John Sanford (c. 1605 – 1653), was an early settler of Boston, Massachusetts, an original settler of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, and a governor of the combined towns of Portsmouth and Newport, in the Rhode Island colony, dying in office after serving for less than a full term. He had some military experience in England, and also was a employee of Massachusetts magistrate John Winthrop's household prior to sailing to New England in 1631 with Winthrop's wife and oldest son. After living in Boston for six years, and being the cannoneer there, a divisive religious controversy arose, and Sanford was disarmed for supporting his mother-in-law, Anne Hutchinson, who was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Compelled to leave Massachusetts as well, he and many others signed an agreement to form a government, then settled in Portsmouth in the Rhode Island colony. Here he became a lieutenant, assistant, chief magistrate of Portsmouth, then governor of the two island towns of Portsmouth and Newport in 1653 following the repeal of William Coddington's commission to govern the island. During his administration, the two island towns slowly negotiated a reunion with the two mainland towns of Providence and Warwick.