Hamon or Hammond

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Hamon or Hammond

This article by the Rev J A Messervy was first published in the 1908 Annual Bulletin of La Société Jersiaise. It has been translated from the original French by Jerripedia editor Mike Bisson

The name of Hamon appeared very anciently in Normandy. In the first half of the 11th century Hamon-aux-Dents was Seigneur of Evrecy, Thorigny and Creully. [1] Towards 1047 he took part in a revolt of barons against Guillaume, Duke of Normandy, and was killed at the battle of Val des Dunes. However, his son Robert Hamon, soon returned to favour.


This illustrious family already possessed much land in Jersey in the 12th century, among others the place where the ancient monastery of St Marcouf was built, and where Elizabeth Castle stands today.

Guillaume Hamon, or Fitz Hamon, a relative of Hamon-aux-Dents, there founded towards 1125 an abbey which was occupied by canons of the Order of St Augustin, and under the patronage of St Helier. Some time after the foundation of the abbey, Jourdain de Barneville ceded to the monks for 100 Anjou livres, all the farmland at Réage de Crapoudet in the Parish of St Clement, Jersey, which was held by the Fief du Roi, or perhaps the sous-fief of Guillaume-Fitz-Hamon. [2]

This Guillaume (or Guille) Hamon seems to have given his name to the fief of Dielament at Trinity. The name is probably a corruption of the words Guille or Gilles Hamon [3] The fief ès Hamonets which is continuouswith that of Herupe in St John, also doubtless owes its name to the family Hamon. This fief seems anciently to have been called des Hamons. [4]

It is impossible to prove that the Hamons of Jersey are descended from Guillaume Hamon, founder of the Abbey of St Helier, but the antiquity of its members is established in the island. In the Assize Roll of 1309 the name of Pierre Hamon appears. He and his co-heirs [5] held 30 acres of land from the King, situated, it seems, in the Parish of St Helier. In 1331 Guillaume, Jean,Thomas and Philippe Hamon, were all proprietors of lands in St Martin, St Mary, St Peter and St Brelade. [6] Towards 1338 Jean Hamount, Pierre Hamount and Perrot Hamount were among a number of defenders of Mont Orgueil Castle when it was besieged by Admiral Behuchet.

In documents of the time of Richard (1377-99) we discovered a mention of William Hamun, of the island of Jersey - see Ancient Petitions of the Chancery and the Exchequer, a 1902 Société Jersiaise publication.

In the 16th century, the era in which we begin to have more precise information, several branches of the Hamon family were established in different parishes of the island, and it is worth remarking that in 1553, three Constables out of 12 had the name Hamon [7] Claude Hamon at St Mary, Jean Hamon at Trinity, and another Jean Hamon at St John. These three constables belonged to different branches, for which it is convenient to give some details.

Claude Hamon

Claude Hamon was Constable of St Mary from 1551 to 1555. He was father of Jean, Nicolas, Jacques, Edouard and Marie, who married Jacques Journeaux. The estate of Jean Hamon, son of Jean, eldest son of Claude, passed in about 1595 to Jean Arthur, son of Clement.

Nicolas Hamon, second son of Claude, settled at Portinfer, St Ouen, without doubt following his marriage to Collette, eldest daughter and principal heir of Pierre Le Cornu dit Langlois. Their son Isaac, heir of his elder brother Jean, married Jeanne, daughter of of Thomas Le Marquand and Francoise, nee Le Maistre dit Martin. Of this marriage there were two sons, Elie and Nicolas, and three daughters. Isaac Hamon, one of the tenants of Vinchelez de Bas, died in 1655.

Elie Hamon, eldest son of Isaac, remained at St Ouen on his father's estate. By his marriage to Jeanne Herivel he had two sons, Isaac and Elie. Elie, son of Elie, settled in Marblehead USA in 1730.

Nicolas Hamon, younger son of Isaac and Jeanne Le Marquand, born around 1622, settled in St Brelade following his marriage, which took place in St Brelade in October 1647, to Catherine, eldest daughter and principal heir of Michel Le Goupil [8], Vingtenier of Noirmont, 1634, and Catherine, daughter of Jean Valpy dit Louis and Catherine,daughter of Guillaume Horman.

Becoming Centenier of St Brelade in 1655 under Parliamentary rule, Nicolas Hamon kept the position after the Restoration of Charles II and remained Centenier in his adopted parish for 33 years; he was allowed to resign in 1688 because of his advanced age.

His elder son Nicolas, born in 1650, [9] occupied the same position and was, in 1709, first Centenier of St Brelade. In 1673 he had married Rachel Balleine, and was father of Jean Hamon, born in 1674, who married Sara Valpy dit Janvrin in 1699. Of this marriage there were two sons, Daniel and Nicolas.

The lineage of Daniel Hamon, who married Elisabeth, daughter of Aaron Benest, continued in St Brelade. As to Nicolas, he only left a daughter, married to Nicolas Le Couteur. Daniel and Nicolas had four sisters, all living in 1746.

