Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Hammond, John (1542-1589)

HAMMOND, JOHN, LL.D. (1542–1589), civilian, whose mother is said to have been a sister of Alexander Nowell, dean of St. Paul's, was baptised at Whalley, Lancashire, in 1542, and was educated at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he became fellow, and in 1561 proceeded LL.B. He addressed Queen Elizabeth in a short Latin speech when she visited his college on 9 Aug. 1564 (cf. Nichols, Progresses, iii. 83, where the speech is printed). In 1569 he was created LL.D. and admitted a member of the College of Civilians (Coote, Civilians, p. 48). On 6 Feb. 1569-70 he became commissary of the deaneries of the Arches, Shoreham, and Croydon; in 1573 commissary to the dean and chapter of St. Paul's, London; a master of chancery in 1574; and chancellor of the diocese of London in 1575. He acted on two commissions in 1577, one with reference to the restitution of goods belonging to Portuguese merchants, and the other concerning complaints of piracy preferred by Scotchmen. In 1578 he attended the diet of Smalkald as a delegate from the English government, and in August 1580 went to Guernsey to investigate charges brought by the inhabitants against Sir Thomas Leighton, the governor. In March 1580-1 he took part in the examination by torture of Thomas Myagh, a prisoner in the Tower, charged with treasonable correspondence with Irish rebels.

From 1572 onwards Hammond was an active member of the ecclesiastical court of high commission. In May 1581 he examined Alexander Briant, a Jesuit, under torture in the Tower, and later in the year conducted repeated examinations of Edmund Campion [q. v.], preparing points for discussion out of Sanders's 'De Monarchia' and Bristowe's 'Motives.' On 29 April 1582 he similarly dealt with Thomas Alfield, a seminary priest, who was racked in the Tower. He sat as M.P. for Rye in the parliament meeting on 23 Nov. 1585, and for West Looe in the parliament meeting in October 1586. He probably died in December 1589; his will, dated 21 Dec. 1589, was proved on 12 Oct. 1590. He was father of John Hammond, M.D. [q. v.]

Some of his legal opinions are in Brit. Mus. Harl. MS. 6993 art. 39, and Lansd. MS. 144 art. 24.

[Cooper's Athenæ Cantabr. ii. 75, 544; Strype's Annals, and his Lives of Parker, Grindal, Whitgift, and Aylmer; Howell's State Trials, i. 1078-84.]

S. L. L.