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Hammond, Anthony (1668-1738) (DNB00)

HAMMOND, ANTHONY (1668–1738), poet and pamphleteer, born 1 Sept. 1668, was the son and heir of Anthony Hammond (1641–1680) of Somersham Place, Huntingdonshire, who was the third son of Anthony Hammond (1608–1661) of St. Alban's Court, Kent, elder brother of William Hammond [q. v.] His mother was a Miss Amy Browne (d. 1693) of Gloucestershire. In October 1695 he was chosen M.P. for Huntingdonshire. A dispute about the election between him and Lord William Pawlet caused a duel (27 Jan. 1697–1698), when Hammond was wounded in the thigh (Luttrell, Relation of State Affairs, 1857, iv. 337). In parliament he spoke principally on financial questions, of which he had good knowledge. Bolingbroke called him ‘silver-tongued Hammond,’ but though a graceful speaker his want of tact led Chesterfield to say that he had ‘all the senses but common sense’ (Chesterfield, Miscellaneous Works, 1777, i. 47). In July 1698 he was returned for the university of Cambridge. On which occasion he was made M.A. as a member of St. John's College (Graduati Cantabr. 1823, p. 212). Shortly afterwards he published anonymously ‘Considerations upon the choice of a Speaker of the House of Commons in the approaching Session,’ in which he tacitly recommended Harley for the office against Sir Edward Seymour and Sir Thomas Littleton. Littleton was elected 6 Dec. 1698. This tract has been often reprinted. Hammond again represented the university in January 1700–1, but at the election in November 1701, though the Earl of Jersey, lord chamberlain, wrote to the university in his favour, he was defeated by Isaac Newton (Cooper, Annals of Cambridge, iv. 47). He found consolation in penning some ‘Considerations upon Corrupt Elections of Members to serve in Parliament,’ 1701. On 17 June of this year he had been appointed a commissioner for stating the public accounts (Luttrell, v. 61). Under Godolphin's administration he was made a commissioner of the navy in May 1702 (ib. v. 180), and again entered parliament as member for Huntingdon in the following July. In May 1708 he sat for New Shoreham, Sussex, but on the ensuing 7 Dec. the house decided by a majority of eighteen that as commissioner of the navy and employed in the out ports he was incapable of being elected or voting as a member of the house, and a new writ was ordered the next day (Beatson, Chronological Register, i. 201; Luttrell, vi. 381). In 1711 he left England to take up his appointment as deputy-paymaster or treasurer of the British forces in Spain. The Duke of Argyll, commander-in-chief, complained of him for irregularity. Paymaster Hon. James Brydges, however, upheld Hammond in a report to Lord-treasurer Dartmouth, dated 11 Nov. 1712, justifying the payments made by him to Portuguese troops (Cal. State Papers, Treas. 1702–7, 1708–14). At length his affairs becoming hopelessly involved, he judged it best to retire to the Fleet (cf. Lond. Gaz. 3–6 Dec. 1737, p. 2, col. 2), and was thus enabled to save the remains of his estate for his eldest son. He occupied himself with literary pursuits. In 1720 he edited ‘A New Miscellany of Original Poems, Translations, and Imitations, by the Most Eminent Hands, viz. Mr. Prior, Mr. Pope, Mr. Hughes, Mr. Harcourt, Lady M[ary] W[ortley] M[ontagu], Mrs. Manley, &c., now first published from their respective manuscripts. With some Familiar Letters, by the late Earl of Rochester, never before printed’ (preface signed ‘A. H.’), 8vo, London, 1720. He claimed some pieces of his own which had been ascribed to others ‘to their prejudice,’ as the ‘Ode on Solitude’ to Roscommon. In 1721 he permitted the publication of his ‘Solitudinis Munus: or, Hints for Thinking’ (anon.), 8vo, London, 1721. He also wrote a clear, concise, and moderate retrospect of the South Sea year, entitled ‘A Modest Apology, occasion'd by the late unhappy turn of affairs with relation to Publick Credit. By a Gentleman,’ 8vo, London, 1721. He says that he had made a list of 107 bubbles with a nominal stock of 93,600,000l., involving a loss of 14,040,000l. (pp. 28–9). Hammond prefixed to Walter Moyle's ‘Works’ ‘some account of his life and writings’ (signed ‘A. H.’). They had been intimate friends from 1690. Hammond contributed a ‘character’ of Edward Russell, earl of Orford, to ‘The Present State of the Republick of Letters’ for October 1730 (vol. vi. art. 26, p. 255), from which Robert Samber drew his information for an absurd verse eulogy on Orford in 1731, and wrote also another able financial pamphlet entitled ‘The National Debt as it stood at Michaelmas 1730, stated and explained’ (anon.), 8vo, London, 1731.

Hammond died in the Fleet in 1738, but his estate was not administered until 8 April 1749, when he was described as ‘late of the parish of St. James's, Westminster’ (Administration Act Book, P. C. C., 1749). He married, 14 Aug. 1694, at Tunbridge Wells, Kent, Jane, daughter of Sir Walter Clarges, bart., and by this lady, who died in 1749, he had two sons: Thomas,who died childless about 1758; James (1710–1742) [q. v.], and a daughter, Amy, who married first, in 1719, William Dowdeswell of Pull Court, Worcestershire; and secondly, on 7 May 1730, Noel Broxholme, M.D. [q. v.] Thomas Hammond sold Somersham Place to the Duke of Manchester (Camden, Britannia, ed. Gough, ii. 159). Thomas Cooke, the translator of ‘Hesiod,’ who formed Hammond's acquaintanceship in 1722, says ‘he was a well-bred man, had but a small portion of solid understanding, and was a great flatterer. He was a pleasant story-teller, and seldom sad. He courted men of letters and genius, and was fond of being taken notice of by them in their writings. He would ask them to mention him in their works; he asked it of me’ (Gent. Mag. vol. lxi. pt. ii. p. 1090). He was elected F.R.S. 30 Nov. 1698 (Thomson, Hist. of Roy. Soc., Append. iv. xxx), but had withdrawn by 1718. His ‘Collections and Extracts relating to the Affairs of the Nation, with an Autobiographical Diary,’ extending from 1660 to 1730, is preserved in the Bodleian Library, Rawlinson MS. A. 245. According to Hearne (Reliquiæ, 2nd edition, iii. 290), Hammond is said to have attempted the life of the Chevalier ‘on his Scotch embarcation’ (1715).

[Berry's County Genealogies (Kent), pp. 94–5; Chalmers's Biog. Dict. xvii. 110–11; Gent. Mag. 1791 pt. ii. 1090, 1809 pt. ii. 1121; Hammond's Account of Walter Moyle's Life and Writings; Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. xi. 348, 430–1, 493–494, xii. 33–4, 56–7, 3rd ser. v. 330; Beauties of England and Wales, vii. 499*; Cox's Cat. Cod. MSS. Bibl. Bodl. pars v. fasc. i. pp. 275–9; Chester's London Marriage Licenses (Foster), col. 614.]

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