Go to HOME PAGE Captain Theophilus SandfordCaptain Theophilus Sandford

Have you seen this portrait somewhere?

Does any one recognise this portrait of Theophilus Sandford. Where is the original?

Tom Wills-Sandford has this copy made photographically from a portrait of his 8 greats grandfather Theophilus Sandford (died 1668). The original portrait was in his family for about 280 years until around 1930 when it was sold.

Theophilus Sandford is almost certainly my 7 greats grandfather so I am interested in helping Tom locate the original.

Both Tom and I would really appreciate any information about the location of the original of Theophilus's portrait.

If you have any information please email me,

Michael Sandford:


Who was Theophilus Sandford?

see also: Henry Sandford, James Sandford, High Ashes, No1. Royal Crescent.

Family in Lancashire

Theophilus came from a cadet branch of the Sandford family of Askham in Cumbria. His father John Sandford lived at High Ashes in Audenshaw just to the East of Manchester.

1 Apparently incorrect dates were found in an online index to LANCASHIRE PEDIGREES by Robert Parker 1681, which is no longer available. The volume of MSS appears to be in The Lancashire Record Office ref DBB85/2 Lancashire record office catalogue . The dates shown come from the Christenings recorded at St Michaels, Ashton under Lyne eg familysearch.org

Seven sons are recorded1: Samuell (b.1621), John (b.1615?), Robert (b.1612?), Edward (b.1622, died in Ireland), William (b.1623), Theophilus (b.1624), Daniell (b.1626), Charles (b.1627)

Samuel was aprrenticed as a mercer in London, and after becoming a freeman he set up house at nearby Nuthurst and in 1664 he provided the following family pedigree to Dugdale for his Visitation of Lancashire.


2 This page image comes from The Internet Archive's copy of Remains, historical & literary, connected with the palatine counties of Lancaster and Chester. Published 1844 in [Manchester] by the Cheetham Society..

Notice how Samuel's name is spelled Sandiford at the foot of the page. Also note that Alice was daughter of Mr Ralphe Sandford Of Peenyshutts. I wonder whether they were disant cousins.


The Brian Sandford of Thorpe Salvin, Yorkshire, shown at the root of the tree is descended from the Sandfords of Askham. I am constructing another page showing this descent.


Ralph Sandiford died at Hull in 1620 holding several messuages with lands, &c., in Ashton, of the lord of Manchester in socage by the rent of a rose and the fraction of a penny; John, his son and heir, was twenty-two years of age; Lancs. Inq. p.m. ii, 194. For this family see further in the account of Nuthurst in Moston. Their estate was called the High Ashes; Dugdale, Visit. 253. The landowners contributing to the subsidy of 1622 were:—Robert Ashton, John Ashton, Randle Hulton, Thomas Newton, William Walker, John Sandford, and Thomas Chetham; Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 155. footnote 1043


Samuel Sandford was apprenticed on 20 Jan 1642/3 to Edward Basse, a Mercer of the London Livery Company. The bond length was 7 years. His father is recorded as John Sandford Gent of High Ashes, Lancashire Records of london Livery Companies. He beacme a "New Feeman" with status of Co Mercer on 4 October 1650. Records of London Livery Companies

Sandford Family, Thorpe Salvin, High Ashes, Nuthurst 2

Robert, Theophilus's brother, studies law

3 The register of admissions to Gray's inn, 1521-1889,

On Feb 4 1638/9 Robert Sandford, the third son entered Gray's Inn.3


4 The rev. Robert Dodsworth of Barton ... married Alice, daughter of Thomas Stirrup of Lincolnshire and widow of Robert Sandiford of High Ashes, near Ashton-under-Lyne, gentleman by whom he had a son Robert who was born in 1658, and living at the visitation of Yorkshire in 1666.See Letters on the Claims of the College of Arms in Lancashire. Cheetham Society(1875) Vol 96.... dead link

Another source4 states that this Robert died before 1658, for his widow Alice Stirropp remarried and had a son in 1658.. If that is correct then it would seem that Dugdale omitted to record ob. against Robert as he did for Edward and Anne.

