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Cicely Sandys (Wilford)

Also Known As: "Cecily Sandies", "Cecily Wilsford"
Birthdate: (76)
Birthplace: Cranbrook, Kent, England
Death: February 5, 1610 (72-80)
Woodham Ferrers, Essex, England
Place of Burial: Woodham Ferrers, Chelmsford Borough, Essex, UK
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Thomas Wilford, Sr. and Rose Wilford
Wife of Edwin Sandys, Archbishop of York
Mother of Sir Samuel Sandys, Kt., MP; Sir Edwin Sandys, Kt., MP; Sir Miles Sandys, MP, 1st Baronet of Wilberton; Margaret Aucher; Anne Barne and 4 others
Sister of Thomas Wilford, MP
Half sister of Elizabeth Clarke; Sir James Wilford, MP and Bridget Sarah Wilsford

Managed by: Henn Sarv
Last Updated:

About Cicely Sandys

Find A Grave Memorial# 66106348;

Cicely Wilford Sandys

  • Birth: 1534
  • Death: Feb. 5, 1610 Essex, England

Family links: 

  • Spouse:  Edwin Sandys (1519 - 1588) 
  • Children:  Samuel Sandys (1560 - 1623)*
  • Burial: St Mary Churchyard Woodham Ferrers, Chelmsford Borough, Essex, England
  • Daughter of Sir Thomas Wilford.
  • Married Archbishop Edwin Sandys on February 19, 1557.
  • Cecily, daughter of Rose Whetenhall, died testate 05 February 1610.
    • (special thanks to Anne Shurtleff Stevens #46947920 for this info)
  • Cecily and Edwin had seven sons and three daughters; Sir Samuel, sir Edwin, George, Sir Miles, Thomas, Henry, William, Anne, Margaret (wife of Henry Aucher) and Hester. 
  • The following info can be found at St. Marys History
    • "The monument to Cecily Sandys (née Wilford) (b.1534) is on the north wall of the chancel. Cecily was the (second) wife of Edwin Sandys, Archbishop of York (m.1559), and lived at nearby Edwin's Hall. She died there on the 5th February 1610, was buried in this parish church on the 7th February and eldest son, Sir Samuel, had the monument erected in 1619. It is of alabaster with a kneeling image of Cecily in profile. Father Time (with an hourglass in his hand) in on the left and another figure is missing from the right. There are Victories on the semi-circular pediment and the background is carved with an arbour of roses. The memorial gives a brief outline of her life and on the left hand side is a list of her children."
  • Inscription on Cecily Sandy’s memorial in St Mary’s Church:
    • Cecilie Sandys,
    • Daughter of Thomas Wilford, of Cranbrook, in Kent, Eng.
    • Sister to the veritble soldiers Sir James Wilford and Sir Thomas Wilford
    • Was wife of Edwin Sandys, archbishop of York, Who died in great honour in the year 1585, when he had lived full seventy years. She lived a pure maid Twenty-four years; A chaste and loving wife twenty-nine years; A true widow twenty-two years to her last.
    • On the right-hand side of the escutcheon is Samuel Sandys, Knt, Eldest son of the said Cicilie, Who, of his love and liety to his said mother.
    • On the left-hand side is Sir Edwin Sandys, Knt., his sonne, Sir Miles Sandys, who died in his youth, Thomas Sandys, Esq, 5 sonne, Henry Sandys, Esq., 6 sonne,
    • She bare him seven sons and two daughters; She led a most christian and holy life; Carefully educated his children; Wisely governed his family; Charitably relieved the poor; And was a true mirror of a Christian matron.
    • She departed this life, constant in Christian faith, February, 5th, 1610, at the rising of the sun. Hir blessed soul ascended to the concert of the blessed, and hir bodie lieth here interred, Expecting the joyful resurrection.
    • Hath, at his own cost, erected this monument, In the year of our Lord 1619, Being then high-sherriff of the county of Worcester.
    • Margaret, Married to Anthony Archer, of Bourne, in Kent, Eng. Ann his 2nd daughter, married to Sir William Barn, of Woolwich.
  • Cecily was the granddaughter of James Wilsford of London and Elizabeth Betenham, William Whetenhall and Anne Cromer. Cecily was a direct descendant of Geoffrey de Say of Kent, one of twenty five Magna Carta barons.
  • Cecily was the granddaughter of James Wilford of London and Elizabeth Betenham, William Whetenhall and Anne Cromer. Cecily was a direct descendant of Geoffrey de Say of Kent, one of twenty five Magna Carta barons.
  • Cecily and Edwin had seven sons and three daughters; Sir Samuel, sir Edwin, George, Sir Miles, Thomas, Henry, William, Anne, Margaret (wife of Henry Aucher) and Hester. 
  • (Special thanks to Ginger Boerkircher for the following info with documentation) Contributor Anne Shurtleff Stevens #46947920 has Hester as a daughter, but Hester was a daughter-in-law. Cicely and her husband Edwin had only two daughters, Anne & Margaret.
    • Also, you listed her burial as Unknown with the probability of it being Southwell. She is buried in Woodham Ferrers. During Cicely's widowhood, she lived in Essex at Edwin's Hall and she died in that village. She is buried at the St. Mary's Church in Woodham Ferrers, Essex, and there is a wall monument inside the Chancel (north side) with her kneeling effigy. There is also a lengthy inscription about her life. The monument was placed for her memory in 1619 by her oldest son, Samuel Sandys. Cicely was the 11th great grandmother of my husband and she was born in 1536. 
  • First Name spelling: CICELY per Research records found in England by Leonardo Andrea, who was a Wyatt descendant & a professional genealogist. His research can be found in the DAR Library, Washington, DC & LDS in Salt Lake City, Utah.

