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Talking with Angels - Dr. Richard Sandy
Great Linford Church

Many of the estates in Milton Keynes have place names that recall an aspect of the local past, and in fact Sandy Close, at Great Linford, recalls perhaps the most mysterious of all the local parish rectors, Dr. Richard Sandy, alias ‘Napier.’ For the cure of the sick he would hold conversations with angels, and, according to the superstitious, he would even ‘upon great occasions’ converse with the Angel Gabriel, having before attending a patient retired to a closet to pray. Dr. Sandy had been instituted in 1589, and he received so much money from his work that he was able to purchase much of the village. Yet nevertheless he was renowned as a generous benefactor to the poor, and in his daily devotions he would spend at least two hours in worship, with it being said that ‘his knees grew horny by much praying.’ In fact it was in this posture that he died at a great age on April 1st, 1634, having foretold the date and the time of his death to the very hour. He was buried at Great Linford on April 15th, and of his surviving manuscripts a special mark denotes those which are said to be ‘medical recipes,’ given to him by the Angel Raphael. Nowadays there seems little to connect Great Linford with such goings on, although as I seem to recall there was, in the days long before the completion of the New City, at least one resident vision of angelic blonde loveliness, who was not infrequently to be found in the front bar of the Nag’s Head. From one of the more prestigious of village addresses, sadly she moved away when the family left Great Linford, but then for spotty, post pubescent adolescents, it was only to be from afar that such heavenly beings could ever be worshipped.