SANDYS, Edwin (1659-99), of Ombersley, Worcs.

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 - 1698

Family and Education

bap. 1 Oct. 1659, 1st s. of Samuel Sandys† of Ombersley by Elizabeth, da. of Sir John Pettus of Chediston, Suff.  m. 14 Oct. 1694 (with £6,000), Alice, da. of Sir James Rushout, 1st Bt.*, sis. of Sir James, 2nd Bt.*, and Sir John Rushout, 4th Bt.*, 2s. (?1 d.v.p.) 1da.1

Offices Held


The Ombersley branch of the Sandys family was descended from Edwin Sandys, archbishop of York (d. 1588). Both Sandys’ grandfather and father sat in Parliament for Worcestershire constituencies during the Restoration period, thereby continuing a tradition begun in Elizabethan times. Indeed, his father was perceived by some contemporaries as having a good chance of carrying off one of the county seats in partnership with Sir John Pakington, 4th Bt.*, at the 1690 election before his mysterious decision to desist. Upon his marriage in 1694 Edwin was given the bulk of the family estates. A contemporary valuation put the annual income of the Ombersley estate alone at £750 and the total from the Worcestershire estates at £1,155, a more than sufficient material base for a credible parliamentary candidature in a county seat.2

Sandys was returned with Thomas Foley I* at the 1695 election. His political views at this time are difficult to elucidate. He was supported by Court Whigs, such as his father-in-law, Rushout, but the threat of a late intervention in the election by William Walsh* suggests that family affinity may have been the main reason for Rushout’s support. Sandys was not an active member. His voting record points to consistent opposition to the Court, but whether tinged with Toryism or Whiggism is impossible to say. Forecast in January 1696 as likely to oppose the Court over the proposed council of trade, he signed the Association in February, but in March voted against fixing the price of guineas at 22s. In the following session he voted on 25 Nov. 1696 against the attainder of Sir John Fenwick†. Finally, on a comparative analysis of the old and new Parliaments compiled around September 1698 he was classed as a Country supporter.

Sandys was not a candidate at the 1698 election. Ill-health may have been the reason for his withdrawal from politics: on 12 Feb. 1698 he had been given leave by the Commons to go into the country to recover his health. In April 1699, he was reported to be ‘very ill and not like to live long’. The exact date of his death is unknown, though he predeceased his father. Sir Charles Lyttelton† thought Sandys ‘an honest gentleman as most in his country’, a view which confirmed his support for a Country programme. It was a platform which his son, Samuel†, was to take up, as a committed Whig, in his years of opposition to Walpole (Robert II*). Sandys should not be confused with a namesake, Captain Edwin Sandys of Yorkshire (d. 1702), an officer in the Earl of Oxford’s regiment.3

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: Stuart Handley


  • 1. IGI, Worcs.; Nash, Worcs. ii. 221; The Gen. vii. 109; Hereford and Worcester RO (Worcester, St. Helen’s), Northwick mss 705: 66/5/V, abstract of mar. settlement, 30 July 1694.
  • 2. Bath mss at Longleat House, Thynne pprs. 13, f. 263v; Bodl. Ballard 35, f. 53; Northwick mss 705: 66/5/V, particular of Ombersley; Add. 29578, f. 482.
  • 3. Add. 29579, f. 90.