From: SANDYS (Archbishop of York)

  • 'Edwin SANDYS (Archbishop of York)
  • Born: 1519, Hawkshead, Furnace Fells, Lancashire, England
  • Died: 10 Jul 1588, Southwell, England
  • Notes: See his Biography.
  • Father: William SANDYS of Esthwaite
  • Mother: Margaret DIXON
  • Married 1: Mary SANDYS (d. 1558, Strassburg, Germany) (dau. of William Sandys of Wadham) BEF 1553, Germany
  • Children:
    • 1. James SANDYS (d. 1557, Germany)
  • 'Married 2: Cecily WILFORD (b. ABT 1537 - d. 12 Feb 1611/12) (dau. of Thomas Wilford of Hartridge and Rose Wethenhal) 19 Feb 1558/59, London
  • Children:
    • 2. Samuel SANDYS of Ombersley (Sir Knight MP Sheriff)
    • 3. Edwin SANDYS (Sir Knight)
    • 4. Miles SANDYS of Wilberton (Sir Knight Bt.)
    • 5. William SANDYS
    • 6. Margaret SANDYS
    • 7. Thomas SANDYS (Esq.)
    • 8. Anne SANDYS
    • 9. Henry SANDYS (Esq.)
    • 10. George SANDYS

From:,_James_(DNB00) Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 61 Wilford, James by Albert Frederick Pollard

  • [237] Sir Thomas Wilford or Wilsford (1530?–1604?), born about 1530, was son of Thomas Wilford by his second wife, Rose, daughter of William Whetenhall of Peckham. 'His sister Cecily was second wife of Archbishop Edwin Sandys' [q. v.] He also was brought up as a soldier, and, after considerable service (see his petition in State Papers, Dom. Eliz. ccxxx. 114), was in 1585 in command of a company at Ostend. He was a strong advocate of English interference in the Netherlands, and several of his letters to his patron Walsingham are quoted by Motley (United Netherlands, i. 375, 376, 382, 384; cf. Leycester Corresp. pp. 40, 79, 302; Hatfield MSS. iv. 35, 264, v. 367). He was knighted by Willoughby in the Low Countries in 1588 (Metcalfe, p. 137). In September 1589 he was appointed marshal of the expedition to be despatched to France (Acts P. C. 1589–90, p. 415; Cal. State Papers, Dom. Addenda, 1580–1625, pp. 202–3). In the following month he was made lieutenant of Kent, and in 1590–1 was superintending the admiralty works in Dover Harbour. In 1593 he was governor of Camber Castle; on 17 March 1594–5 he was, on Puckering's introduction, admitted a member of Lincoln's Inn; and in July 1595 was commissioned (Rymer, xvi. 279) to exercise martial law in Kent, and to arrest and summarily execute vagrants and others—a commission with which ‘no other measure of Elizabeth's reign can be compared in point of violence and illegality’ (Hallam, Const. Hist. i. 241). On 5 April 1596 Essex appointed him colonel of the English force invading France to help Henry of Navarre, but in October 1597 he was again in England, surveying all the castles in the Downs; and in August 1599, on an alarm of a Spanish invasion, he was nominated sergeant-major of the force to be assembled to meet it. He died about 1604, probably at his manor, Hedding in Kent, having married Mary, only daughter of Edward Poynings, and leaving a son, Sir Thomas, who succeeded him and married Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Sir Edwin Sandys [q. v.] He must be distinguished from three contemporary Thomas Wilfords or Wilsfords: one was master of the Merchant Taylors' Company (Clode, Early Hist. and Memorials, passim); another was for many years president of the company of traders to Spain and Portugal; and the third was a recusant whose name frequently occurs in the state papers and acts of the privy council.


