Ham (Somme)

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Coat of arms of Ham
Ham (France)
region Hauts-de-France
Department Somme
Arrondissement Péronne
Canton Ham (main town)
Community association Est de la Somme
Coordinates 49 ° 45 '  N , 3 ° 4'  E Coordinates: 49 ° 45 '  N , 3 ° 4'  E
height 57-84 m
surface 9.5 km 2
Residents 4,611 (January 1, 2017)
Population density 485 inhabitants / km 2
Post Code 80400
INSEE code
Website http://www.ville-ham.fr/

Town hall, in front of it the statue of General Maximilien Foy

Ham is a French municipality with 4611 inhabitants (at January 1, 2017) in the department of Somme in the region of Hauts-de-France . Administratively, Ham is assigned to the Arrondissement of Péronne . The municipality is the main town ( chef-lieu ) of the canton of the same name .


The small town with 4611 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2017) lies on the Somme Canal and is located in the former county of Vermandois on the eastern edge of the Somme department (and thus on the border with the Aisne department ), 58 km east-southeast of Amiens .

In 1965 the originally independent municipality of Estouilly was incorporated; the former municipality of Saint-Sulpice followed in 1966.


The place was first mentioned in 932 as the property of Lord Seigneur Erard , the younger son of the Count of Ponthieu . A short time later, the city was conquered by Heribert II of Vermandois . Between the 12th and 14th centuries, the fiefdom was held by a dynasty descended from the Counts of Vermandois. The last representative of this line, Marie de Ham , sold it to Enguerrand VII. De Coucy . The rulership of the de Coucy family changed hands several times. First the House of Orléans came into play, then the Duchy of Bar , later the House of Luxembourg , even later the House of Bourbon-Vendôme until it finally fell to the French crown under Henry IV .

coat of arms

On an azure blue background a silver wall with four battlements - built in black, surmounted by a fortification tower of the same color and texture - the castle gate open and transparent, the tower crowned by two golden flags.

Population development

year 1936 1946 1954 1962 1968 1975 1982 1990 1999 2009
Residents 3,108 3,166 3,598 4,204 5,697 6,074 6,041 5,532 5,400 5,085

Fortress of Ham

Entrance to the fortress of Ham
The State Prison in Ham Fortress, 1853. Graphic by C. Schmetzen.

The origin of the fortress of Ham (French: Forteresse de Ham , also Château de Ham or Fort de Ham ) is not known. It was restored for the first time in the 13th century by the landlord Odet IV and a second time in the 15th century by John II of Luxembourg . The latter's nephew, Ludwig I of Luxembourg , expanded it into a massive feudal fortress in 1441, which was subsequently fiercely contested. The round donjon with a diameter of 33 meters was also 33 meters high and the walls were 11 meters thick.

In the early modern period , the fortress was besieged and conquered several times, in particular in 1557 by the Spanish King Philip II. Under Henry IV , it fell to the French crown. At the end of the 17th century it was expanded by Vauban .

After that, the fortress was converted into a state prison. Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, the future French Emperor Napoleon III. After an unsuccessful attempted coup, he was held there for six years, from 1840 to 1846, until he was finally able to escape, disguised as a bricklayer , under the false name of Badinguet .

In 1870, during the Franco-Prussian War , the former fortress was a base of the Second French Northern Army . The French army then had to capitulate and the city was taken by the Prussian army .

During the First World War , the fortress was blown up by the Germans on March 19, 1917 (as was Coucy Castle a few days later ) on the orders of the Supreme Army Command . Today only a few ruins remain of the historically interesting building, which are picturesquely situated on the Somme. They have been a listed building since 1965.

Famous prisoners of the fortress

  • Jacques Cassard (1679–1740), French captain and privateer, died in Ham in 1740 after four years in prison.
  • Mirabeau (1749-1791) was sentenced to imprisonment in the fortress of Ham in 1787 for his writing Dénonciation de l'agiotage . However, he was warned in good time by friends and was able to leave for Liege .
  • Marquis de Sade (1740-1814) was sentenced to imprisonment in Ham in 1808 for his novella Justine . His family successfully appealed against the verdict because of his alleged poor health.
  • Marshal Moncey (1754-1842) was in custody for three months in Ham in 1815 because he refused to judge his former companion Marshal Ney as President of the Council of War .
  • Charles Louis Napoléon Bonaparte, later Emperor Napoleon III. , was sentenced to life imprisonment in Ham in 1840 after his second attempted coup , but was able to escape in 1846.
  • Ramón Cabrera (1806–1877), a leader of the Carlist , was brought to Ham fortress in 1840. After a few months, however, he was moved to the island of îles d'Hyères because of his poor health (pneumonia) .


Notre-Dame church
  • Notre-Dame church
  • town hall
  • Peltier monument
    Peltier Monument in Ham

City personalities

Twin cities

  • GermanyGermany Eisfeld , Thuringia, Germany

Individual evidence

  1. Charles Gomart: Ham, son château et ses prisonniers . 1864. New edition of Éditions Vague Verte, Paris, 2000.
  2. Entry no. PA00116172 in the Base Mérimée of the French Ministry of Culture (French)
  3. Forteresse de Ham on the French-language wikipedia
  4. CB Norman: The Corsairs of France , p. 153. Kessinger Publishing, Whitefish (Montana), 2011.
  5. ^ Friedrich August Koethe and Friedrich Arnold Brockhaus: Zeitgenossen , vol. 5, p. 97. FA Brockhaus, Mannheim, 1830.
  6. ^ Richard Seaver & Austryn Wainhouse: Appendix to the edition of Philosophy in the Bedroom by de Sade. Grove Press, New York, 1965.
  7. Sylvia Kahan: In search of new scales - Prince Edmond de Polignac , p. 11ff. University of Rochester Press, Rochester, 2009.
  8. Otto Wigand : (Ed.) Wigand's Conversations-Lexikon für alle Stände , vol. 6, p. 168. Leipzig, 1848
  9. ^ Gustave Vapereau: Dictionnaire universel des contemporains , Vol. 1, p. 374. Librairie de L. Hachette et Cie , Paris, 1858
  10. Conxa Rodríguez Vives: Ramón Cabrera, a l'Exili 47. Biblioteca Serra d'Or, Barcelona., 1989

Web links

Commons : Ham  - collection of images, videos and audio files