HAWKINS was the patriarch of the great sea-dogs of Elizabeth's reign. Frobisher, Drake, Gilbert, Candish, Ralegh, and others, who subsequently made voyages of discovery, were but boys when he was a man of mark (with the exception perhaps of Frobisher), learning to profit by the wisdom and experience of John Hawkins, the pioneer of English seamen across the Atlantic.
Edmund Spenser, in his "Cohn Clout's Come Home Again," speaks of Sir John Hawkins as Proteus. "And Proteus eke with him does drive his herd Of stinking seals and porcpises together; With hoary head and dewy-dropping beard, Compelling them which way he list and whether.
Admiral Sir John Hawkins was one of the most distinguished men of his time: closely connected with the history of our navy, for forty-eight years a gallant commander at sea, and an able administrator on shore. He was the second son of William Hawkins the elder, by Joan Trelawny. Born at Plymouth in 1532, as a youth-like the rest of his family-he made mathematics and navigation his study, and soon began to acquire knowledge, and to make good use of his skill and learning.
Hakluyt tells us that "Master John Hawkins," previous to his first long voyage in 1562, had made several voyages to Spain, Portugal, and the Canary Islands, where he obtained information about the state of West India. Amongst other things he learnt that negroes were in demand at Hispaniola (St. Domingo), and that they could be easily procured upon the coast of Guinea. He resolved to make trial of this, and communicated his plan to his friends, the greatest traders in London-namely, Sir Lionel Ducket, Sir Thomas Lodge, Mr. Gonson (his father-in-law), Sir William Winter, D Mr. Bronfield, and others-who were pleased with and contributed largely to the enterprise. Three good ships were immediately provided-the Solomon, of 120 tons, with Hawkins himself as "General" in command; the Swallow, of 100 tons, Captain Thomas Hampton; and the Yonas, a bark of 40 tons, "wherein the master supplied the captain's room, in which small fleet M. Hawkins took with him not above 100 men, for fear of sickness and other inconveniences ;" and "this little squadron was the first English fleet which navigated the West Indian seas. This voyage opened those seas to the English."
Hawkins sailed on his first long voyage in October, 1562, and in his course touched first at Teneriffe, where he received friendly entertainment. Thence he went to Sierra Leone, where he stayed, and got possession of 300 negroes, with other merchandise. With this cargo he sailed "over the ocean sea" to St. Domingo, where he peaceably exchanged the negroes at the ports of Isabella, Port Plata, and Monte Christi for such a quantity of merchandise, that besides his own three ships, which were laden with hides, ginger, sugars, and some quantity of pearls, he also freighted two hulks with goods, which he sent to Spain, in command of Captain Hampton, to dispose of the merchandise at Cadiz. This cargo was confiscated, and Hawkins lost half his profits. The loss was estimated by him at 40,000 ducats. "Fearless of man or devil, he thought of going in person to Madrid, and taking Philip by the beard in his own den."* Also an order was sent to the West Indies, by the Spanish Government, that for the future no English ship should be allowed to trade there. Having dispatched the hulks for Spain, Hawkins departed from St. Domingo and sailed for England, where he arrived in September, 1563.
John Hawkins is often stigmatised as the first Englishman engaged in the slave trade. He was not, as his first voyage to Guinea and the West Indies was in 1562, while nine years previously, "in 1553, John Lok was tempted to the African shores by the ivory and gold dust; and he (first of Englishmen), discovering that the negroes were a people of beastly living, without God, law, religion, or commonwealth, gave some of them opportunity of a life in creation, and carried them off as slaves. It is noticeable that on their first appearance on the West Coast of Africa the English visitors were received by the natives with marked cordiality. The slave trade had hitherto been a monopoly of the Spaniards and Portuguese. It had been established in concert with the native chiefs, as a means of relieving the tribes of bad subjects,
who would otherwise have been hanged. Thieves, murderers, and suchlike were taken down to the depots and sold to the West Indian traders."*
"No blame attaches to the conduct of John Hawkins in undertaking a venture which all the world in those days looked upon as legitimate, and even as beneficial. It was in 1517 that Charles V. issued royal licences for the importation of negroes into the West Indies, and in 1551 a licence for importing 17,000 negroes was offered for sale. The measure was adopted from philanthropic motives, and was intended to preserve the Indians. It was looked upon as prudent and humane, even if it involved some suffering on the part of a far inferior race. The English were particularly eager to enter upon the slave trade; and by the treaty of Utrecht, in 1713, England at length obtained the 'asiento,' giving her the exclusive right to carry on the slave trade between Africa and the Spanish Indies for thirty years. So strong was the party in favour of this trade in England, that the contest for its abolition was continued for forty-eight years, from 1759 to 1807. It is not therefore John Hawkins alone who can justly be blamed for the slave trade, but the whole English people during 250 years, who must all divide the blame with him."**
"To himself" as Mr. ~Vorth observes, "as to all but a very few among his contemporaries, his deeds were not only allowable, but praisnworthy. The Queen and many men of name shared in the expeditions. The sea-dogs of those days were neither slavers nor buccaneers; they regarded themselves 'as the elect, to whom God had given the heathen for an inheritance.' Now we are content with the heathen land only; but 'You take my life When you do take the means whereby I live."' Merchant of Venice, Act IV., Scene I.
