HAMO DE CREVECŒUR
The Conqueror and His Companions
by J.R. Planché, Somerset Herald. London: Tinsley Brothers, 1874.
Wace speaks of a Sire "de Cregrave;vecœur," who, in company with those of Driencourt and Briencort, followed the Duke wherever he went in the battle. I think he might have spoken in the plural, for it is highly probable that two of the family were in the Duke's army.
You have already heard of Hamon-aux-Dents, or "with the teeth," who was killed in the battle of Val-egrave;s-Dunes in 1045. He left two sons, the eldest Hamo or Hamon, who became Dapifer to King William, and the second Robert, both of whom subscribe a charter of the Conqueror to the Abbey of St. Denis, at Paris. The latter appears to have died without legitimate issue before Domesday was compiled. Hamo, the Dapifer, was sheriff of Kent, and one of the judges in the cause between Lanfranc and Odo, Bishop of Bayeux. He had two sons, the eldest, Robert Fitz Hamon, a prominent personage in the reign of Rufus and of Henry I, the founder of Tewkesbury and father of Mabel, wife of Robert de Caen, Earl of Gloucester. Of the second son, Hamo, nothing appears absolutely known, but I believe him to be the progenitor of that family of Cregrave;vecœur, the last male of which, Hamon de Cregrave;vecœur, married, temp. Richard I, Maude d'Avranches, the great heiress of Folkestone. But who then was the Sire de Cregrave;vecœur who fought at Senlac? We must hark back to examine that question.
Hamon-aux-Dents was Lord of Thorigny and Creulli; but, dying in rebellion, his estates would be forfeited, and we consequently find his grandson, Robert Fitz Hamon, coming over to England with Duke William, described as a young man, Lord of Astremeville, in Normandy,* [Dugdale, Mon. Ang. vol. i. p. 154] a designation soon lost sight of in the great honour of Gloucester bestowed upon him by Rufus, his conquest of Glamorgan, and the lordships of a host of manors and castles seized or given to him by Jestin ap Gurgunt for his assistance against Rhys, Prince of South Wales, in 1091.
His father is only known as Hamo the Dapifer, or "Hamo Vice-comes," holding certain lands in England, but not as the possessor of any seigneurie in Noranandy. Hasted, however, asserts that his familyname was Cregrave;vecœur, implying, of course, his possession of a fief of that name, Cregrave;vecœur-en-Auge, in the arrondissement of Lisieux, which might have passed to his son Hamon, Robert succeeding to Astremeville.
If Hasted had satisfactory authority for his assertion, and I have found nothing whatever to contradict or throw the least doubt upon it, Hamo the Dapifer must surely have been "the Sire de Cregrave;vecœur" of the Roman de Rou. Robert Fitz Hamon, we know, had no male issue but Hamon; Fitz Hamon I take to be the father of the first Robert de Cregrave;vecœur of whom we are cognizant, who, in 1119, founded the Priory of Leeds, in Kent, and had, by his wife Rohais, three sons, Adam, Elias, and Daniel, and a daughter named Gunnora.
He was succeeded by Daniel, who, in the 12th of Henry II, on assessment of aid for the marriage of the King's daughter, certified to the possession of fourteen knights' fees "de veteri feoffemento," and his son and successor, another Robert, was the father of Hamon, the last of the race and name, who married the heiress of Folkestone.
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