Hawkins, Sir John

born 1532, Plymouth, Devon, Eng.
died Nov. 12, 1595, at sea off Puerto Rico

English naval administrator and commander.

A relative of Sir Francis Drake, he became a merchant in the African trade and the first English slave trader. After a successful slave-trading voyage in 1562–63, a group that included Elizabeth I provided money for a second expedition. A Spanish fleet attacked him on his third voyage (1567–69, with Drake), beginning the quarrel between England and Spain that led to war in 1585. As treasurer (1577) and controller (1589) of the navy, he rebuilt older ships and helped design the faster ships that withstood the Spanish Armada in 1588. He later devised the naval blockade to intercept Spanish treasure ships. One of the foremost seamen of 16th-century England, he was the chief architect of the Elizabethan navy.

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▪ British magistrate and author
born , March 30, 1719, London
died May 21, 1789, London
 English magistrate, writer, and author of the first history of music in English.

      Hawkins was apprenticed as a clerk and became a solicitor. In 1759 a legacy enabled him to sell his practice. A Middlesex magistrate from 1761, Hawkins was elected chairman of the quarter sessions in 1765. He was knighted in 1772.

      Hawkins wrote, among other works, an annotated edition of Izaak Walton's Compleat Angler (1760) and legal articles. His biography of Samuel Johnson (Johnson, Samuel), published with his 1787 edition of Johnson's works, was superseded only by Boswell's. Hawkins was among Johnson's closest friends and was an executor of Johnson's will.

      Hawkins' General History of the Science and Practice of Music occupied him for 16 years. It was published in five volumes in 1776, a few weeks before Charles Burney's celebrated General History of Music. Hawkin's book continues to be invaluable as a mine of detailed information, some of it unavailable elsewhere, but it was eclipsed by Burney's.

▪ English naval commander
Hawkins also spelled  Hawkyns  
born 1532, Plymouth, Devon, Eng.
died Nov. 12, 1595, at sea off Puerto Rico
 English naval administrator and commander, one of the foremost seamen of 16th-century England and the chief architect of the Elizabethan navy.

      A kinsman of Sir Francis Drake, Hawkins began his career as a merchant in the African trade and soon became the first English slave trader. By carrying slaves from Guinea, in West Africa, to the Spanish West Indies, he provoked conflict with the Spaniards, who did not allow unauthorized foreigners to trade with their colonies. Hawkins' first slave-trading voyage, in 1562–63, on behalf of a syndicate of London merchants, was so profitable that a more prestigious group, including Queen Elizabeth I, provided the money for a second expedition (1564–65). His third voyage, with Drake (Drake, Sir Francis) in 1567–69, however, ended in disaster. After selling the slaves in the Caribbean, Hawkins was forced by needed repairs and lack of water to take refuge at San Juan de Ulua, near Veracruz, Mex. A Spanish fleet attacked him in the harbour, and, of the six ships, only the two commanded by Hawkins and Drake were able to escape. This episode marked the beginning of the long quarrel between England and Spain that eventually led to open war in 1585.

      Hawkins soon avenged himself; by gaining the confidence of Spain's ambassador to England, he learned the details of a conspiracy (the so-called Ridolfi plot of 1571 (Ridolfi, Roberto)) in which English Roman Catholics, with Spanish assistance, were to depose Queen Elizabeth and install Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, on the English throne. Hawkins notified his government, and the English plotters involved were arrested.

      In 1577 Hawkins succeeded his father-in-law, Benjamin Gonson, as treasurer of the navy; later (1589) he was to assume the additional duties of controller. His high naval post enabled him to direct the rebuilding of the older galleons and to contribute to the design of faster, more heavily armed ships. It was this new, swift-sailing navy that withstood the Spanish Armada in 1588. Hawkins was third in command during the Armada crisis (during which he was knighted), and afterward he devised the strategy—quite original for that period—of setting up a naval blockade at the Azores to intercept Spanish treasure ships returning from the New World.

      In 1595 Hawkins and Drake sailed with 27 ships to raid the Spanish West Indies. Hawkins died the night before an unsuccessful attack on Puerto Rico.

Additional Reading
James A. Williamson, Sir John Hawkins (1927, reprinted 1970), and Hawkins of Plymouth, 2nd ed. (1969).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Hawkins,Sir John — Haw·kins or Haw·kyns (hôʹkĭnz), Sir John. 1532 1595. English naval hero who commanded the rear squadron in the defeat of the Spanish Armada (1588). * * * …   Universalium

  • Hawkins, Sir John — (1532, Plymouth, Devon, Inglaterra–12 nov. 1595, frente a la costa de Puerto Rico). Administrador y comandante naval inglés. Pariente de Sir Francis Drake, se dedicó al comercio con África, y se convirtió en el primer traficante inglés de… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • HAWKINS, SIR JOHN —    1) an English navigator and admiral, born at Plymouth; was rear admiral of the fleet sent against the Armada and contributed to its defeat; has the unenviable distinction of having been the first Englishman to traffic in slaves, which he… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Sir John Hawkins — John Hawkins Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Sir John Hawkins (navigateur), 1532 1595, est un amiral anglais Sir John Hawkins (auteur), 1719 1789, est un écrivain britannique, ami et… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Hawkins, Sir Richard — ▪ English seaman Hawkins also spelled  Hawkyns   born c. 1560 died April 18, 1622, London       English seaman and adventurer whose Observations in His Voyage Into the South Sea (1622) gives the best extant idea of Elizabethan life at sea and was …   Universalium

  • Sir John Hawkins — noun English privateer involved in the slave trade; later helped build the fleet that in 1588 defeated the Spanish Armada (1532 1595) • Syn: ↑Hawkins, ↑Hawkyns, ↑Sir John Hawkyns • Instance Hypernyms: ↑privateer, ↑privateersman …   Useful english dictionary

  • Sir John Hawkyns — noun English privateer involved in the slave trade; later helped build the fleet that in 1588 defeated the Spanish Armada (1532 1595) • Syn: ↑Hawkins, ↑Hawkyns, ↑Sir John Hawkins • Instance Hypernyms: ↑privateer, ↑privateersman …   Useful english dictionary

  • Hawkyns,Sir John — Haw·kyns (hôʹkĭnz), Sir John. See Hawkins, Sir John. * * * …   Universalium

  • Hagarty, Sir John Hawkins — (1816 1900)    Born in Dublin. Educated at Trinity College there. Came to Canada, 1834. Studied law, and called to the bar of Upper Canada, 1840. Appointed puisne judge of the Court of Common Pleas, 1856; transferred to the Court of Queen s Bench …   The makers of Canada

  • John Hawkins (Musikhistoriker) — Sir John Hawkins Sir John Hawkins (* 30. März 1719 in London; † 21. Mai 1789 in London) war englischer Jurist und Musikhistoriker. Sir John Hawkins studierte Rechtswissenschaft und wirkte bis 1753 als Advokat und in verschiedenen Richterämtern.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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