Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Domestic chaplain of Frederick Hervey, Fourth Earl of Bristol and Bishop of Derry, and clerk of works for the building of Ballyscullion, Co. Derry, circa 1787-1791. Joseph Sandys, a son of FRANCIS SANDYS[1] FRANCIS SANDYS[1] , was born in Dublin circa 1758. He was admitted to Trinity College, Dublin, on 9 July 1774, when he was 16, and graduated BA in 1779. He became Hervey's domestic chaplain, probably in the late 1780s.(1) It was presumably because of his architectural background that Hervey gave him the role of clerk of works at Ballyscullion, the house he was building near Bellaghy, Co. Derry. There are references to a 'J. Sandys' working in this capacity between 1787 and 1791.(2) In about 1790 or 1791 Hervey extended his patronage to Joseph's brother FRANCIS SANDYS[2] FRANCIS SANDYS[2] . Joseph Sandys ceased to be Hervey's domestic chaplain in 1792, when Hervey set off for the Continent, never to return, with a new chaplain, the Rev. Trefusis Lovell, who remained with him until 1797. However the links between Hervey and the two Sandys brothers remained close. In 1794 Joseph, who married Frances, daughter of Hervey's close friend the Rev. Lewis Burroughs, Archdeacon of Derry, became the incumbent of Kilrea, Co. Derry, a living in Hervey's gift, which he held until 1798. Hervey also continued his patronage of Francis Sandys the younger, and in 1796 placed him in charge of the construction of his house at Ickworth, Suffolk. At about this time Joseph Sandys made a wood and papier maché architectural model of Ickworth, which is still in the house;(3) according to Rankin, he was 'transported' by the Bishop to Ickworth circa 1796 where he again acted 'as a kind of clerk of the works'.(4) No further architectural activity on Joseph Sandys's part has come to light. He was prebendary of Agadowey, Co. Derry, 1798-1808, vicar of Laracor, Co. Meath, 1806-8, and of Fiddown, Co. Kilkenny, from 1808 until his death in 1822.(5) He became an MA of Trinity College, Dublin, in 1810 and published A Sermon on the Importance of Early Acquaintance with the Scriptures in 1812.


All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from Alumni Dublinenses, John Ingamells, ed., A Dictionary of British and Irish travellers in Italy 1701-1800 (1997), 126,128,613, and J.B. Leslie, Derry Clergy and Parishes (1937), 65,189,245,292.

(1) Sandys was curate of Templemore, Co. Derry, 1791-3 and of Donagh, Co. Donegal, 1792-1794.
(2) Notes to PRONI Calendar, D1514 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44); Pamela Tudor-Craig, 'The Evolution of Ickworth' 153, Country Life 153, 17 May 1973, 1363, Pl.5. According to P. Rankin, Irish Building Ventures of the Earl Bishop of Derry (UAHS, 1972), 49, many of the surviving bills are signed 'J. Sandys'.
(3) See Tudor-Craig, loc. cit., above, and Jeremy Musson, 'Modelled on a Roman theme', Country Life 203, 23 Apr 1998, 90-93, Pls.1-6; according to Tudor-Craig the model is dated 1796, but Musson says that it is undated.
(4) Rankin, loc. cit., above.
(5) J.B. Leslie, Ossory Clergy and Parishes (1933), 262.