duke of Gloucester, of the manor of Weycroft (Devon), then securing for (Sir) Thomas Brooke* from the King’s Council a charter for the crenellation of the manor-house. So far as is known, he sat in the Commons only once, but he showed an interest in parliamentary affairs at least to the extent of attending the Hampshire elections of 1425, 1426, 1427, 1429 and 1433. In February 1436 his name was put down for a loan of £40 towards financing the duke of York’s expedition to France, but this was clearly an administrative error, for he had died in the previous year, on 17 June. His heir was Thomas Sandys, his elder son by his first wife. Sir Walter’s widow, who enjoyed an income of no less than £252 a year, conveyed her manors of Box and Rowden to Sir Walter (now Lord) Hungerford*, but retained her Seymour and Sandys dowers, took as her third husband the chief justice, Sir William Cheyne, and lived on until 1443. Our shire knight’s descendants were to be summoned to Parliament as the Lords Sandys from 1523 until the late 17th century.3

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: L. S. Woodger


  • 1. CCR, 1396-9, p. 95; 1422-9, p. 231; 1429-35, p. 327; 1435-41, pp. 8, 50, 52; R. Lowth, Wm. of Wykeham p. xli; C137/66/27; C138/12/36; C139/26/48, 70/32, 33, 110/37; VCH Wilts. viii. 149-50, 173; Som. Feet of Fines (Som. Rec. Soc. xxii), 28; J. Collinson, Hist. Som. ii. 198-9; Feudal Aids, vi. 449, 450, 525-6, 535; CFR, xiii. 117; xiv. 109; J. Leland, Itin. ed. Toulmin Smith, ii. 7-8; VCH Hants, iii. 372; iv. 160, 610; CP, xi. 360-2; G.D. Squibb, Founder’s Kin, 189.
  • 2. C76/90 m. 12; C61/109 m. 13; C219/10/6; E101/43/32, 69/5/435, 70/2/609; E28/97/27; DKR, xli. 711, 716; xliv. 595.
  • 3. C219/13/3-5, 14/1, 4; CPR, 1416-22, p. 367; CPL, vi. 498; CChR, vi. 1; PPC, iv. 328; CP, xi. 441; C139/70/33, 110/37; E179/173/92.