Frances Catherine Sandford

Daniel Sandford
Helen Douglas
Religious views
The selection of her father's letters of 1819 published by her brother John present Frances as her father's favourite correspondent on theological matters, and his ally in the linguistic analysis of the texts. For example, in 1819 he wrote,
I may perhaps send you an extract from my lecture of to-day, as it contains some observations on St Luke's Gospel which will probably please you, and I hope convince you. -- I have long thought that the general notion, that St Luke received his information from others was erroneous -- I am persuaded it is so, by very critical examination of his preface, as well as the Gospel itself. (2 p.357)
The full proof follows. In another letter, he recommends the sermons of Henry Venn, members of the Clapham sect, adding conpiratorially, 'but [blank] has not gotten them, and I suppose he must not ask [blank] for any thing so evangelical.' -- the names of those whom Daniel Sandford thinks would disapprove of his evangelical reading having been removed by John. In December he works with her on a project to explore 'the internal evidence of the Christian Scriptures' (2 p.369) and having cited many instances he has found, asks for her contribution: 'You must look at the gospels yourself; and if, as is more than probable, I have omitted any thing under this head of internal evidence you must let me know.' (2 p.379).
    &nsbsp; John's choice of letters was to show Daniel Sandford in a good light. Even if it is selective, it seems striking that Frances is the recipient of these letters, rather than one of his sons (John went into the church), or his son-in-law Charles Lane. Frances was clearly brought up to believe that women could be a theologian: it would be interesting to know what her role as a rector's wife was. I imagine her writing her husband's sermons.
Chapel connection
wedding, 1816
Married on
1 July 1816
Charles Lane
Jane (1817, m.1843 Captain Edward Charles Warde (4)), Thomas Sandford (1818, privately baptised in London but christened in Edinburgh by Daniel Sandford, d.1830 (3)), Charles Henry (1829-32), Alice Howley (1836-1850 (5)), Blanche Emma (d.1860 (6))


  1. Registers of Charlotte Chapel (NAS CH12/3)
  2. John Sandford, Remains of the late Right Reverend Daniel Sandford (Edinburgh, Waugh and Innes, 1830)
  3. Newcastle Courant 17 July 1830
  4. Times 26 August 1843
  5. Standard 10 January 1850
  6. Morning Post, 3 October 1860

Back to index