Jean Hamon, Constable of Trinity

Jean Hamon, Constable of Trinity from 1552 to 56 was the son of Guillaume Hamon and Collette, daughter of Richard Payn, of St Ouen. [10] This branch of Hamons lived in a property still known as Catiaux, now in the possession of John Aubin Le Gros. On the walls at Catiaux can still be seen the initials of several descendants of Constable Jean Hamon.

Richard Hamon, his son, was also municipal head of the parish from 1587-92. He married Jeanne, daughter of Thomas Lempriere, Seigneur of Dielament, and sister of Michel Lempriere, Attorney-General 1570-84. Their children were Jean, Jean, Daniel (who settled in Grouville), Jeanne, wife of Edouard Hubert, and Collette, wife of Nicolas Cabot.

This information has mainly been furnished by the partage of the estate of Richard Hamon on 21 November 1609. [11] The property Catiaux was sold in about 1767 by George Hamon by George Hamon, one of the descendants of Richard, to Philippe Le Gros and his wife Jeanne Joubaire. A little later the estate passed into the hands of another Le Gros family, to whom it belongs today.

Jean Hamon, Constable of St John

Jean Hamon, Constable of St John from 1552 to 1555 was the eldest son of Jourdain Hamon, and brother of Thomas. Another brother, Sire Edouard Hamon, was named Rector of St John in 1557. [12] At a date we do not know, he resigned his position. His will left two cabots of wheat rente to the Tresor of St John and 12 nobles to repair the roads. [13]

Here we mention in passing some other churchmen who had the name Hamon: Sire Guillaume Hamon, 1505; Sire Thomas Hamon, 1508; [14] Sire Philippe Hamon, son of Nicolas, 1508; Sire Guillaume Hamon, son of Guillaume, of St Ouen, 1546; who all studied at Coutances.

Marie Hamon, granddaughter of Constable Jean Hamon and representative of the senior line, married Guillaume Messervy, and her eldest daughter, Marie Messervy, became the wife of Jean Poingdestre, son of Michel, of St Saviour, who settled at Herupe, on his wife's property, [15] inherited from the Hamons. This line is represented today by Mrs Malet de Carteret, nee Poingdestre.

The special branch we now wish to mention descends from Thomas Hamon, son of Jourdain. This Thomas settled in St Lawrence on the fief of Meleches, in the Vingtaine of Coin es-Hatains, probably in a home inherited by his wife, Madeleine Le Moigne. The home in question did not stay in the Hamons' possession for long because Jean Hamon, grandson of Thomas, leased it to Nicolas Benest before 1607.

Edmond Hamon, younger brother of Jean, had taken a house on fief des Arbres in St Lawrence. He died before 28 October 1620 and on 22 April 1621 the guardian of his children leased this property to Catherine Martel, widow of Edmond Le Gallais. [16]

Nicolas Hamon

Nicolas Hamon, [17] one of the grandsons of Edmond, acquired on 9 December 1671 from Thomas de Quetteville and Abraham, his eldest son, 'a certain sandy plot joining the house of Thomas Falle, having the right of Thomas de Quetteville, having the right of Sir Edouard de Carteret, with half the west gable of the house of the said Falle ... where the said Hamon will build a house', the lease having been made for 15 pounds of rente. [18]

His eldest son Nicolas, born in 1670, married at St Martin in December 1693, Marguerite Lempriere, daughter of Clement, of St Helier, and great-granddaughter, through her mother, of Dean David Bandinel. The day of their marriage, celebrated by Francois Le Couteur, Rector of St Martin, they distributed to the poor of the parish 1½ ecus - 4 pounds tournois and 10 sols.

On 31 October 1700 Nicolas Hamon, son of Nicolas, obtained from Thomas Le Miere, son of George, a house and tenament between the the house and tenament previously belonging to James Wallis, and adjoining the house and tenament of Nicolas Hamon, situated in St Helier, es Sablons, on the fief Prieur.[19]

Nicolas Hamon, husband of Marguerite Lempriere, seems to have settled early on at Lisbon as a merchant; perhaps he was drawn to follow this route through the influence of members of the Lempriere family, his in-laws, already settled in Portugal.

Foreign appointments

His eldest son Nicolas, baptised at St Brelade on 17 October 1694, occupied important foreign positions, notably close to the British Ambassador in Portugal. In 1726 he settled in Pennsylvania, USA, where he married.

The youngest, Jacques Jean Hamon, or Hammond, also lived overseas for many years: He was British Consul in Faro, Portugal, but returned to settle in Jersey around 1754. By a contract passed in London on 19 July 1754 and ratified in Jersey on 22 August, he obtained from James Seal, son of Jean, the fief and Seigneurie of Samares, with its dependences, as well as a house and land called La Gaudinerie, then occupied by Philippe Payn, [20] for the sum of 5000 guineas. When this contract was passed in London Jacques Jean Hammond was living in the parish of St John the Evangelist in the Borough of Southwark.

It was at about this time that the branch of Hamons which occupies us adopted the spelling Hammond. It is true that documents in English relating to Jersey had sometimes used the form Hamond or Hamount for some time, but that was exceptional, and in Jersey archives the name was always Hamon or Hammon. The other branches of the family, quite numerous, and represented in almost all the parishes of the island, have kept the form Hamon.

