Sandford, John (1565?-1629) (DNB00)

SANDFORD or SANFORD, JOHN (1565?–1629), poet and grammarian, son of Richard Sandford, gentleman, of Chard, Somerset, was born there about 1565. He entered Balliol College, Oxford, as a commoner about 16 Oct. 1581, and graduated B.A. from Balliol on 17 Dec. 1586, M.A. on 27 May 1595 (Foster, Alumni, 1500-1714, p. 1311). He acted as corrector to the press at Oxford in 1592 (Madan, Early Oxford Press, p. 34), and was chosen in 1593 chaplain of Magdalen College, but more than once was censured for absenting himself from public worship (Bloxam, vol. ii. pp. lxxxiii, lxxxv). He obtained a reputation as a writer of Latin verse within and without the university. John Lane reckoned him on a level with Daniel, describing them jointly as the 'two swans' of Somerset, and John Davies [q. v.] of Hereford eulogised him in a sonnet addressed to 'his entirely beloved J. S.' (appended to Davies's 'Scourge of Folly'). Sandford's earliest publication, 'Appolinis et Mvsarum Eὐκτικὰ Eἰδύλλια in Serenissimae Reginae Elizabethae . . . adventum,' Oxford, 1592, 4to, describes in Latin verse the banquet given by the president and fellows of Magdalen to Queen Elizabeth's retinue on the occasion of her visit to Oxford on 22 Sept. 1592; two copies are in the British Museum and another in the library of Lord Robartes. The poem was reprinted, with notes from a transcript, in Plummer's 'Elizabethan Oxford,' 1886 (Oxford Hist. Soc. vol. xiii.) Other verses by Sandford are 'In obitum clar. Herois Domini Arthuri Greij,' in a funeral sermon by Thomas Sparke [q. v.] on Lord Grey de Wilton, 1593; 'In Funebria nob. et praest. equitis D. Henrici Vnton,' 1596, in 'Academiae Oxoniensis funebre officium in mort. Eliz. Reginae,' Oxford, 1603; and commendatory poems in Latin before John Davies's 'Microcosmos,' 1603, Thomas Winter's translation of Du Bartas, pts. i. and ii. (1603), and Thomas Godwin's 'Romanae Hist. Anthologia,' 1614.

He also published on his own account at Oxford 'God's Arrow of the Pestilence,' a sermon never preached (1604), and grammars of French, Latin, and Italian, to which he afterwards added one of the Spanish tongue. The first three were entitled respectively, 'Le Guichet Francois, sive Janicvla et Brevis Introductio ad Linguam Gallicam,' Oxford, 1604, 4to; 'A briefe extract of the former Latin Grammar, done into English for the easier instruction of the Learner,' Oxford, 1605, 4to (dedicated to William, son of Arthur, lord Grey de Wilton); 'A Grammar, or Introdvction to the Italian Tongue,' Oxford, 1605, 4to, containing a poem, 'Sur l'Autheur,' by Jean More (no copy at the British Museum).

Sandford retained the office of chaplain at Magdalen until 1616; but before that date he commenced travelling as chaplain to Sir John Digby (afterwards first Earl of Bristol) [q. v.] About 1610 Sandford was in Brussels, and on 20 March 1611 they started for Spain, Digby's errand being to arrange Prince Charles's marriage with the Infanta. Possibly it was not Sandford's first visit, since he prepared 'Προπύλαιον, or Entrance to the Spanish Tongue ' (London, 1611; 2nd edit. 1633, 4to), for the use of the ambassador's party (cf. Birch, Court and Times of James I, ii. 105).

In 1614, when Sandford wrote to Sir Thomas Edmondes, then ambassador at Paris, to condole with him on Lady Edmondes's death (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1611-18, p. 261), he was at Lambeth, acting as domestic chaplain to George Abbot, archbishop of Canterbury. The latter soon after (1615) presented him to a prebend in Canterbury Cathedral (Le Neve, Fasti Eccles. i. 53), and to the rectories of Ivechurch in Romney Marsh, and Blackmanstone, also in Kent. On 27 Oct. 1621 he was presented to Snave in the same county, which he held until his death on 24 Sept. 1629. He was buried in Canterbury Cathedral.

[Works above mentioned; Madan's Early Oxford Press, pp. 34, 35, 60, 62, 63, 96; Plummer's Elizabethan Oxford, Preface, p. xxix; Wood's Athenae Oxon. ii 471; Bloxam's Magdalen Coll. Register, ii. 129-32; Hasted's Hist, of Kent, iii. 432, 497, 500. iv. 613; Lansdowne M. P84, f. 120; Ames's Typogr. ed. Herbert, p. 1405; Hunter's manuscript Chorus Vatum in Addit. MS. 24488, p. 448.]

C. F. S.