Hamelin de Ballon
Hamelin de Ballon (or Baalun, Baalan, Balun, Balodun, Balon, etc.), (b ca. 1060, died 5 March 1105/6, was an early Norman Baron and the first Baron Abergavenny and Lord of Over Gwent and Abergavenny; he also served William Rufus.
Hamelin is traditionally made son of a Drogo (or Dru) de Ballon, lord of Ballon, today a commune in the department of Sarthe, Pays-de-la-Loire. It was located within the medieval County of Maine, invaded and conquered by Duke William of Normandy in the early 1060s, just before his invasion of England.
Rewards and duties
Hamelin de Ballon and his brother Wynebald de Ballon appear first to have come to England during the reign of William II. Wynebald was granted lands in Gloucestershire and Somerset out of those forfeited by Turstin FitzRolf, and was made seneschal of Caerleon, referring to himself as one of Henry I's most important noblemen. Hamelin was given lands in south east Wales, in what was to become the Welsh Marches, and in Wiltshire, where he held Castle Eaton, Cheverel and Sutton. He sited the early motte and bailey version of Abergavenny Castle and organised the early Norman protection of the settlement of what became the town of Abergavenny. Together with his brother Wynebald, he also founded the Benedictine Priory in the town as an alien cell of St Vincent, Le Mans, ca. 1100. He was already a benefactor of the latter foundation.
Hamelin had two sons, both of whom predeceased him without issue, William de Ballon and Matthew de Ballon. His heirs were thus his two daughters. Emmeline de Ballon married Reginald, son of Roger, Earl of Hereford. His other daughter's name is unknown, but she was the mother of Hugh de Gundeville, administrator and justiciar of king Henry II.
Hamelin was succeeded in some of the lands and the de facto title Baron Abergavenny by a favourite of king Henry I of England, Brian Fitz Count, who held it, like his other lands, in right of his wife.
- The name is usually modernised to conform with the modern French cartographic spelling of Ballon, Sarthe
- Hamelin de Barham; Hamelin de Ballon (Balun / Baeluns) , lord of Much Marcle, Herefordshire; lord of Abergavenny , on site Monastice Wales. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
- J. Horace Round, "The Family of Ballon and the Conquest of South Wales", Studies in Peerage and Family History (1901), pp. 181-215.
- Event detail for site: Abergavenny c. 1100: Foundation, on site Monastice Wales. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
- Sanders, I.J. English Baronies: A Study of their Origin and Descent 1086-1327, Oxford, 1960, p.66, feudal barony of Much Marcle, note 2
- Lost in Time: the other daughter of Hamelin de Ballon. Foundations v.3, no.3 (2010) 179-215 https://www.academia.edu/1818131/Lost_in_Time_the_other_daughter_of_Hamelin_de_Ballon
- Round, J. Horace (1885). . In Stephen, Leslie (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. 1. London: Smith, Elder & Co.