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William of Hambletons House, York

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
William Hamilton's House

In the civil parish of York.
In the historic county of Yorkshire.
Modern Authority of York.
1974 county of North Yorkshire.
Medieval County of Yorkshire Ainsty & York.

OS Map Grid Reference: SE602522
Latitude 53.96221° Longitude -1.08203°

William of Hambletons House, York has been described as a probable Fortified Town House.

There are no visible remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.

Description

Licence to crenellate issued to 'Willielmus de Hamelton, decanus ecclesiae Beati Petri Ebor' in 1302 for his house in York (mansum suum Cimeterio ejusdem ecclesiae contiguum muro de perta et calce firmare et kernellare).

A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1302 Feb 16 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).

Comments

Presumably this was William of Hambleton who became Royal chancellor in 1305.
Musson writes 'In 1280 Hamilton was given a house in York which had belonged to the notorious moneylender, Aaron the Jew (d. 1268). From 1285 he was himself engaged in moneylending enterprises (sometimes with his brother Adam), manipulating conveyances of land and realizing considerable profits.' If this was the house licenced then it would have already been defendable but further work to make this a strong house could have occurred.
The licence itself may be seen as a response of some sort to the licence granted to John of Caen for his houses in York in 1298. Certainly it seems unlikely that Hamilton would wait over 20 years before making a banking house defensible so the licence probably does not reflect the date of any actual work done. However, it may be the licence was for a different house as one might expect Aaron's house to be near to the castle and the licence specifies near the churchyard of the cathedral (St Peter's) on the other side of York from the castle. It may be the profits from banking allowed Hamilton to build a grand house, with decorative crennellations, in the liberty of St Peter probably around Goodramgate where houses of leading churchmen seem to have been concentrated.
Given map reference is for St Peter's cathedral.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated before 1 February 2016

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