smooth matters by resigning all claims to the archbishopric. On 17 April, at the request of Edward I, Honorius confirmed his earlier preferments and allowed him to enjoy the benefits of the suspected bull (Cal. Papal Letters, i. 479). To avoid long journeys, expense, and discord, the pope ordered Sandford as dean and the five canons then at Rome to elect an archbishop. Sandford modestly gave his vote for one John of Nottingham, one of the canons present, but the five canons, headed by Nottingham, agreed on the election of Sandford. On 30 May 1285 Honorius issued from St. Peter's his confirmation of the election (ib. i. 480; cf. Cal. Doc. Ireland, 1285–92, p. 34; Cal. Papal Letters, i. 481). The archbishop-elect went home. On 6 Aug. his temporalities were restored (Cal. Doc. Ireland, 1285–92, p. 43), and on 7 April 1286 he was consecrated in Holy Trinity Cathedral, Dublin (Ware, Commentary of Prelates of Ireland, Archbishops of Dublin, p. 6 .).
The next few years were a particularly disturbed period in Ireland, and in 1288 the sudden death of the viceroy, Stephen de Fulburne, archbishop of Tuam, increased the confusion. On 30 June Sandford, of his own authority, took on himself the government of Ireland. On 7 July 1288 the Irish council met at Dublin and agreed that he should be keeper of Ireland until the king should otherwise provide. Sandford, ‘out of reverence for the king and people,’ accepted the office. His government was regarded as beginning on 30 June. On 20 July he went to Connaught to survey the king's castles and pacify that region. In August he went to Leix and Offaly, where the native clans were at war against the Norman lords. On 9 Sept. he was at Kildare, whence he went to Cork and Carlow. On 1 Oct. he was at Limerick, and a few days later at Waterford. Early in 1289 he made a tour in Desmond, where a revolt had recently broken out. In the spring he started northwards. After a stay in Meath, he led at the end of March a second expedition into Connaught. He devoted the summer to Desmond and Thomond, and the whole autumn to restoring peace in Leix and Offaly, where his energy and large following reduced the whole district to peace. At Hilarytide 1290 he held a parliament in Dublin, and at Easter another parliament at Kilkenny. In May another Irish rising called him to Athlone. Comparative peace now ensued, and Sandford spent the summer in a judicial eyre from Dublin to Drogheda, Kells, Mullingar, and so to Connaught, and thence into Leinster. ‘In these counties he rectified the king's affairs so that Ireland was ever afterwards at peace.’ A minute itinerary and some notion of his work can be drawn from the ‘expenses of journeys to divers parts of Ireland of John, archbishop of Dublin, when keeper of Ireland,’ calendared in ‘Calendar of Documents relating to Ireland, 1285–92’ (pp. 265–77). On 11 Nov. 1290 he gave up his office (ib. p. 276). The wars had so reduced the profits of his see that he was unable to properly maintain his table, and in 1289 obtained from Nicholas IV a grant of first fruits within his diocese for that purpose (Cal. Papal Letters, i. 508).
On 21 March 1291 Sandford received letters of protection for two years on his going to England to the king (ib. p. 392). He was now actively employed by Edward on English business. He was present in 1292 at the proceedings involved in the great suit for the Scots succession. On 14 Oct. 1292 he was one of the bishops who declared that the suit should be decided by English law (Ann. Regni Scotiæ in Rishanger, p. 255). He subscribed the declaration in favour of the issue of the elder daughter which settled the suit in Balliol's favour (ib. p. 260). He was at the final judgment at Berwick, and witnessed at Norham Balliol's oath of fealty to Edward I (ib. pp. 357, 363). On 20 Sept. 1293 he officiated at Bristol at the marriage of the king's eldest daughter Eleanor to Henry, count of Bar (Ann. Worcester, p. 513; Cont. Flor. Wig. ii. 268). Sandford was a zealous partisan of Edward, and did his best to persuade the clergy to make vast grants to him (Dunstaple Annals, p. 389). At Whitsuntide 1294 he was at the London parliament which agreed to war against France to recover Gascony. On 20 June he was sent with Antony Bek [q. v.], bishop of Durham, and others to negotiate an alliance with Adolf of Nassau, king of the Romans, against the French (Fœdera, i. 802). Florence, count of Holland, and Siegfried, archbishop of Cologne, furthered the proposed alliance. The main business of the English envoys was to scatter money freely (Flores Hist. iii. 273). On 10 Aug. Sandford and Bek agreed upon a treaty, which on 21 Aug. Adolf signed at Nürnberg. Many German princes joined the treaty, which was on 24 Sept. accepted by the negotiators of both sides at Dordrecht. Sandford apparently took the treaty back to England. He landed at Yarmouth, and quickly succumbed to a sudden but fatal illness (Cont. Flor. Wig. ii. 274; Pauli, Geschichte von England, iv. 86–8). He died at Yarmouth