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Sandford, Francis (1630-1694) (DNB00)


SANDFORD, FRANCIS (1630–1694), herald and genealogist, descended from an ancient family seated at Sandford, Shropshire, was born in the castle of Carnow, co. Wicklow, in 1630, being the third son of Francis Sandford, esq., of Sandford, by Elizabeth, daughter of Calcot Chambre of Williamscot, Oxfordshire, and of Carnow. His father, according to Fuller, was a royalist who was ‘very well skilled in making warlike fortifications.’ In 1641, on the outbreak of the rebellion in Ireland, the son sought an asylum at Sandford. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, where he graduated B.A. (Taylor, Hist. Univ. Dublin, p. 483). He was appointed rougedragon pursuivant in the College of Arms on 6 June 1661. In 1666, when attending the king at Oxford, he studied in the Bodleian Library, and he was appointed Lancaster herald on 16 Nov. 1676. Being conscientiously attached to James II, he obtained leave in 1689 to resign his tabard to Gregory King [q. v.], rougedragon pursuivant, who paid him 220l. for his office. He then retired to Bloomsbury or its vicinity. He died on 17 Jan. 1693–4, ‘advanced in years, neglected, and poor,’ in the prison of Newgate, where he had been confined for debt, and was buried in St. Bride's upper churchyard (Wood, Fasti Oxon. ed. Bliss, ii. 288 n.). By his wife Margaret, daughter of William Jokes of Bottington, Montgomeryshire, and widow of William Kerry, he had several children.

His principal work is: 1. ‘A Genealogical History of the Kings of England and Monarchs of Great Britain, &c., from the Conquest, anno 1066, to the year 1677, in seven parts or books, containing … Monumental Inscriptions, with their Effigies, Seals, Tombs, Cenotaph, Devises, Arms, Quarterings, Crests, and Supporters, all engraven in copper-plates, furnished with several Remarques and Annotations,’ London, 1677, fol. This magnificent volume was compiled by the direction and encouragement of Charles II. During a severe illness with which the author was attacked, a part of the text was furnished by Gregory King, who assisted in preparing the work for the press. The plan of the performance is excellent, and the plates are by Hollar and other eminent artists. A second edition was brought out by Samuel Stebbing, Somerset herald: ‘continued to this Time, with many New Sculptures, Additions, and Annotations; as likewise the Descents of divers Illustrious Families, now flourishing, maternally descended from the said Monarchs, or from Collateral Branches of the Royal Blood of England,’ London, 1707, fol. Everything in this edition beyond p. 615 is fresh matter; there are fourteen new plates, and the index is greatly enlarged. An extended analysis of the work is given in Savage's ‘Librarian,’ 1809, ii. 1.

Sandford's other works are: 2. ‘A Genealogical History of the Kings of Portugal,’ London, 1662, fol., being in part a translation from the French of Scevole and Louis de Saincte Marthe. The book was published in compliment to Catherine of Braganza, queen-consort of Charles II. 3. ‘The Order and Ceremonies used for, and at, the Solemn Interment of … George [Monck] Duke of Albemarle,’ London, 1670, obl. fol. Some extracts from the work were printed at London, 1722, 4to. 4. ‘The History of the Coronation of … James II … and of his Royal Consort, Queen Mary,’ London, 1687, fol. (with plates engraved by W. Sherwin, S. Moore, and others). Sandford received from the king 300l. on account of this superb book (Guy, Secret-service Payments, pp. 106, 162). The work is said to have been chiefly compiled by Gregory King, who was rewarded with one-third of the profit. As the Revolution took place in 1688, there was no time to dispose of the copies, so that Sandford and King only just cleared the expenses, which amounted to nearly 600l. Commendatory verses by Sandford are prefixed to Sylvanus Morgan's ‘Sphere of Gentry,’ 1661, and Sandford's ‘Pedigrees of Shropshire Families’ are in Brit. Mus. Addit. MS. 28616.

[Addit. MS. 29563, f. 116; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714, iv. 1311; Gent. Mag. 1793, i. 515; Noble's College of Arms, pp. 293, 294, 313, 322; Moule's Bibl. Herald. pp. 166, 171, 180, 202, 233, 267; Walpole's Anecd. of Painting, ed. Wornum, iii. 169; Ware's Writers of Ireland, ed. Harris, p. 252.]

T. C.