Solemn League and Covenant, Ashton-under-Lyne, 1643

All the male parishoners of Ashton aged 14 and over signed an Oath , "ffor reformacion and defence of Religion, the honor and hapinesse of the King, and the peace and safetye of the three kingdomes of England Scotland and Ireland. --- --- The names of the Inhabitants within the Parish of Ashton-under-Lyne and lodgers there, as we have taken, and subscrybed their hands unto the within written League and Covenant."4a

4a From photgraphs inEngland in Ashton-under-Lyne by Winifred Bowman, 1960. Transcribed for the web by G J Oliver 2008

Four Sandford males living in the Audenshaw disctrict signed: there were 2 Johns, a Wils, and Theophilus. This would seem to correspond to the father John Sandford of High Ashes, John the 2nd son, William the 5th son, and Theophilus the 6th son. Presumably Samuel, Robert and Edward were not at home, and the 7th and 8th sons Daniel and Charles were also away from home or considered too young to sign at ages between 15 and 17. Although males of 14 were expected to sign. Since Theophilus was christened in Nov in 1624 as stated in reference 1 then he would have been 18 or 19 in 1643. It is worth noting that only about 5% of males were were able to sign their names - the rest made their mark. All 4 Sandfords wrote their names. Clearly the Sandford boys learnt to write.


Theophilus joins Cromwell's army in Ireland

On 2 July 1649 Theophilus Sandford, at the age of 25, wrote a letter to Colonel Moore offering to raise a company of foot soldiers for the Parliamentarian expedition to Ireland under the leadership of Cromwell.5

5 Tenth Report of the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, Appendix Part 4, p 93 Historical Manuscripts Commission, HMSO, 1885. The manuscript was in a lage collection held by Captain Stewart of Alltyrodyn, Llandyssil, in North Wales. It appears that this manuscript collection may have been acquired by the Liverpool Record Office

The letter was summarised by W.O Hewlett as follows, "1649. 2 July . High Ashes. Theo. Sandford to Col. Moore. Offering to raise a Company of foot for Col. Moore's regiment (Seal.)"


I have not been able to establish whether this offer was accepted and carried out. Cromwell's army went to Dublin in August 1649, and after ensuring the security of Dublin, and sieging Drogheda, Cromwell went South towards Waterford. The next that we hear of Theophilus he was bringing reinforcements to help with the campaign on the South coast.

On 8 Jan 1650, "This day a gallant troop of 80 horse, commanded by Captain Theophilus Sandford, set sail from Liverpool for Wexford." 6

6 Denis Murphy "Cromwell in Ireland" (Boston 1893) p373

Had Theophilus been sent back to England to collect this large troop?

Theophilus was rewarded with allocations of Land

After the Parliamentarian army had suppressed the forces of the Irish Catholic Confederation and the Royalists in Ireland, Cromwell's Rump parliament made settlements of land to the soldiers in the Army in lieu of money for their services.

Theophilus Sandford received a large allocation of land at Castlerea in County Roscommon. The lands came from those confisacted from O'Connor Don family after Colonel Daniel O'Connor Don surrendered to Commissary-General Reynolds in March 1652. The "good lands" belonging to Hugh Oge O'Conor were awarded Captain Theophilus Sandford: the town and castle of Castlereagh on the east side of the river, including Imlough, Ballindrumlea, Carrowdowan, Cloonree, and Rathbarnaghwere.7

7 The OConors of Connaught an Historical Memoir, compiled from a MS of The Late John O'Donovan, LL.D. with additions From the State Papers and Public Records By the Rt. Hon. Charles Owen O'Conor Don (1891)

However, the administration of the land settlements gave rise to disputes and considerable disatisfaction, whch rumbled on for years. To provde funds for the surpression Irish rebellion of 1641, the Long Parliament had in March 1642 raised loans from "Adventurers" which were to paid back with lands confiscated from the rebels. Then, with Cromwell's invasion in 1649 there was an even larger body of creditors to be paid - the soldiers in the army, and the procedure to be followed by Commisioners was initially laid out in the Land Settlement Act in 1652.

Some indications of the continued problems that Theophilus was having are indicated by the fact he was a cosignatory of a letter calling for a proper survey.8

8 Page 264-265 The history of the survey of Ireland, commonly called the Down survey, A.D. 1655-6 edited by Thomas Aiskew Larcom. Published 1851 by Irish Archaeological Society in Dublin

To provide legal maps of ownership William Petty was commisioned to undertake the famous Down Survey (1655-1656) of all the confiscated lands.