Jacques Jean Hammond made, together with his relative Jacques Lempriere, of London, a gift of £82 to contribute to the upkeep of the poor in hospital, etc. [21]

Contested elections

Jacques Hammond, eldest son of Jacques Jean, studied at Hertford College, Oxford, and on his return to the island he filled important positions. On 4 November 1782 and again on 15 November 1786 he was sworn in as Constable of St Clement. In February 1786 when a Jurat's seat became vacant following the death of Nicolas Fiott, Jacques Hammond, Seigneur of Samares, and Philippe Dumaresq, brother of Jean Dumaresq, who became Sir John, Lieut-Bailiff, both proposed candidates.

The Royal Court recognised Mr Hammond as having the majority of votes and swore him in on 4 March 1786, despite his opponent's opposition. But he complained to the Privy Council and an Order in Council of 8 August 1787 ordered the court to erase the Act of swearing-in and to listen to Mr Dumaresq's petition. A long process ensued which did not finish until December 1795, when Mr Dumaresq withdrew and Mr Hammond was again sworn-in as Jurat. He took his position, according to the date of his election, without prejudice to the right of seniority of the Seigneur of Samares.

His only son Jacques Jean gave up the fief and seigneurie of Samares by virtue of the permission of an Order in Council of 6 July 1846 [22]

Returning to the senior branch, Nicolas Hammond, born in America in 1733, settled in Jersey, where he married and lived in St Helier. His eldest son Nicolas went to settle in America in a property owned by his father, and followed a career at the Bar. On 6 July 1785 the administrator of this Nicolas [23] reached an agreement with his brother Jacques Lempriere Hammond for the division of their father's estate. The elder must have had all his father's property in America at the time of his death; the younger had all the remaining property in Jersey and elsewhere, on condition that he settled all the rentes due and the dower of their mother, Marguerite Lempriere. [24] Nicolas Hammond is still represented in America today through a direct line.

Jacques Lempriere Hammond was a candidate for Constable of St Helier in November 1785, against Thomas Anley, who later became a Jurat. The contested election gave rise to extended litigation which was only ended nine years later, in 1795, when both candidates renounced their claims and a new election was ordered.

Jacques Lempriere Hammond had a large family. His third son Jean, who attained the highest civilian rank in his native island, was born in 1801. The Registers of St Helier show that Jean was baptised at home on 9 March 1801 and presented at church on 29 April. His uncle Jean Durell and Jean Poingdestre were godfathers and his aunt Jeanne Durell, and his sister Marie, were godmothers.


Sworn in as an Advocate of the Royal Court on 12 March 1821, to replace Thomas Le Breton Pipon, who had resigned, Jean Hammond became Solicitor-General on 6 July 1848, by virtue of a Royal Patent ofthe first of the month, and was eventually appointed Bailiff, by Patent of 18 February 1858, and sworn in on the 27th of the month. He occupied this high office for 22 years.

James Hammond, elder brother of the Bailiff,sold by contract of 12 January 1822 to James Robin, a property called Le Petit Menage, St S partly on the fiefs of Grainville and Gorges (or Bagot) in the parish of St Saviour, and partly on the fief du Buisson in St Helier, for £6,000. [25] This property was part of the estate of James Lempriere Hammond, who probably built the house. Known as Fantaisie and lived in successively by James Hammond and Jean Hammond, Bailiff, it seems to have been part of their father's estate.

The senior representatives of the family are the Hammonds of America, as already mentioned. The junior lines are represented by Alfred de Lisle Hammond, Magistrate in Australia, and by John Joseph Hammond, of Salisbury, grandson of Bailiff Jean Hammond

Notes and references

  1. The ancient feudal castle of Creully, between Bayeux and Caen, still exists today. It is a well preserved monument, remarkable for its military architecture of the Middle Ages
  2. Dupont, Le Cotentin et ses Iles, Vol 1, 319
  3. Notes on the origins of placenames
  4. Extente 1274, 18 and 1331, 76
  5. The word used by Messervy was parconniers, a very old French world for which co-heir is one recognised translation
  6. Extente 1331, 31, 33, 58, 67
  7. Acts of the States 1897, 23 and 24
  8. This Le Goupil family was earlier called Le Goupil dit Marquet, or just Marquet, although other branches were known as Le Goupil dit Guerdain
  9. Our tree shows an elder brother Jean, born in 1648, but he may not have survived infancy
  10. Attorney-General then Jurat, 1533
  11. RC III, 47
  12. Extrait des Registres du Secretariat de Coutances
  13. Ex 13, 5 February 1582 and Ex 20,November 1595
  14. In all probability a brother of Sire Edouard
  15. Now called La Chenee
  16. Reg 5
  17. This Nicolas, son of Jacques, is not to be confused with his contemporary, Nicolas Hamon, son of Isaac, Centenier of St Brelade from 1655-1688, already mentioned
  18. Reg 20, 154
  19. Reg 27, 113 - Now Sand Street
  20. Reg 45,30
  21. Acts of the States, 28 June 1753.
  22. O in C VI, 187
  23. Described as living in Cambridge, USA
  24. Reg 68, 36
  25. Reg 133, 6
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