Anthony Hammond (1668–1738) was an English politician and civil servant, known also as a poet and pamphleteer.
Born 1 September 1668, he 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. His mother was a Miss Amy Browne (died 1693) of Gloucestershire. He was educated at St Paul's School, and matriculated at St John's College, Cambridge in 1685.
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 January 1698), when Hammond was wounded in the thigh. In parliament he spoke principally on financial questions.
In July 1698 he was returned for the University of Cambridge, and was made M.A. as a member of St. John's College. 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 Robert Harley for the office of Speaker against Sir Edward Seymour and Sir Thomas Littleton. Littleton was elected 6 December 1698. This tract has been often reprinted. Hammond again represented the university in January 1700–1, but at the election in November 1701, though Edward Villiers, 1st Earl of Jersey, Lord Chamberlain, wrote to the university in his favour, he was defeated by Isaac Newton. He found consolation in penning some Considerations upon Corrupt Elections of Members to serve in Parliament in 1701. On 17 June of this year he had been appointed a commissioner for stating the public accounts. Under Godolphin's administration he was made a commissioner of the Navy in May 1702, 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 December 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.
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 November 1712, justifying the payments made by him to Portuguese troops.
His affairs became hopelessly involved, and he judged it best to retire to the Fleet Prison, and saved the remains of his estate for his eldest son. He occupied himself with literary pursuits.
Death, issue and character
Hammond died in the Fleet in 1738, but his estate was not administered until 8 April 1749. He married, 14 August 1694, at Tunbridge Wells, Kent, Jane, daughter of Sir Walter Clarges, 1st Baronet, and by this lady, who died in 1749, he had two sons: Thomas, who died childless about 1758; James Hammond (1710–1742), 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.
Thomas Hammond sold Somersham Place to the Duke of Manchester. Thomas Cooke, who formed Hammond's acquaintanceship in 1722, called him a flatterer of literary men. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society 30 November 1698 but had withdrawn by 1718. According to Thomas Hearne, Hammond attempted to assassinate the Old Pretender in 1715.
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.’), London, 1720. He claimed some pieces of his own which had been ascribed to others, as the Ode on Solitude to Roscommon. In 1721 he permitted the publication of his Solitudinis Munus: or, Hints for Thinking (anon.), London, 1721. He also wrote a reasoned retrospect of the South Sea Bubble 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 £93,600,000, involving a loss of £14,040,000.
Hammond prefixed to Walter Moyle's Works a memoir (signed ‘A. H.’). They had been intimate friends from 1690. Hammond contributed a ‘character’ of Edward Russell, 1st Earl of Orford to The Present State of the Republick of Letters for October 1730, from which Robert Samber drew his information for a verse eulogy on Orford in 1731, and wrote also another financial pamphlet entitled The National Debt as it stood at Michaelmas 1730, stated and explained (anon.), London, 1731.
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.
- "Hammond, Anthony (HMNT685A)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.