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Thomas Sanford

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Thomas Sanford
Born in Stansted,Mountfitchet,Essex,England
Brother of
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Husband of — married in Much Hadham,,Hertfordshire,England
Died in Much Hadham,Hertford,England
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Death April 6, 1597 Much Hadam England
Burial 6 Apr 1597
Note: Birth: Thomas Sanford, by Carlton E. Sanford ,Death: Thomas Sanford, by Carlton E. Sanford
Personal: Probably the son of Richard Sanford and Elizabeth, of Stanstead Mountfitchet, in Essex, He married first Ffriswit Eve, who died sixty-four days after their marriage in 1581. He moved six miles to Great Hadam, Hertford County, where he married Mary, whose maiden name is not recorded. He was a glover.

Husband of Mary M. (Lewes) Sanford — married September 21, 1581 in Much Hadham,,Hertfordshire,England


His first wife died shortly after they were married in 1581. Much Hadham was a local center for the trade in fine skins, and Thomas Sanford, the father of Ezechiell and the four other children, was a glover. His product was sold both within and without the town. He may well have sent gloves to London since there were various dealings with London from Much Hadham, owing to the manor being the property of the Bishop of London, who maintained a palace in the town and came here frequently members of the gentry. These latter found the vale, in which the village lies, most sweet and sylvan, as it stiU is. A bishop of London then was well-nigh as powerful as a duke. The long village street was oft the path for the feet and equipages of some of the high and mighty.

Thomas Sanford neither sued nor was sued in the law courts of chancery. His name does not appear in the records of the sale of real estate. He was not lax in his duty to the church. No religious enthusiasm, or new ideas, led him to break the laws of his country by failing to attend the services in the church of Mueli Hadham.

Nor does his name appear in the records of criminal procedure. We shall show that he was a careful, exacting, conscientious man, exceedingly self-reliant. Soon after he came to Much Hadham from Stanstead Mountfitchet, and in the year that his first child was born, this serious-minded man had won the confidence of the community. The lord of the manor voiced respect for Thomas Sanford by summoning him to the manorial court, which chose him as one of the two guardians of the peace of the town. The evidence of this fact appears in a coiirt roll of 1585, viz :(Public Record Office, London.)

Manuscripts of the Ecclesiastical Commission. No. 206 ? 3. [Translation from the Latin.] "View of frank pledge in the Court of the Reverend father John [Ailmer] , by divine permission, Bishop of London, held 19 March in the reign of Elizabeth by grace of God of England, ffrance & Ireland Queen, defender of the faith, etc. XXVII."

[27th year? 1585.]

[Membrane 6 Great Hadham.]

"Philip Mills and Thomas Sandford chosen constables for the year."

Doubtless he served in the years following and also in other capacities in this court and in the town. The court rolls of this manor are lost from 1586 to 1662.

Thomas Sanford was a young tradesman. He inherited a bit of land from his father, in 1591, over east in Stanstead Mountfitchet. This property his mother lived upon until her death in 1600. Yet Thomas Sanford was siirely a man of unusual carefulness and sagacity. The remarkable thing about him is his will, written about the fortieth year of his age and within a week before his untimely death. What foresight it reveals for a young man ! In reading this testament we almost hear his words, so emphatic, clear and specific are their intent, so fraught with love for his children. He had but little to leave. He had but just begun his life's work; yet in disposing of that little he was most scrupulous to make the little do the uttermost possible for the good of those whom he loved, yet was so soon to leave fatherless. Conscientiousness. is in every sentence. He felt to the full his responsibility. He was the master of his own house. The reader of this document will note the earnest efforts of a dying man, a man who wanted to live to fulfill his obligations as a parent, and his duty to the world and to posterity, and yet, so strong was his mind that he could leave no detail for the development of another person. Among thousands of wills of this same time and country, that the writer has perused, few are remembered as giving so striking a reflection of earnestness in the character of the testator. It is plain that the well-thought-out provisions for developments and emergencies were not the suggestions of a lawyer ; they were the fruits of the hard, common-sense, the penetrating conception of a tradesman of much natural sagacity, ? a farmer, who knew the Bible, believed it and had practiced its precepts. Here follows a verbatim copy of the will of Thomas Sanford, the grandfather of Thomas, Andrew, Robert and John Sanford, all being emigrants to New England, save John

Acknowledgements (contributors)

Eric Weaver, John Putnam


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