George Sandys 1578-1644

From Book Owners Online

George SANDYS 1578-1644

Armorial stamp of George Sandys (British Armorial Bindings).

Biographical Note

Born in York, son of Edwin Sandys, Archbishop of York. Admitted to St Mary Hall, Oxford 1589, and to the Middle Temple in 1596, but did not apparently graduate or qualify. Travelled around Europe and the near east 1610-12, described in A relation of a journey which he published in 1615. Became actively involved in the affairs of the Virginia Company; treasurer of the Company 1621, spent 1622-25 in Virginia, was a member of the council of the colony in the late 1620s and served on the royal commission on the state of the colony, 1631. Published a translation of Ovid (1621), of Grotius’s Latin verse drama Christus patiens (1640), and Biblical paraphrases in verse.


Only a small handful of books from Sandys’s library can be traced today but the range of references in his published writings suggest that he must have had, or had access to, extensive collections. The fate of his books after his death is unknown (no will has been traced) and it seems likely that they were dispersed soon afterwards. Examples: British Library C.128.f.6; Durham UL SB 0073.

Characteristic Markings

Sandys typically inscribed his titlepages with his name and the motto 'Habere eripitur habuisse nunquam'. A number of books survive with his armorial stamp.