HANAPER, properly a case or basket to contain a " hanap " (O. Eng. hncep: 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. The word " hanaper " (Med. Lat. hanaperium) was used particularly in the English chancery of a wicker basket in which were kept writs and other documents, and hence it became the name of a department of the chancery, now abolished, under an officer known as the clerk or warden of the hanaper, into which were paid fees and other moneys for the sealing of charters, patents, writs, etc., and from which issued certain writs under the great seal (S. R. Scargill-Bird, Guide to the Public Records (1908). In Ireland it still survives 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.
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.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)