The name of Sandys Road on the of South Ham estate reflects a man who held an important role in Tudor times and answerable to none other than King Henry VIII.

William Sandys (1470 – 1540), the younger son of Sir William Sandys (1440 – 1496), became Lord Chamberlain and built The Vyne near Sherborne St John. The building is now preserved by the National Trust and open to the public.

As a young man William gained favour at Court and was noticed by the young Henry VIII. He quickly became his favourite and was awarded the honour of becoming his Knight of the Body.

William assisted in setting up the King's marriage to his first of six wives, Catherine of Aragon.

He quickly rose through the ranks becoming Treasurer of Calais in 1517, Knight of the Garter the following year.

William was instrumental in organising the meeting of Henry VIII and King Francis I of France at the Field of the Cloth of Gold near Guines, France.

This was a lavish royal summit to cement ties between the two countries following the Anglo-French treaty of 1514. And by 1523, William was made a baron.

As Treasurer of Calais, William spent long spells away from home in France. It is believed that while abroad in 1529, he contracted the ‘sweating sickness’ thought to be Malaria, from which he almost died.

Henry VIII visited him three times at The Vyne, once with his new wife Anne Boleyn.

It was known that William disapproved of Henry's marriage to Anne and as a consequence attended court less frequently.

In October 1536, William was summoned to attend to the King's court at Ampthill, Bedfordshire, and was instructed to provide lodgings and food for the King and his entourage.

On 15th May 1536, William escorted Anne Boleyn from the Tower of London for her trial and was one of the jurors who found her guilty of ‘adultery, incest and treason’. Four days later she was beheaded.

William was the founder of the Guild of the Holy Ghost and built a side chapel in the South View cemetery, Basingstoke.

It was here that William was buried following his death at The Vyne on 7th December 1540.

Traces of his resting place and that of his father can still be seen today in the form of tombstones at the cemetery. 

Thr family crest still visible in the form of a Tudor Rose and the half sun rays.