"It is interesting to note that in all the early narratives of the slave trade there is no intimation that it involved cruelty or any form of wrong."
On the 18th October, 1564, Captain John Hawkins sailed from Plymouth on his second long voyage in command of the Queen's famous ship the Jesus of Lubek, *** of 700 tons, and as "General" of the Solomon, 140 tons, and her two barques the Tiger of 50, and the Swallow of 30 tons, with 170 men. His sailing orders concluded with the quaint advice from Queen Elizabeth, to "serve God daily, love one another, preserve your victuals, beware of fire, and keepe good companie." ****
* FROUDE. ** CLEMENT5 MARKHAM, Introduction to Hawkins' Voyages. ***Sia. Pa. Dom. (vol. xxxvii. No.61). **** IIAKLUYT.
This expedition was on a much larger scale than the previous one, and was prolonged so as to become an important voyage of discovery. The Earls of Pembroke and Leicester were among the adventurers.
John Sparke, who sailed with Hawkins, wrote a most interesting account of the voyage, with details respecting the various places in Africa and the West Indies touched at, including an account of Florida. It is the first narrative of a Plymouth expedition that was written and published in England by an eye-witness. Sparke was subsequently Mayor of Plymouth, in 1583-4 and 1591-2. The little fleet departed from Plymouth with a fair wind, but on the 21st October were overtaken by a severe storm which obliged them to put into Ferrol, where they remained a few days, then proceeding on their voyage. Arrived at the Isle of Palmes, Teneriffe, Canaries, at first the in- habitants were unwilling to make friends, but afterwards Pedro de Ponte, Governor of Santa Cruz, entertained Hawkins most kindly. Thence they sailed to the Cape Verde Islands, to Sambula, and to Bymba, where the assault of the town brought disaster; for the Portuguese told Hawkins that this place contained great quantities of gold, and that it would yield one hundred slaves, which determined him to attack. Meeting with unexpected and considerable resistance, the English were driven to their boats, having procured ten negroes only, with the loss of seven of their best men, including Field, Captain of the Solomon, besides twenty-seven wounded. Hawkins felt this loss deeply, although he in "a singular wise manner carried himself, with countenance very cheerful outwardly, as though he did little weigh the death of his men, nor yet the great hurt of the rest; although his heart inwardly was broken in pieces for it." The chief blame for this misadventure was laid to the Portuguese, who were "not to be trusted."
From Bymba they departed to Taggarin. Here the Swallow sailed up the river Casseroes to traffic, and they saw great towns of the negroes, and canoes that held sixty men apiece. "On the 18th January, at night, we departed from Taggarin, being bound for the West Indies," writes John Sparke; but just before they sailed, "the King of Sierra Leona had made all the power he could, to take some of us, partly for the desire he had to see what kind of people we were that had spoiled his people at the Idols, whereof he had news before our coming, and also upon other occasions provoked by the Tangomangos; but sure we were that the army was come down, by means that in the evening we saw such a monstrous fire, made by the watering place. If these men had come down in the evening, they had done us great displeasure, for that we were on shore filling water."
