Hammond


Select Hammond Surname Genealogy

Here are some Hammond stories and accounts over the years:

Hamo the Steward


Hamo, sometimes known as Hamo Dapifer, was the son of a Norman lord who crossed the Channel to England after Hastings and held the office of royal dapifer or seneschal (steward) during the reigns of both William I and William II.  He was appointed Sheriff of Kent in 1077 and the Domesday Book recorded his extensive land holdings in Kent, Surrey and Essex.  But Hamo's involvement in the higher levels of government only really began in the late 1090ís when William II was frequently away from England. 

His son Robert FitzHamon was a prominent figure in England during the reigns of William Rufus and Henry I.  He was the founder of Tewkesbury Abbey in the west country and he invaded south Wales with Norman forces in 1075.  Fitzhamon married and was said to have had four daughters, but no sons.



John Hammond of Battle Abbey

In 1529 John Hammond was elected Abbot of Battle Abbey.  But all the signs around him were that monastic life was seriously under threat.  In the summer of 1535 the Abbey was inspected by Thomas Cromwell's inspector, Dr Richard Layton.  By 1538 Robertsbridge and Battle were the only monastic houses surviving in Sussex.  Robertsbridge surrendered to Cromwell in April that year and Battle followed a month later. 

Hammond and his 18 monks surrendered the house on May 28.  Layton described Battle as: "So beggary a house I never see, nor so filthy stuff!"  In fact the Abbey income of £880 in 1535 made it one of the most prosperous Benedictine houses in the country.  Perhaps Hammond knew that the end was near and gave away all of its movable assets.

Abbot Hammond was given a large pension of £100 a year and moved to a house opposite in Battle High Street where he died in 1546.


Hammond Spellings in the 16th Century

The following were some Hammond births recorded in the 16th century.  As can be seen, the Hammond spelling had not yet really settled down at that time.

George Hammonde
1550
North Elmham, Norfolk
George Hamond
1553
Shere, Surrey
George Hamonde
1559
Long Melford, Surrey
George Hammond
1572
Lidgate, Suffolk
Alexander Hamond
1581
Westmill, Herts
Robert Hamond
1583
Little Horwood, Bucks


Hammonds from Kent to America


John Hamon had been a tenant of the Abbot of St. Albans near Nonington in Kent.  With the dissolution of the monasteries during the reign of Henry VIII, he was able to initiate the purchase of the St. Albans manor. His son Thomas Hammond completed the acquisition in 1548.  Two of Thomasís grandsons, Francis and Robert, had distinguished army careers and accompanied Sir Walter Raleigh on his expedition to Guinea.  Later Hammonds were strong Royalists at the time of the Civil War. 

Edward Hammond of this family came to Virginia in 1635 and was said to have introduced the culture of silkworm.  Captain Samuel Hammond was a patriot at the time of the Revolutionary War.  The familyís property in Virginia was destroyed by the Tories and he and other Hammonds of his family moved away to South Carolina.  Later Hammonds of this family were to be found in Georgia. 


Thomas Hammond of Newton, Massachusetts

Thomas Hammond was one of the first settlers of Hingham in Massachusetts, having had land granted to him there in 1636.  With several other Hingham pioneers, Thomas Hammond removed to a locality near the boundary line of what is now Newton and Brookline.   His homestead in Newton was near the pond that was afterwards called Hammond's Pond. 

Thomas became one of the wealthiest men of his day.  When he died in 1675, his estate, according to the inventory, amounted to nearly eleven hundred and forty pounds.  An interesting relic from his wife Elizabeth was a silver coin which she herself was allowed to coin when visiting the mint of England as a young girl. 

From his line came Samuel Hammond, one of the party of patriots who threw the tea overboard in Boston Harbor.  Samuel later settled in Vermont. 
Benjamin Hammond of Newton was said to have commanded a company of militia at Lexington in 1775 and did other military duty during the Revolution.  He afterwards obtained the rank of Colonel and for a long time was a leading man in the municipal affairs of Newton. Meanwhile Samuel Hammond, a merchant of Boston, prospered in the East India trade in the early 1800ís and resided in some splendor on Somerset Place.


Richard Hammond, Confederate Captain During the Civil War

In the early 1930ís, some seventy years after his father's death, a Texan from Terrell by the name of Pat Hammond travelled to the city of Murfreesboro in Tennessee in search of the grave of his father.  Captain Richard Powell Hammond had been killed in the Civil War while leading a Confederate force during the Battle of Stones River in December 1862. 

A misunderstanding as to the marking of graves had caused Pat Hammond to make the long train trip to Murfreesboro.  But he found only the graves of some Federal soldiers marked when he went to the battlefield.  There was no trace was found of his father's final resting place.  So he returned home. 

Among the personal possessions which were returned to the family after his father's death was a diary kept in pen and ink with daily entries made by his father from the time he was mustered into the Confederate service until the night before his death.



John Hays Hammond in South Africa

In 1893 John Hays Hammond uprooted his family from California and trekked to the South African gold and diamond fields where he earned a reputed one-million dollars a year plus bonuses for his renowned expertise.

While in South Africa, he, worked with and became quite friendly with Cecil Rhodes.  It was through this association that he became involved in what he thought to be a political demonstration against the despotic Boer government.  When the demonstration blundered, Hammond was among those arrested, put on trial for treason, and sentenced to death.  He became so desperately ill from the prison's poor sanitary conditions that death might have seemed a blessing.

Mark Twain on a tour of Africa visited the prison and helped call attention to the situation.  Such press reports enabled Rhodes, by then back in England, to ransom Hammond release. Soon afterwards, he and his family relocated to convalesce in England.  They finally returned to the United States in 1899.




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