A Brief Biography of Sir Edwin Sandys

In this article, we will discuss the man known as Sir Edwin Sandys (last name pronounced “sands”). Sandys was an English politician, and founder of the Virginia Company of London, which was the first permanent settlement of the English in North America.

Sir Edwin Sandys was born in the year of 1561, and from an early age, he focused on building his education. At the age of 15, he enrolled at Oxford and earned his B.A. in 1579 and M.A. in 1583. He remained at Oxford for a time, although earning no additional degrees, and then following the death of his wife, relocated to London. In 1589, Sandys was elected to Parliament.

After a mission to Germany, where Sandys gathered information that would later contribute to his book, “A Relation of the State of Religion,” he was knighted by King James I of England. He returned to Parliament, and for the next two decades became established as the House of Commons’ most influential member.

While Sir Edwin Sandys worked to establish his political career, an additional interest of his came to be. He was an advocate of free trade and overseas colonization and became a voice for this matter. In 1606, he had a part to play in founding the Virginia Company, which was established in order to come up with funds for a colony to be set up in North America. This colony came to be the Colony of Virginia, with a capital being established in Jamestown.

In the year of 1616, Sir Edwin Sandys was elected to be an assistant (or a director, essentially) of the Virginia Company. Sandys understood that immigration was essential to the success of colonization overseas, and he was even part of negotiations that led to the Mayflower’s journey in 1620. He was highly devoted to the success of the Colony of Virginia, and over the years, made sure that new settlers were constantly making their way to Jamestown to ensure the success of the settlement.

In his later years, Sir Edwin Sandys drifted away from power and politics. In the year of 1629, he passed away. He was buried in a church near his home in Kent, leaving a sum of 1,500 pounds to Oxford University. Sandys was a man who lived a full life, and without him, the United States of America as we know it might not have been the same.