1653 petition for Down Survey

9 A Collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe ...: 1658 to 1660 By John Thurloe, Thomas Birch page 291.

The Wikipedia article on Charles Fleetwood says:
The chief feature of his civilian administration, which lasted from September 1652 till September 1655, was the implementation of the Act of Settlement 1652, which decreed the settlement of the New Model Army's soldiers on the confiscated estates of Catholic landowners and the transplantation of the original owners.


This same collection of John Thurloe's State Papers contains on pages 383 & 384, A proclamation on 4 September 1658 of the appointment Richard Cromwell as Lord Protector following the Death of Oliver Cromwell. Theo. Sandford appears among the 44 names at the foot of the document. This is an indication that Theophilus had some role in the administration of the Government in Ireland. The names are:
H Cromwell, l W Steele canc, Ri Laurence, Richard Laughlin, Wm Purefoy, J Bligh, Jo Bridges, Lan Bolton, Robert Gorges, Fran Russell, William Bury, John Nelson, Je Sankey, Theo Sandford, Will Sonds, Edehort, Thomas Longe, J Waterhouse, Henry Flower, R Hart, William Amos, Ant Morgan, Dud Loftus, Fran Aungier, Miles Corbett, J Temple, Edw Roberts, Jo Hughes, Thomond, Meath, Francis Russell, Ed Watson, L Abbott, Edw Roberts, Vin Gookin, Hen Owen, E Hughes, Ranelaugh, James Standish, J Eyre, Will Hampden, Henry Whalley, John Read, R Pepys.

I have gaven links above for those persons I can identify: An illustrious group!

Oliver Cromwell's 4th son Henry Cromwell, who was then Lord deputy of Ireland, provided support for a claim by Theophilus.9 It reveals that Theophilus had been a "faithfull servant" to Henry Cromwell's predecessor as Lord Duty, Charles Fleetwood:

Cromwell Lord deputy of Ireland to secretary Thurloe
Sir, THE bearer Mr Sandford hath bin a long and faithfull servant to my brother Fleetwood and in that and other services meritted well from the publique I understand by him there is about £600 due to him from the state which being as yett in noe way of fattisfaction hee intends an application to his highness thathee may have some forfeited undisposed lands in Ireland in fattisfaction thereof. Though it be unusuall With mee to recommend such applications yett hee being one for whom I have a respect and should be glad of an opertunity to shew him kindnesse I doe particularly intreate your favourable countenance and assistance to him in the adresse that he may have lands accordingly sett out unto him in fattisfaction of the said debt. Assureing you that the furtherance of his suite shall be estemed a respect unto Your affectionate friend and servant July 26 1658 H Cromwell


After the restoration of Charles II, the Parliamentarian Acts were torn up and the 1662 act of settlement in which Theophilus is specifically named replaced the 1652 Act. It still confirmed most lands acquired under Cromwell, but did restore some lands - not to Catholics but to Protestant Royalists.


Theophilus did not just acquire his land holdings through grants of settlement. In 1657 he also purchased 99 year leases on 302 acres from John Talbolt of Belgarth, Dublin, which in 1823 were recorded as having reverted to the crown10:

10Reports of Commissioners of Inquiry into Quit Rents and Crown Lands in Ireland; Abstract of Quit, Crown and other Rents in Ireland John Barry and Harstong Robinson, Dublin 1823 

County Roscommon, Barony Ballintobber:
 In Ballindrumlagh two quaters;
 Englagh one quarter; part contained profitable land, plantation measure 137a-1r-13p
 Knockrow, one quarter of like land and measure 126a-0r-0p
and unprofitable 49a-0r-0p
 Clonesollogh, one quarter, containing profiatble land 70a-0r-0p
Unprofitable 20a-0r-0p
DATE: 3rd june in the 19th year of K Chas 2d
TERM: to hold for and during the cntinuance of lease for ninety nine years , dated 3d December 1657, made thereof by John Talbolt, of Belgarth, in county Dublin, at rent of 10l. per ann. over and above all quit rents and county charge, at.....
RENT: 3l 7s 6d
WHEN EXPIRED: 3d December 1756

Interestingly there is a subsequent note on page 24 of the same reference to the effect that on further search these leased lands were granted to Theophilus Sandford and his assigns for ever by a patent dated 14 June in the 21st year of Charles 2nd. which would be 1669. That is the year of Theophilus's death when his estate would be being sorted out.


