Australian Dictionary of Biography

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Daniel Fox Sandford (1831–1906)

by Neil Smith

This article was published:

Daniel Fox Sandford (1831-1906), Anglican bishop, was born on 25 July 1831 at Jordan Hill, Shropshire, England, son of Sir Daniel Keyte Sandford, professor of Greek at the University of Glasgow, and his wife Cecilia, née Charnock. Educated at the Grange School, Bishop Wearmouth, Trinity Theological College, Glenalmond, and the University of Glasgow (LL.D., 1874), he was a lay worker at Lambeth before being made deacon in 1853. Next year he was appointed incumbent of Alyth and Insigle, Perthshire. On 30 August 1855 he married Elizabeth Barret Rae; he went to St John's, Edinburgh, was ordained priest, served as curate until 1863 and as examining chaplain to the bishop of Edinburgh until 1872. In 1864 he became a special preacher at St Paul's Cathedral, London, and at the Chapel Royal, Whitehall, and was elected a fellow of the Royal Society, Edinburgh. In 1873 he succeeded Dean Ramsay as incumbent of St John's, Edinburgh, later becoming synod clerk for the diocese and in 1878 a canon of St Mary's Cathedral; he was vice-chairman of the Poor Association, director of the Royal Maternity and Simpson Memorial Hospital and the Indigent Gentlewomen's Fund for Scotland, and in 1882 was elected to the Edinburgh School Board. He was the author of lectures on education, many printed sermons, and a noted obituary on Ramsay read before the Royal Society in 1873. Described as a decided but moderate churchman with wide philanthropic, educational and charitable interests, he was liberal in outlook and highly esteemed and loved by his parishioners.

In 1883 Sandford accepted the Tasmanian see and was consecrated at St Paul's Cathedral on 25 April. He arrived in Hobart in the Manapouri on 6 September 1883 with his wife, one son and two daughters and was enthroned on 12 September.

Sandford encouraged building and supported Church sisterhoods, particularly in nursing, education and penitentiary work, and issued a pastoral letter on the subject in 1887. A firm advocate of temperance, he favoured local option. In 1888 he resigned his see because his wife, disliking Tasmania, had returned to England. In his final address to synod he urged the preferment of local clergy, saying the Church could never become a really indigenous institution until a majority of her clergy was colonial born. With one of his daughters he left Hobart on 29 December. He became coadjutor to Bishop Lightfoot and later to Bishop Westcott of Durham, and rector of Bolden. He died at Durham on 20 August 1906 survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter; six children had predeceased him.

Select Bibliography

  • W. R. Barrett, History of the Church of England in Tasmania (Hob, 1942)
  • Mercury (Hobart), 3, 16 Jan, 15 Mar, 27 Apr, 3 May, 7 Sept 1883, 28 Nov, 31 Dec 1888
  • Australasian, 6 Jan 1883
  • Church News (Hobart), 2 Mar 1883, 1 Feb 1884
  • Town and Country Journal, 3 Mar 1883, 29 Aug 1906.

Citation details

Neil Smith, 'Sandford, Daniel Fox (1831–1906)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1976, accessed online 18 April 2024.

This article was published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 6, (Melbourne University Press), 1976

View the front pages for Volume 6

© Copyright Australian Dictionary of Biography, 2006-2024

Daniel Fox Sandford (1831-1906), by Albert Sargeant

Daniel Fox Sandford (1831-1906), by Albert Sargeant

Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts, State Library of Tasmania, AUTAS001125883272

Life Summary [details]


25 July, 1831
Jordan Hill, Dorset, England


20 August, 1906 (aged 75)
Durham, England

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