Sailing towards the West Jndies they were becalmed for twenty-one days, at intervals having contrary winds and some tornadoes. This delay shortened the supply of victuals and water, and after some inconvenience they arrived at Dorninica, where, and in the adjacent islands, "the cannibals are the most desperate warriors that are in the Indies by the Spaniards' report, who are never able to conquer them." None of the natives appeared, and departing thence Hawkins sailed for Santa Fe, where there was a good watering place, and the natives presented them with "a kind of corn called maize, in bigness of pease, the ear whereof is much like to a teasel, but a span in length, having thereon a number of grains. Also they brought down to us hens, potatoes, and pines," which were exchanged for beads, knives, whistles, and other trifles. "These potatoes be the most delicate roots that may be eaten, and do far exceed their parsnips or carrots."
Potatoes * were first imported into Europe, in 1565 by Hawkins, from Santa Fe in Spanish America; planted first in Ireland by Sir Walter Ralegh, who had an estate there. A total ignorance of what part of the plant was proper food had nearly prevented any further attention to its culture; for the green apples on the stem were supposed to be the eatable part; and these being boiled, and found unpalatable, the idea of growing potatoes was abandoned. Accident discovered the real fruit, owing to the ground being turned over through necessity that season, when a plentiful crop was discovered underground, which, being boiled, proved good to the taste, whereupon the cultivation of potatoes was continued. Some authors say that Sir John imported potatoes in 1563, in September, on his return from his first voyage to America.
Departing from Santa F6, they directed their course along the coast to the town of Burburata, where, having ended their traffic without disturbance, they set sail for Curacao. Here they "had traffic for hides, and found great refreshing both of beef, mutton, and lambs. The increase of cattle in this island is marvellous, which from a dozen of each sort brought thither by the Governor, in twenty-five years had a hundred thousand at the least. We departed from Curacao being not a little to the rejoicing of our Captain and us, that we had ended our traffic; for notwithstanding our sweet meat we had sour sauce by reason of our riding so open at sea, and contrary winds blowing."
* These were sweet (convolvulus) potatoes.
Passing a little island called Aruba, they came to Rio de la Ilauche, so called from the first Spanish settlers giving the natives a hatchet, to show them where water might be found. Here they landed, and met with some difficulty about exchanging goods, on account of the order sent from Spain to have no dealings with the English. On hearing of this order, "our Captain replied, that he was in an Armada of the Queen's Majesty of England," and driven by contrary winds to come into those parts, where he hoped to find such friendship as he should do in Spain, in that there was amity betwixt their princes." But seeing that "contrary to all reason they would withstand his traffic," Hawkins ordered a cannon to be fired to summon the town, and with a hundred men in armour went ashore; whereupon the people came to the shore in battle array. Hawkins, "perceiving. them so brag," discharged two guns from his boats, "which put them in no small fear . . at every shot they fell flat to the ground, and as we approached near unto them they broke their array, and dispersed themselves for fear of the ordinance." Hawkins was putting his men in order to march forward and encounter the enemy, when they sent a messenger with a flag of truce -and a friendly traffic was agreed to.
"In this river we saw many crocodiles of sundry bignesses, but some as big as a boat, with four feet, a long broad mouth, and a long tail, whose skin is so hard that a sword will not pierce it." Hawkins and his sailors disliked the alligators, or crocodiles as they called them. John Sparke writes, "His nature is ever, when he would have his praie, to crie and sobbe like a Christian bodie to provoke them to come to him, and then he snatcheth at them; and thereupon came this proverbe that is applied unto women when they weepe Lachrymae Crocodile, the meaning whereof is that as the crocodile when lie crieth goeth then about to deceive, so doth a woman most commonly when she weepeth."
"Shakspere, who was about this time writing his 'King Henry VI.,' apparently borrowed from Sir John Hawkins this story, and introduced it." "As the mournful crocodile With sorrow snares relenting passengers." 2 Henry VI. iii. I.
They now departed for St. Domingo and Jamaica, and on the 20th June fell in with the western end of Cuba. With a north-east wind they ranged along the coast of Florida, at that time supposed to be an island, the captain in the ship's pinnace going into every creek to enquire of the Floridians where the French colonists dwelt. Sailing up the May river, they discovered three French ships, and obtained information that M. Laudonniere with his soldiers were some miles higher up the river, in a fort which they had built. Here Hawkins found and greatly relieved the distressed Frenchmen, giving them provisions and other necessaries, and to help them to return home, "we spared them one of our barks of 50 tons."