11 Burke's genealogical and heraldic history of the landed gentry, Volume 2 By John Burke 1847

Theophilus married well to Anne Tighe daughter of Richard Tighe, an important man, who was sheriff of Dublin in 1649, colonel of the Dublin militia, mayor of Dublin in 1651, 1652, and 1655, and member for the same city in Cromwell's Union Parliament in 1656.11

12 From page 226 County Dublin Ireland, Genealogy and Family History Notes from the Irish ... By Michael C. O'Laughlin

We don't know exactly when it was that the marriage took place. It was probably in the 1650s for Theophilus was recorded in the Dublin Census of 1659 living at the house of his father-in-law:12

St Katherines Parish - Theophilus Sandford Esq/ Rich: Tyth.

Tighe seems to have been miss-recorded as Tyth.

The plot of 1663

13 Page 191 Harts, Irish Landed Gentry 1884:

The problems for Theophilus and the other settlers were not however put to rest by the 1662 Act of Settlement.13

In 1663, there arose a general clamour in the Pale against the proceedings of the Court of Claims sitting at Dublin; the cause being dissatisfaction with the execution of the Act of Settlement ; and some of the boldest spirits resolved to maintain by the sword, the Estates which they enjoyed. A great many Colonels and other officers that served in Cromwell's Army, and in the Armies of the Confederation, entered into a conspiracy for this purpose; and a Private Committee was chosen for the supreme direction of the affair. Among the men that composed this Committee were, the above Lt.-Col. Able Warren, Col. Shapcote, and Capt. Sandford.

14 The Duke's Papers which were afterwards collected the historian Thomas Carte (1686-1754), and are now held in the Bodleian Library in Oxford where I examined them.

The story of the aftermath of the plot is played out in the papers of James Butler (1610-88), 1st Duke of Ormond, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland:14


The Second Examination of Captain Theophilus Sandford [concerning the late traitorous conspiracy] Written from: [Dublin] Date: 1 June 1663.

15 Bodleian Library MS. Carte 68, fol(s). 566

Apparently Theophilus gave a full account of the conspiracy a fact that was later to stand him in good stead when he gained a pardon and recoverd the lands confiscated from him.15

Petition of John Moore and Theophilus Sandford to the Duke of Ormond Date: [circa 18 October] 1663

16 Bodleian Library MS. Carte 159, fol(s). 91v

Recite their purchase of certain lands from persons transplanted into Connaught, & not restored, or decreed to be restored, to their former estates. Petitioners, being Protestants, are entitled by the 'Act of Settlement' to continue in possession until they be reprized. Notwithstanding which, one Allan Donnell has passed a custodiam of part of the said lands, and others are endeavouring to procure like grants of the remainder. Pray for an order directing the entry of caveats in the Court of Exchequer on their behalf. Annexed 1 - A List of John Moore's lands in the counties of Roscommon, Galway, and Clare. Annexed 2 - A List of Theophilus Sandford's lands in the county of Roscommon.16

17 Bodleian Library MS. Carte 159, fol(s). 92

Date: [circa 18 October] 1663 Written from: Dublin Castle Date: 21 October 1663 Orders of Summons, by the Duke of Ormond, for the attendance before him,, according to previous recognizances, of James Tanner, Theophilus Sandford, Thomas Barrington, & John Fowkes, respectively.17

18 Bodleian Library MS. Carte 47, fol(s). 225-226

Ossory to Ormond Written from: [Dublin Castle] Date: [5? February] 1664 Recommends to his Grace the suit, for pardon, of Theophilus Sandford, who was implicated in the plot for surprising Dublin Castle, but afterwards gave frank and full testimony thereupon.18

19 Bodleian Library MS. Carte 59, fol(s). 21v

Ormond to Arlington Written from: Dublin Castle Date: 2 April 1666 Although Theophilus Sandford was concerned in the late horrid plot for surprising this castle, he was early in the discovery & is recommended for his Majesty's free & general pardon.19

