HAMON (HAMMOND), Thomas (d.1607), of Rye, Suss.
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Family and Education
m. (1) Catherine (d. Apr. 1607); (2) 5 June 1607, Martha Thorpe of Rye.
Jurat of Rye in all known years from 1593-d., mayor 1595-6, 1596-7, 1599-1600, 1600-1, Apr.-Aug. 1605, 1605-6, 1606-d.; brodhull rep. in at least the years 1583, 1594, 1596, 1597; capt. of musters for Rye; commr. sewers for Rye area 27 June 1604.
The Hamon or Hammond family had been prominent in Rye since the fifteenth century. The will of William Hammond shows no connexion with the Rye man. Thomas Hamon owned property and land in Rye, Playden and East Guldeford, Sussex, and at Newchurch in Romney Marsh. His will suggests that some of his income came from farming. In 1590 he was one of a group which leased Rye vicarage, with all its appurtenances, at an annual rent of £41.
Hamon spent much of his time in the service of his town. As early as 1583 he was one of its representatives at a Cinque Ports brodhull meeting, and ten years later acted as surveyor of the poor. He also attended at least one meeting of the guestling. In 1598 he was paid £12 10s.0d. for visiting Calais.
Ten days after Hamon’s first return to Parliament, the Rye assembly agreed that he should be paid wages of 5s. a day as well as ‘such other extraordinary expenses as were allowed to the last baron or barons to the Parliament’. The total came to £39 15s.4d. and the assembly decided to levy a rate of 1d. in the £ on lands and goods towards the cost. Hamon wrote regularly to Rye while he was in London, and he was accompanied by a clerk at the borough’s expense. He was in the capital again a couple of years later as ‘humble suitor’ to the Queen and Council ‘for some relief to be had towards the amendment of this decayed haven of Rye’, and in 1601 was sent to assist the town’s Members (neither of them natives of Rye) in the presentation of a bill to Parliament on the same subject.
Hamon was taken violently ill 13 July 1607 and died on the 27th. Shortly afterwards, Anne Taylor, the wife of a townsman, was accused of procuring his death ‘by diabolical means’. He was buried in Rye church, where a brass bears his portrait and an inaccurate inscription:
Lo! Thomas Hamon here interred doth lie,
Thrice burgess for the Parliament elected,
Six times, by freemen’s choice, made mayor of Rye
And captain longtime of the band selected.
Whose prudent courage, justice, gravity,
Deserve a monument of memory.
His widow re-married within three weeks of his death.
L. A. Vidler, New Hist. Rye, 69, 160; Suss. Rec. Soc. i. 58; E. Suss. RO, Rye mss; Cinque Ports black bk. ff. 45, 61, 67, 69; R. F. Dell, Rye Recs. 6, 188; HMC 13th Rep. IV, 120; W. Holloway, Hist. Rye, 202; PCC 98 Huddleston.
Ref Volumes: 1558-1603
- 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.