"The Floridians when they travel have a kind of herb dried Ltobaccoj, which with a cane, and an earthen cup in the end, with fire, and the dried herbs put together; do suck through the cane the smoke thereof, which smoke satisfieth their hunger, and herewith they live four or five days without meat or drink, and this all the Frenchemen used for this purpose: yet do they hold opinion withall, that it causeth water and phlegm to void from their stomachs." ~
Sir Richard Hawkins observes, in his Voyage to the South Sea, that "with drinking [smoking] of tobacco it is said that the Roebucke was burned in the range at Dartmouth."
The introduction of tobacco into England is attributed to Sir John Hawkins, on his return from his third voyage in January, 1569, by Stow; and also by John Taylor, the Water Poet, in his Prosaical Postscript to the Old, Old, Very Old Man, &c. (4to., 1635). Another account says that Sir John introduced tobacco into England in 1564, which seems the more likely, as tobacco is mentioned in the account of this second voyage.
The Floridians did not esteem gold or silver, being ignorant of their value. They wore fiat pieces of gold as ornaments. "As for mines, the Frenchmen can hear of none, and how they come by this gold and silver they know not. The Frenchmen obtained pearls of them of great bigness, but they were black, by means of roasting them."
From hence Hawkins departed, on the 28th July, navigating the coasts of Virginia and Newfoundland, upon his homeward voyage, after taking leave of the French, who were to follow with all diligence. Contrary winds, however, prolonged the voyage "in such manner that victuals scanted with us, so that we were divers in despair of ever coming home, after which with a good large wind the 20 of September we came to Padstow in Cornwall God be thanked, in safety, with the loss of 20 persons in all the voyage, and profitable to the venturers of the said voyage, as also to the whole Realm, in bringing home both gold, silver, pearls, and other jewels great store. His name be praised for ever more. Amen. The names of certain gentlemen that were in this voyage: M. John Hawkins; M. John Chester, Sir William Chester's son; M. Anthony Parkhurst; M. Fitzwilliam; M. Thomas Woorley; M. Edward Lacy, with divers others." **
* SPARKE. ** HAKLUYT.
WHEREAS the Quene's Matie did of late at the petition and desier of the right honorable The Erle of Pembrock and the Erle of Leyceter graunte vnto their honors her Maties shipp called the Jesus with ordinance tackle and apparell, heinge in sorte ahle and meete to serve a voyage to the Costes of Affrica and America, which shipp with her ordinance tackle and apparell was praysed by ffowre indifferent persons to be worth ij xij xvs. ijd. [£2012 15s. 2d.] for the answeringe wherof to the Quenes Matie the said Erles did become bounde to her Highnes either to redeliver the said shipp the Jesus at Gillingham hefore the feast of Christmas next comynge with her ordnance tackle and apparell in as good and ample manner as the same was at the tyme of the recevinge, or els to paie unto her Highues the foresaid £2012 15s. 2d. at that daie. And nowe forasmuche as we do understand that the said shipp the Jesus is returned into this realme in savetie from the viadge aforesaid pretended, and presentlie remayneth in the west countrie in a harborowgh called Padstowe, from whence she cannot be convenyently browght abowt to Cillingham hefore the springe of the next yere, and that the said Lordes are contented to allowe unto her Matie as well for the wearing of the said shipp her ordinance tackle and apparell As also for the chardges which may be sustayned for the bringinge abowt of the said shipp to the harborowgh of Gillingham the some of v'cli [£500] readie monney to be paid into her Higlines office of the Admyraltie to Benyamyn Gonson her graces Treasorer whiche some of £500 we her Highnes officers whose names are underwritten do thinke the same suffieyent for the repayringe and firnyshinge of the ordinance tackle and apparell with the said shipp in as ample manner as the same was delivered to the said Erles. Written the xxiijth of October 1565.
W.Wynter. WILLM. HOLSTOCK. BENJAMIN GoNson. G.(?) Wynter.*
Hawkins is the name of a county of Tennessee, U.S. (area 750 square miles), commemorating the discoveries of Hawkins during this voyage.
In the account of "The Arrival and Courtesy of M. Hawkins to the Distressed Frenchmen in Florida, recorded both in French and English in the history of Laudonierre, wntten by himself; and published in Paris 1586," M. Laudonierre speaks of Hawkins's great kindness to the French, "wherein doubtless he hath won the reputation of a good and charitable man, deserving to be esteemed as much of us all as if he had saved our lives."
These voyages obtained for Hawkins a great reputation as a seaman, and also gained for him, to a large extent, the confidence of Queen Elizabeth and the Government. * Sta. Pa. Dom. (Eliz.)
