SANDFORD, Sir Richard, 3rd Bt. (1675-1723), of Howgill Castle, Westmld.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1695 - 1700
31 May - 11 Nov. 1701
Dec. 1701 - 1702
1705 - 1713
1713 - 2 Apr. 1723

Family and Education

b. 8 Sept. 1675, o. s. of Sir Richard Sandford, 2nd Bt., by Mary, da. of Sir Francis Bowes of Thornton, co. Dur. educ. Christ’s, Camb. 1692. unmsuc. fa. as 3rd Bt. 8 Sept. 1675.

Offices Held

Freeman, Appleby 1695, alderman 1698, mayor 1700–1.1

Warden of the Mint 1714–17.


The Sandfords were a Westmorland family of long standing who had acquired Howgill Castle by marriage in the mid-16th century. On the day of Sandford’s birth his father was murdered while in London, so that his son succeeded immediately to the baronetcy, but little is known of Sandford’s life until he was chosen by Sir John Lowther, 2nd Bt. II*, as his partner at the Westmorland election of 1695. Lowther’s decision, prompted by an unwillingness arising from political disagreements to stand on a joint interest with Sir Christopher Musgrave, 4th Bt.*, led to some disquiet in the county due to Sandford’s youth, Sandford being only 19. Musgrave was particularly affronted ‘that a minor should be preferred before me though by law [he] is not eligible’, but Lowther was unwilling to yield to such complaint and Sandford was returned unopposed.2

Sandford travelled to London for the opening of the Parliament and loyally followed the political line of his electoral patron. Like Lowther, Sandford was forecast in January 1996 as likely to vote with the Court on the proposed council of trade, promptly signed the Association and in March voted with the Court for fixing the price of guineas at 22s. During the next session he voted, on 25 Nov., for the attainder of Sir John Fenwick†, and given such clear Court Whig sympathies it is hardly surprising that in December 1696 Musgrave wrote that ‘our young knight thinks me unworthy of his acquaintance’. Sandford was returned unopposed for Westmorland in 1698, being classed shortly afterwards as a Court supporter. He was absent from the division of 18 Jan. 1699 on the disbanding bill, but was classed in early 1700 as an adherent of the chancellor of the Exchequer, Hon. Henry Boyle*. Despite the enthusiastic support of both Lord Carlisle (Charles Howard*) and Sir Daniel Fleming†, Sandford was defeated at the Westmorland election of January 1701. Sandford initially declared his intention to petition against this return, but eventually thought better of it and was instead returned, on the interest of Lord Carlisle, at the Morpeth by-election of May 1701. Howard’s tardiness in making this choice, and the consequent delaying of the by-election, explains why at the end of May the Speaker enquired why Sandford had not arrived in London, but on 3 June was informed that Sandford had already left the north and on the 20th he was a teller against a motion that delays in the passage of supply had been caused by ‘those’, that is the Whig lords, ‘seeking indemnity for their own enormous crimes’. Sandford had begun canvassing against the next Westmorland election by September, and his diligent application secured him the second seat at the contested December election. He was listed by Lord Sunderland (Charles Spencer*) as a Whig gain, and classed as a Whig in Robert Harley’s* list of the new Parliament. On 19 Feb. 1702 Sandford was nominated to prepare a bill to sell the estates of the deceased Dr Christopher Lowther, which he presented a week later, and on 25 Feb. he told against a motion that the Whig Earl of Romney (Henry Sidney†) should repay two-thirds of the purchase money paid him for the Irish forfeited estate he had been granted. He was also a teller on two later occasions in favour of motions to relieve places charged with a double land tax assessment in 1693 (3 Mar.), and for the introduction of a bill for relief in respect of the Irish forfeitures (16 Apr.).3

