Hamo Dapifer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Hamo Dapifer[1] (died c. 1100) (alias Haimo[2]) was an Anglo-Norman royal official under both King William I of England (r. 1066–1087) and his son King William II of England (r. 1087–1100). He held the office, from which his epithet derives, known in Latin as dapifer and in French seneschal, in English "steward", as well as the office of Sheriff of Kent.


Hamo was the son of Hamon Dentatus (died c. 1047), a Norman noble who held the lordship of Torigny-sur-Vire near Manche in Normandy. Hamon Dentatus rebelled against Duke William, later William the Conqueror, and died in about 1047.[3] Traditional pedigrees of the Grenville family of Stowe in the parish of Kilkhampton in Cornwall and of Bideford in Devon, dating from the 17th century when the family was raised to the Earldom of Bath erroneously gave the father of Robert FitzHamon (the most famous of the Hamo family) as Hamon Dentatus and omitted any mention of his true father Hamo Dapifer. This was despite William of Malmesbury having described Hamo Dentatus as avus ("grandfather") to Robert FitzHamon.[4] The erroneous descent was given official status when recited in the royal warrant[5] signed in 1661 by King Charles II creating titles of nobility for John Granville, 1st Earl of Bath (1628-1701).


Hamo was steward to both King William I and his son King William II.[6] He was acting as royal steward by 1069.[7] Hamo was appointed to the office of Sheriff of Kent in 1077 and held it until his death.[3] During the reign of William II, Hamo was one of five known stewards, the others being Eudo Dapifer, Eudo's brother Hubert of Ryes, Roger Bigod, 1st Earl of Norfolk, and Ivo Taillebois.[8]

The historian Emma Mason suggests that Hamo, along with Ranulf Flambard, Urse d'Abetot, Robert FitzHamon (Haimo's son), Roger Bigod and Eudo Dapifer, were the first recognizable Barons of the Exchequer under William II.[9] These men were often associated together as royal officials in government and jointly witnessed documents.[10] Hamo witnessed six writs of William II.[11] Hamo's involvement in the higher levels of government dates especially from King William II's absence from England in the late 1090s.[12] In 1099 when William II was in Normandy, Hamo was one of the main assistants to Flambard, who had been left as regent of England in the king's absence.[1]

According to Domesday Book, Hamo held lands in Kent, Surrey, and Essex, his estates in Essex being larger than those in the other two counties.[13]

Hamo was still witnessing royal documents in September 1099,[14] and was one of the witnesses to the letter which King Henry I (1100-1135), William II's brother and successor, wrote to Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, shortly after his accession.[15] Hamo died shortly after witnessing these documents.[3]


Hamo had three sons:

Godehilde, married Hamon-aux-Dents or Hamon Le Dentu or Hamo Dapifer, he was the 1st Baron of Le Creully and he was Lord over Creully, Torigni, Évrecy & St. Scolasse-sur-Sarthe, but he lost all his lands, after trying to kill William the bastard, in the battle of Val-ès-Dunes, Normandy, France


  1. ^ a b Hollister Henry I pp. 363-364
  2. ^ Barlow William Rufus pp. 188-189
  3. ^ a b c d Keats-Rohan Domesday People p. 242
  4. ^ Round, p.156
  5. ^ Recited in Round, p.140
  6. ^ a b Green "Robert fitz Haimon (d. 1107)" Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  7. ^ Douglas William the Conqueror p. 290
  8. ^ Barlow William Rufus p. 279
  9. ^ Mason William II p. 75
  10. ^ Barlow William Rufus p. 202
  11. ^ Barlow William Rufus p. 93
  12. ^ Barlow William Rufus pp. 209-211
  13. ^ Barlow William Rufus p. 140 and footnote204
  14. ^ Barlow William Rufus p. 407
  15. ^ Barlow William Rufus p. 420
  16. ^ Sanders, I.J. English Baronies: A Study of their Origin and Descent 1086-1327, Oxford, 1960, p.6