Hawkins thought it prudent to make light of his victory over the King of Spain. "I have always," he said in a letter to Queen Elizabeth, "been a help to all Spaniards and Portugals that have come in my way, without any form or prejudice offered by me to any of them, although many times in this tract they have been under my power."* "I met him in the palace," wrote the Spanish Ambassador in London to King Philip, in November, "and invited him to dine with me. He gave me a full account of his voyage, keeping back only the way in which he had contrived to trade at our ports. He assured me, on the contrary, that he had given the greatest satisfaction to all the Spaniards with whom he had had dealings, and had received full permission from the governors of the towns where he had been. The vast profit made by the voyage had excited other merchants to undertake similar expeditions. Hawkins himself is going out again next May, and the thing needs immediate attention. I might tell the Queen that, by his own confession, he had traded in ports prohibited by your Majesty, and require her to punish him, but I must request your Majesty to give me full and clear instructions what to do."**
"Accidents delayed the equipment of Hawkins's fleet until October. Meanwhile the remonstrances of Philip had their effect; and just as Hawkins was on the point of starting, a letter arrived at Plymouth from Cecil, forbidding him in the Queen's name to traffic at places privileged by the King of Spain, and requiring from him a bond in £500 to this effect before his vessels started. Hawkins executed the bond 31 Oct., 1566, and dispatched the ships, himself remaining at home." Of this expedition no detailed record exists, but in all probability it was a successful voyage, and paved the way for his third famous expedition.
In the early part of the year 1567 Hawkins sailed to the relief of the French Protestants. On returning from France, while awaiting the Queen's orders with the fleet at Plymouth, an amusing incident happened, of which Sir Richard Hawkins writes an account. "I being of tender years, there came a fleet of Spaniards of above 50 sail, bound for Flanders, to fetch the Queen, Donna Anna de Austria, last wife to Philip II. of Spain, which entered betwixt the island and the main without vayling their top-sayles, or taking in of their flags: which my father, Sir John Hawkins (admirall of a fleet of her majesties ships, then riding in Cattwater), perceiving, commanded his gunner to shoot at the flag of the admiral, that they might thereby see their error: which, notwithstanding, they persevered arrogantly to keep displayed; whereupon the gunner at the next shot lact the admiral through and through, whereby the Spaniards finding that the matter began to grow to earnest, took in their flags and top-sayles, and so ran to an anchor.
* Cambridge MS. ** Simancas MS.
The general presently sent his boat, with a principal personage to expostulate the cause and reason of that proceeding; but my father would not permit him to come into his ship, nor to hear his message; but by another gentleman commanded him to return, and to tell his general, that in as much as in the Queen's port and chamber, he had neglected to do the acknowledgment and reverence which all owe unto her majestic (especially her ships being present), and comming with so great a navie, he could not but give suspicion by such proceeding of malicious intention, and therefore required him, that within twelve hours he should depart the port, upon pain to be held as a common enemy, and to proceed against him with force. Which answer the general understanding, p£esently in the same boat came to the Jesus of Lubek, and craved licence to speak with my father, which at first was denied him, but upon the second intreaty was admitted to enter the ship, and to parley." The Spaniard then demanded if there was war between England and Spain, and was answered "that his arrogant manner of proceeding, usurping the queen his mistresses right, as much as in him lay, had given sufficient cause for breach of the peace, and that he [Hawkins] purposed presently to give notice thereof to the queen and her council, and in the mean time, that he might depart. The Spanish admiral replied that he knew not any offence he had commit ted, and that he would be glad to know wherein he had misbehaved himself. My father seeing he pretended to escape by ignorance, began to put him in mind of the custom of Spain, and France, and many other ports, and that he could by no means be ignorant of that which was common right to all princes in their kingdoms; demanding if an English fleet should come into any port of Spain (the kings majesties ships being present), if the English should carry their flags in the top, whether the Spanish would not shoot them down and if they persevered, if they would not beat them out of their port. The Spanish general confessed his fault, pleaded ignorance not malice, and submitted himself to the penalty my father [Hawkins] would impose; but intreated that their princes (through them) might not come to have any jar. My father a while (as though offended), made himself hard to be intreated, but in the end, all was shut up by his acknowledgement, and the ancient amity renewed, by feasting each other aboard and ashore. The self-same fleet, at their return from Flanders, meeting with her majesties ships in the Channel, though sent to accompany the aforesaid queen, was constrained during the time they were with the English, to vayle their flags, and to acknowledge that which all must do that pass through the English seas."