20 Bodleian Library MS. Carte 43, fol(s). 513

The King wrote to Ormond from Whitehall on 16 May 1666 that a pardon to be granted to Theophilus Sandford, convicted of complicity in the late horrid plot for the seizure of the Castle of Dublin with clauses for restitution of forfeitures. So after 3 years under investigation Theophilus got his Castlerea lands back.20

Death 1668

21 Funeral Certificate of Alderman Richard Tighe of City of Dublin who died Feb. 20, 1673 and of Theophilus Sanford, who died Feb. 6, 1668. Dublin: National Library of Ireland, Genealogical Office: Ms.96, p.199

Theophilus died 6 Feb 166821 so assuming this to be the old style year 1668/9 he would have been age 45. His son and heir Henry was probably in his teens. But Henry's grandfather, Richard Tighe lived another 5 years, and may have been on a position to help guide his grandson with his resposonsibilities for the lands at Castlerea.

22 This was found in Clare Wills, p83 from the library of the IGRS. There is an image on a members only webpage at the SOG:

An abstract of Theophilus's will mentions: his father-in-law Richa. Tighe of Dublin, brother-in-law William Tighe, son Henry Sandford, brothers Edward and Samuel Sandford, nephew Daniel son of Edward, Theophilus and Samuel sons of Samuel Sandford, daughters Mary, Anne and Elizabeth, niece Ann daughter of Edward Sandford, sister Frances Dalton, wife Anne Sandford nee Tighe, also mentioned are Sir Robert Booth, Robert Ward D.D, Thomas Walker of Castlereagh, Ralph Smyth of Castlereagh. The will is dated 30 Jan 1688, and was proved in 1688.22

23 The peerage of Ireland: or, A genealogical history of the present ..., Volume 3 By John Lodge, Mervyn Archdall p79

Theophilus's widow Anne remarried twice over the next few years. Firstly, 3 years after her father died she married John Preston on 30 May 1776 and had child by him in April 1777. If we assume she then would not have been older than 45, then Anne was born after 1732.23


The other point to note about the build up of the estate in Roscommon is that it may have occured over many years as members of the family purchased forfeited estates. In the reference by Lodge just above it is recorded that:

Henry Sandford acquired lands in the Williamite Confiscation of 1688 Col Henry Sandford was purchaser of forfeited lands in 1702-103

Through these landholdings some of Theophilus's descendants became MPs in the Dublin Parliament. Theophilus's son Henry being the first to represent Castlerea.

When the Dublin Parliament was disolved in 1800 and Ireland became directly ruled from the Westminster parliament, "The Union", many of the MPs where elevated to the House of Lords. Amongst these was Henry Moore Sandford who took the title 1st Baron Lord Mount Sandford.

This brings me to the portrait of Henry Moore Sandford, which I discovered was for sale in a nearby Art Auction when I was googling for information about Castlerea and Sandford


This page was updated on 10 Jul 2014 with corrected christening dates for Theophilus and his brothers, and the addition of the will abstract for Theophilus .

Lord Mount Sandford

How did I come to make contact with Tom Wills-Sandford?

In 2010 I found this portrait of Henry Moore Sandford for sale at a nearby auction house. This is the Henry Sandford of Castlerea who was made1st Baron Lord Mount Sandford, when the Irish Parliament was abolished in 1800. The picture was painted in Bath in 1785.

This discovery lead me to make contact with my distant cousin Tom Wills-Sandford. Tom knew the picture of Henry Sandford which had been part of his family's collection.

I then vistited Tom's house and saw the copy of Theophilus's portrait, which is shown at the top of his page. Tom's grandfather had made the copy at the time the original of Theophilus's portrait was sold around 1930.

Both Tom and I would really appreciate any information about the location of the original of Theophilus's portrait.

If you have seen Theophilus's portrait or have any other information please email me, Michael Sandford: michael@sandfordfamily.org.uk


Brief but important acknowledgements:

Tom Wills-Sandford for recently stoking my interest in Castlerea and providing details from his archives.

Roc Sandford and Roger Grant for sharing their archival material especially that relating to searches by our forefathers on the family tree.