Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 50.djvu/256

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of Laurence Sterne; and, impressed by Sterne's sympathetic references to the evils of slavery, he entreated him in a letter dated in 1766 to ease the yoke by ‘handling’ the subject in his ‘striking manner.’ Sterne replied in a sentimental vein (27 July 1766), and struck up an acquaintance with his correspondent. In the spring of 1767 Sancho procured promises of subscriptions for the ninth volume of ‘Tristram Shandy’ from the Duke and Duchess of Montagu and their son, Viscount Mandeville. Sterne, while thanking him for his efforts, pressed him to exact the money without delay. One of Sterne's latest letters—from Coxwold 30 June 1767—was addressed to ‘his good friend Sancho’ (Sterne, Letters, ed. Saintsbury, i. 129–31, ii. 18, 25).

The connection extended Sancho's reputation, and on 29 Nov. 1768 Gainsborough, while at Bath, painted his portrait at one rapid sitting. About 1773 Sancho's health failed, and he withdrew from domestic service, setting up as a chandler or grocer in a shop in Charles Street, Westminster. His literary ambition was unquenched, and he spent his latest years in penning epistles in Sterne's manner. Men of letters and artists befriended him. Nollekens took John Thomas Smith to visit him on 17 June 1780 (Nollekens and his Times, ii. 27). He died at his shop on 14 Dec. 1780, and was buried in Westminster Broadway.

He married ‘a deserving young woman of West India origin,’ and she, with at least two children, Elizabeth and William, survived him. For the benefit of the family, one of his correspondents, Miss Crewe, collected his ‘Letters,’ and published them in 1782 in two volumes, with an anonymous memoir by Joseph Jekyll [q. v.] The subscription list is said to have been of a length unknown since the first issue of the ‘Spectator.’ Gainsborough's portrait, engraved by Bartolozzi, was prefixed. The work was popular; a fifth edition was published in 1803, with a facsimile of Sterne's letter of 27 July 1766, and Jekyll's name on the title-page as author of the prefatory memoir; the publisher was Sancho's son William, who was then pursuing the career of a bookseller in his father's old shop in Charles Street.

The portrait by Gainsborough was presented by Sancho's daughter Elizabeth to Sancho's friend, William Stevenson of Norwich, and it was sold at Norwich by auction in March 1889, with the property of Stevenson's son, Henry Stevenson, F.S.A.

[Chalmers's Biogr. Dict.; Fitzgerald's Life of Sterne, ii. 370 et seq.; Sancho's Letters with Jekyll's Memoir; Notes and Queries, 7th ser. vii. 325, 427, 457, viii. 32, 296, 336.]

S. L.


SANCROFT, WILLIAM (1617–1693), archbishop of Canterbury, second son of Francis Sandcroft of Fressingfield, Suffolk, and Margaret, daughter and coheiress of Thomas Butcher or Boucher, was born at Fressingfield on 30 Jan. 1616–17 (the archbishop always spelt his surname without the ‘d’ at the end of the first syllable). He came of an old yeoman stock which had long owned lands in Suffolk, but which did not obtain the right to bear arms till the grant to his brother and himself (26 Jan. 1663). His uncle, William Sandcroft, was master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, 1628–37, and planned and carried out the first large extension of the college, the ‘Brick Building’ (see Emmanuel College Mag. vol. i. No. 2).

William was sent to the grammar school of Bury St. Edmunds, and early showed an aptitude for learning. A commonplace-book begun when he was quite young is full of extracts from Greek and Latin, as well as English poetry (Tanner MS. 465). He was admitted to Emmanuel College, Cambridge, on 10 Sept. 1633, with his elder brother Thomas, and was matriculated on 3 July 1634. He graduated B.A. in 1637, M.A. in 1641, and B.D. in 1648. In 1642 being elected fellow he became tutor of the college, and he held during residence the offices of Greek and of Hebrew reader (cf. Tanner MSS. 60, 63, 66, &c.; Remarks of his Life, prefixed to Sermons, 1703, p. xii). In 1644 he was bursar of the college. He was patronised by Dr. Ralph Brownrigg, bishop of Exeter. His high character and the influence of Brownrigg enabled him to retain his fellowship until 1651 (Tanner MS. 54, No. 148).

For the next nine years Sancroft resided chiefly with his brother at Fressingfield, and sometimes at Triplow, engaged in literary work, and with ‘no company except that of mine own thoughts.’ In 1651 he published ‘Fur Prædestinatus, sive Dialogismus inter quendam Ordinis Prædicantium Calvinistam et Furem ad laqueum damnatum habitus,’ London, 8vo. An English translation appeared in 1658. It was a vigorous attack on Calvinism as subversive of morality, with reference to the works of all the leading Calvinist doctors. Birch (Life of Tillotson, p. 160) says, without giving his authority, that this was a joint composition with ‘Mr. George Davenport and another of his friends.’ Shortly afterwards Sancroft published ‘Modern Policies taken from Machiavel, Borgia, and other choise Authors by an Eye-witness,’ of which a seventh edition appeared in 1657. It was dedicated to ‘my lord R. B. E.’ (Ralph Brownrigg, bishop of Exeter), and is an in-