from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Having too much weight aloft; hence, top-heavy.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The Spaniards bought her from a New York millionaire, but she was an old model then, and they have top-hampered her with armor and guns until they have knocked what little speed she had out of her.
General Burnside, whose anxiety for the fate of his army was intense, many of the vessels on which the troops were embarked being nothing more than huge top-hampered river steamers, with projecting guards that would smash up like cardboard if fairly struck by a sea.
She certainly looks singularly top-hampered, -- altogether unlike any British ship that I have ever seen.