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Hanaper, properly a case or basket to contain a "hanap" (O. Eng. kneels: cf. Dutch nap), a drinking vessel, a goblet with a foot or stem; the term which is still used by antiquaries for medieval stemmed cups. The famous Royal Gold Cup in the British Museum is called a "hanap" in the inventory of Charles VI of France of 1391.
From "hanaper" is derived the modern "hamper," a wicker or rush basket used for the carriage of game, fish, wine, etc. The verb " to hamper," to entangle, obstruct, hinder, especially used of disturbing the mechanism of a lock or other fastening so as to prevent its proper working, is of doubtful origin. It is probably connected with a root seen in the Icel. hemja, to restrain, and Ger. hemmen, to clog.
For another usage, see Alienation Office.
Clerk of the Hanaper
Clerk of the Hanaper became an office in the department of the chancery, now abolished. The clerk, also known as warden of the hanaper, was paid fees and other moneys for the sealing of charters, patents, writs, etc., and from which issued certain writs under the great seal. In Ireland it survived until 1949 in the office of the Clerk of the Crown and Hanaper, from which are issued writs for the return of members of parliament for Ireland and for the election of Representative Peers.
- SR Scargill-Bird, Guide to the Public Records (1908)