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SIR EDWIN SANDYS (1561-1629)

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Originally appearing in Volume V24, Page 144 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SIR EDWIN SANDYS (1561-1629)  ,
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British statesman and one of the founders tof the colony of Virginia, was the second son of Edwin Sandys, archbishop of York, and his wife Cecily Wilford . He was born in Worcestershire on the 9th of December 1561 . He was educated at Merchant Taylors' school, which he entered in 1571, and at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, where he was sent in 1577 . He became B.A. in 1579 and B.C.L. in 1588 . In 1582 his
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father gave him the prebend of Witwang in York Minster, but he never took orders . He was entered in the
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Middle Temple in 1589 . At Oxford his tutor had been Hooker, author of the Ecclesiastical Polity, whose
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life-long friend and executor he was . Sandys is said to have had a large share in securing the Mastership of the Temple for Hooker . From 1593 till 1599 he travelled abroad . When in Venice he became closely connected with Fra Paolo Sarpi, who helped him in the composition of the
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treatise on the religious state of
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Europe, known as the Europae
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speculum . In 16o5 this treatise was printed from a stolen copy under the title; A Relation of the State of Religion in Europe . Sandys procured the suppression of this edition, but the
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book was reprinted at the Hague in 1629 .

In 1599 he resigned his prebend, and entered active

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political life . He had already been member for
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Andover in 1586 and for Plympton in 1589 . After 1599, in view of the approaching
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death of Queen Elizabeth, he paid his court to King James VI., and on James's accession to the
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throne of England in 1603 Sandys was knighted . He sat in the king's first parliament as member for
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Stockbridge, and distinguished himself as one of the assailants of the
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great monopolies . He endeavoured to secure to all prisoners the right of employing counsel, a proposal which was resisted by some lawyers as subversive of the administration of the law . He had been connected with the East India
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Company before 1614, and took an active
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part in its affairs till 1629 . His most memorable services were, however, rendered to the (
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London) Virginia Company, to which he became treasurer in 1619 . He promoted and supported the policy which enabled the colony to survive the disasters of its early days, and, he continued to be a leading influence in the Company till his death .
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Sir Edwin Sandys sat in the later parliaments of James I. as member for Sandwich in 1621, and for Kent in 1624 . Hib tendencies were towards opposition, and he was suspected of hostility to the court; but he disarmed the anger of the king by professions of obedience . He was member for Penrhyn in the first parliament of Charles I. in 1625 . He died in
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October 1629 .

See Alex .

Brown's Genesis of the
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United States (London; 1890) .

End of Article: SIR EDWIN SANDYS (1561-1629)
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