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HAMMON (HAMMOND), Sir Thomas (-d.1634), of Brasted, Kent; later of St. Giles Cripplegate, London
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Family and Education
4th s. of William Hammond† (d.1603) of Acrise, Kent and Katherine, da. of Peter Heyman (Hayman)† of Sellinge, Kent.1 m. (1) 8 Aug. 1595, Elizabeth, da. and coh. of Nicholas Martin of Athelhampton, Dorset, wid. of Henry Brune of Rowner, Hants, 3da.;2 (2) Dorothy, da. of Thomas Wylde of Canterbury, Kent, wid. of Peter Godfrey (d. 27 Nov. 1624) of Lydd, Kent, s.p.3 kntd. 23 July 1603.4 d. 7 Sept. 1634.5
Gunner, Tower of London 1596;6 lt. Dover Castle 1615-?20.7
Commr. piracy, Dorset 1605,8 subsidy, Kent 1621-2, 1624;9 sheriff, Kent 1624-5;10 commr. sewers, Kent and Suss. 1629.11
Commr. execution of poor laws 1632.12
Hammon’s paternal grandfather acquired Acrise, near Dover, early in Henry VIII’s reign. His father, a Marian exile, sat for West Looe in 1572.13 Hammon was presumably already an experienced professional soldier when he secured a gunner’s place in the Tower in 1596, but no other details of his military career have emerged. Two years later, he was commended by the lord admiral, the 1st earl of Nottingham (Charles Howard†) for his work with the fleet.14 Despite his status as a youngest son, by 1602 Hammon enjoyed an annual income in excess of £100 from land and other sources, and shortly afterwards inherited further property from his father. He was knighted in 1603, just before James I’s coronation.15
Hammon’s appointment as a Dorset piracy commissioner in 1605 suggests that he was then living with his widowed mother-in-law at Athelhampton. As a convicted recusant, she found it advisable to use Hammon’s name when making leases of her properties around this time. After her death he settled at Brasted, in north-west Kent. In 1615 Sir John Brooke* offered to sell him for £1,100 the deputy wardenship of the Cinque Ports, which carried with it the lieutenancy of Dover Castle. Struggling to raise the money, Hammon resorted to extortion, fraudulently suing some of his late mother-in-law’s tenants for payment on old bonds which they had entered into with him. His sister-in-law condemned his conduct as ‘most unfitting for a man of the complainant’s place and rank’. Nevertheless, he had already paid Brooke £400 and given security for the balance when the 11th Lord Zouche became lord warden and the transaction was cancelled. Despite Hammon’s disreputable behaviour, Zouche subsequently appointed him lieutenant of Dover Castle, and he apparently retained the post until Sir Henry Mainwaring* took over in February 1620.16
Hammon was returned to the 1621 Parliament for Corfe Castle on the interest of his stepdaughter’s husband, Edward Dackombe*.17 He attracted ten nominations, of which six were concerned with private legislation. Of the latter, he presumably took an interest in the bill to confirm the endowment of Wadham College, Oxford by his wife’s uncle (9 March). He was added on 11 May to the committee for the bill to amend the recusancy laws, and appointed on 24 May to attend a conference with the Lords on the bill to promote Sabbath observance.18 Hammon made two speeches. On 12 May he opposed the bill concerning the estates of Sir Henry Hungate’s* mother. Two days later, he agreed that the Commons should summon Randolph Davenport, who, having supplied the House with evidence of corruption by Bishop Field of Llandaff, had retracted his allegations when questioned in the Lords.19
Hammon was brought before the Privy Council in February 1622 for refusing to contribute to the Benevolence for the defence of the Palatinate. Chastened by this experience he paid £30 a month later.20 As sheriff of Kent he presided over the shire election of 1625, earning himself accusations of partiality towards the Court candidates.21 Hammon was living at St. Giles Cripplegate in London when he died in September 1634, ‘possessed of a great estate’. His will was disallowed after a legal battle between his daughters and their stepmother. The Acrise lands had already passed out of the family on the death of his eldest brother, and Hammon was the last of that name to sit in Parliament.22
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Author: John. P. Ferris
- 1. Vis. Kent (Harl. Soc. xlii), 68-9.
- 2. Dorset Par. Regs. vii. 56; The Ancestor, ii. 212.
- 3. Vis. Kent (Harl. Soc. xlii), 19; Vis. Kent (Harl. Soc. liv), 67; The Gen. n.s. xxvi. 60.
- 4. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 115.
- 5. The Ancestor, ii. 212.
- 6. CSP Dom. 1595-7, p. 271.
- 7. Ibid. 1611-18, p. 295.
- 8. C181/1, f. 114.
- 9. C212/22/20-1, 23.
- 10. List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 69.
- 11. C181/4, f. 32.
- 12. PC2/42, p. 54.
- 13. E. Hasted, Kent, viii. 112-13; HP Commons, 1558-1603, ii. 243.
- 14. CSP Dom. 1598-1601, p. 32.
- 15. PROB 11/101, ff. 300-1; C66/2045/17; Shaw, ii. 115.
- 16. C2/Jas.I/H7/45, 2/Jas.I/H13/22; S.P.H. Statham, Hist. Dover, 410-11.
- 17. Vis. Dorset (Harl. Soc. cxvii), 17.
- 18. CJ, i. 546b, 617a, 626a.
- 19. Ibid. 621a; CD 1621, iii. 243.
- 20. SP14/127/82; 14/156/14.
- 21. Chamberlain Letters ed. N.E. McClure, ii. 615; J.R. Scott, Scott, of Scot’s-Hall, xvii.
- 22. CSP Dom. 1635-6, p. 57; PCC Admons. 1631-48 ed. M. Fitch (Brit. Rec. Soc. c), 183; E. Hasted, Kent, viii. 112-13.