CECILY WILFORD (1536-February 5, 1610/11)

  • Cecily Wilford was the daughter of Sir Thomas Wilford or Wilsford of Hartridge in Cranbrooke, Kent and his second wife, Rose Whetenhall.
  • On February 19, 1558/9, shortly after his return from exile on the Continent, she married Edwin Sandys (1519-August 8, 1588), who became Bishop of Worcester on December 21, 1559, Bishop of London on July 13, 1570, and Archbishop of York in 1575.
  • Sandys is credited with coining the name "Bloody Mary" for Mary Tudor.
  • His first wife and son died in exile.
  • His children with Cecily were
    • Sir Samuel (December 28, 1560-August 18, 1623),
    • Sir Edwin (December 9, 1561-October 1629),
    • Miles (1563-1644),
    • William (d.yng),
    • Margaret,
    • Thomas,
    • Anne,
    • Henry,
    • Hester, and
    • George (March 2, 1577/8-March 1644).
  • Sir John Bourne, an outspoken critic of "priests’ whores," was still sufficiently impressed by Cecily to describe her as "faier, well nurtured, sober and demure."
  • During her long widowhood, Cecily lived at Edwins Hall, Woodham Ferrers, Essex, where she shared her house with her son, Miles, and was looked after by a granddaughter, Bridget.
  • In her will, dated January 17, 1610/11 and proved February 12, 1610/11, she left a Geneva Bible to each of her daughters and set aside £200 for her funeral and a monument in which she appears in widow’s weeds in a bower of roses.
  • In part the inscription reads that she "lived a pure maid twenty-four years; a chaste and loving wife twenty-nine years; a true widow twenty-two years to her last" and died on February 5, 1610 "[75yrs total] at the rising of the sun."
  • Portrait: with her husband, c. 1571; effigy in Woodham Ferrers, Essex; effigy on her husband's tomb in Southwell Minster.


  • Edwin Sandys married first his cousin Mary Sandys of Essex, who, with their only child, James, died while he was in exile between 1554 and 1560. 
  • Edwin was married a second time to Cecily Wilsford on 19 February 1558/1559.
  • Cecily signed a will on 17 January 1610/1611, and died between 17 January 1610/1611 and 12 February 1610/1611.
  • She had an estate probated on 12 February 1610/1611 in Prerogative Court of Canterbury, England.
  • She was buried in Woodham Ferras, Essex Co., England
  • According to her epitaph, "She led a most Christian and holy life, carefully educated her children, wisely governed her familye, charitably relieved the poore, and was a true mirror of a Christian matron."
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Cicely Sandys's Timeline

Cranbrook, Kent, England
December 28, 1560
Age 27
Wickhamford, Worcestershire, England
December 9, 1561
Age 27
Worcestershire, England
March 29, 1563
Age 29
December 22, 1566
Age 33
Wilberton, Isle of Ely, Cambridgeshire, England
June 21, 1570
Age 36
Woolwich, Kent, England
September 30, 1572
Age 38
March 2, 1577
Age 43
February 5, 1610
Age 76
Woodham Ferrers, Essex, England