Sandford was defeated at the 1702 Westmorland election. He began canvassing the county at the 1704 by-election but eventually withdrew to allow the return of his fellow Whig William Fleming*, it being agreed that Fleming would retire at the forthcoming general election and allow Sandford and Robert Lowther* to stand as Whig candidates. The hope that Sandford and Lowther would fight this election on a joint interest soon foundered, however, and the contest was further complicated by Fleming’s initial unwillingness to stand by his earlier agreement. Fleming appears to have decided in the spring to honour his agreement of the previous winter, but Sandford and Lowther were unable to reconcile their differences and it appears that Sandford made overtures to stand in alliance with the Tory candidate Henry Grahme*. Sandford eventually decided, however, to accept Lord Carlisle’s nomination at Morpeth and withdrew from the Westmorland election. An analysis of the new Parliament listed him as a ‘Churchman’, and on 25 Oct. 1705 he voted for the Court candidate for Speaker. On 19 Nov. he was teller against a Tory motion that the privileges and elections committee should not sit after midnight, and on 4 Dec. in favour of a motion to consider the recent proceedings of the Scottish parliament concerning the Union and the succession. During January 1706 Sandford supported Thomas Lamplugh’s* bill for enlarging the pier and harbour of Parton, while in the following month he supported the Court on the ‘place clause’ of the regency bill and was teller, on the 25th, against the bill for a further duty on low wines and restraining the import of foreign-cut whalebones. On 6 Mar. he told in favour of a clause to extend the remit of the bill to prevent frauds committed by bankrupts to those who voluntarily surrendered themselves by 25 June. Thereafter, Sandford made little impression on the records of this Parliament, though in early 1708 an analysis of the Commons classed him as a Whig.4

Returned unopposed in 1708, Sandford supported the naturalization of the Palatines in early 1709, and on 15 Apr. told in favour of fixing a date for the Commons’ consideration of the Lords’ amendments to the bill for improving the Union (treasons bill). In 1710 he voted for the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell, and having been returned for Morpeth at the general election later that year was naturally classed as a Whig on the ‘Hanover list’. Little is known of his contribution to this Parliament, though in May 1711 he was described as one of the ‘old W[hi]gs’ who were ‘as unaccountable and railing as ever’ and on 18 June 1713 he voted against the French commerce bill. The printed division list also classed him as a Whig. Returned for Appleby in 1713, he voted against the expulsion of Richard Steele on 18 Mar. 1714 and five days later told in favour of appointing a day for the elections committee to hear the London election case. The Worsley list, and two further comparisons of the 1713 and 1715 Parliaments, all classed Sandford as a Whig, and he continued to sit for Appleby until his death on 2 Apr. 1723.5

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. Cumbria RO (Kendal), Appleby bor. recs. WSMB/A minute bk. 3, 24 Oct. 1695, 25 Aug. 1698, 30 Sept. 1700.
  • 2. Trans. Cumb. and Westmld. Antiq. and Arch. Soc. ser. 2, xxi. 174–233; Nicolson and Burn, Cumb. and Westmld. i. 387–8, 426; Bagot mss at Levens Hall, Timothy Banks to James Grahme*, 5 Oct. 1695; Cumbria RO (Kendal), Le Fleming mss WD/Ry 4860, Lowther to Sir Daniel Fleming, 14 Oct. 1695; Musgrave to same, 19 Oct. 1695; HMC Le Fleming, 338.
  • 3. Le Fleming mss WD/Ry 5065, Musgrave to Fleming, 19 Dec. 1696; 5280, 5601, 5276, Sandford to Fleming, 5 July, 24 Dec. [1700], [c.Feb. 1701]; 5594, Fleming to Westmld. freeholders, 10 Dec. 1700; Cumbria RO (Carlisle), Lonsdale mss D/Lons/W1/21, Sir John Lowther, 2nd Bt. I*, to Ld. Carlisle, Dec. 1700; D/Lons/W2/2/3, James* to Sir John Lowther I, 19 Dec. 1700; 4, same to same, 13, 20 May, 13 Nov. 1701; Add. 70276, John Grey to Robert Harley, 3 June 1701; Bagot mss, Banks to Grahme, 14 Sept. 1701; Cumbria RO (Kendal), Hothfield mss, Thomas Carleton to same, 20 Nov., 18 Dec. 1701 (Speck trans.).
  • 4. Bagot mss, Banks to Grahme, 23 Mar. 1701[–2]; Bath mss at Longleat House, Thynne pprs. 26, f. 506; 25, f. 142; Hothfield mss, Carleton to Grahme, 2 Dec. 1704, 11 May 1705 (Speck trans.); Lonsdale mss D/Lons/W2/2/8, James to Sir John Lowther I, 20 Feb., 3, 10 Mar. 1704[–5], 26, Apr., 3 May, 16 June 1705; D/Lons/W2/1/39, same to William Gilpin, 5, 10 Jan. 1705[–6].
  • 5. Add. 22236, f. 21; 70331, ‘account of some northern elections’, 27 July 1713.