Immediately before his third voyage, efforts being made to restrain his actions, Hawkins protested that it would be the ruin of himself and other' if his expedition was prevented, and addressed the following letter to his sleeping partner, the Queen
John Hawkins to the Queen.
Mv SOvERAIGNE GOOD LADY AND MYSTRES, -Your Highnes may he advertised that this daye being the xvj'th of September the Portyngales who should have dyrected us this pretended enterpryse have fledd and as I have certayne understanding taken passadge into France, havinge no cawse for that they had of me better entertaynement then appertayned to suche mean persons, and an army prepared sufficient to doe any resonable enterpryse, but it appeared that they could by no meanes performe their lardge promises, and so having gleaned a piece of money to our merchantes are fledd to deceive some other.
And although this enterpryse cannot take effecte (which I think God hath provided for the best) I do ascertayne your highnes that I have provision sufficient and an able army to defend our chardge and to bring home (with gods help) fortye thowsand markes gaynes without the offence of the lest of any of your highnes alyes or friends It shall be no dishonor unto your higlines that your owne servante and subjecte shall in suche an extremitie convert such an enterpryse and turn it both to your highnes honor and to the benefit of your whole realme which I will not enterpryse withowt your highnes consent, but am ready to do what service by your Ma'tie shall be commaunded yet to shew your highues the truth I should be undone if your Ma'tie should staye the voyadge wherunto I hope your highnes will have some regard. The voyadge I pretend is to lade negroes in Genoya [Guinea] and sell them in the west Indyes in troke [truck] of golde perrels and Esmeraldes wherof I dowte not but to bring home great abondance to the contentation of your highnes and to the releife of a nomber of worthy servitures reddy nowe for this pretended voyadge which otherwise would shortly be dryven to great misery and reddy to cOmmit any folly. Thus having advertysed your highnes the state of this matter do most humbly praye your highnes to signifye your pleasure by this bearer which I shall most willingly accomplish. From Plymouth the xvj'th daye of September 1567.
Your highnes most humble servante JOHN HAwKINS. To the quenes most excellent Ma'tie.*
* Sta. Pa. Dom. (Eliz.)
This third voyage of Sir John Hawkins, of which he wrote a brief account, was made in the years 1567 and 1568. He sailed from Plymouth on the 2nd October, 1567, with a fleet of six ships-the Jesus of Lubek,
28 Plymoulk Armada Heroes.
the Minion, the William and John, the Judith,* the Angel and the Swallow. The Jesus and the Minion were "the Queen's Maiesties," the other four ships were Hawkins's private venture.** The fleet were caught in a severe storm a few days after they had departed, in which they lost all their large boats, and the ships were separated, but met again at the Canary Islands, and sailed for Cape Verde Islands, arriving 18th November. Here they landed one hundred and fifty men to procure some negroes, but succeeded in obtaining very few, and those with great loss to the Englishmen from poisoned arrows; "and although in the beginning they seemed to be but small hurtes," says Hawkins, "yet there hardly escaped any that had blood drawen of them, but died in a strange sort, with their mouths shut, some ten days before he died, and after their wounds were whole, where I myself had one of the greatest wounds, yet, thanks be to God, escaped."
From thence they sailed to the coast of Guinea, searching the rivers from Rio Grande to Sierra Leone till the 12th January, without getting more than 150 negroes, when the lateness of the season, and the sickness of their men, obliged them to leave. Not having sufficient cargo for the West Indies, they thought to go to the coast of Myne to obtain some gold for their wares; but meanwhile a negro arrived, sent from his king, "oppressed by other kings his neighbours," desiring aid from Hawkins against these other tribes, with a promise that the negroes obtained during the war should be at the pleasure of the English. Whereupon 120 men were sent, who on the 15th January assaulted a town of the negro ally's enemies, in which there were 8000 inhabitants; "but it was so well defended, that our men prevailed not, but lost six men, and forty hurt, so that our men sent forthwith to me for more help: I went myself, and with the help of the king on our side, assaulted the town both by land and sea, and very hardly with fire (their houses being covered with dry palm leaves) obtained the town, and put the inhabitants to flight, where we took 250 persons, and by our friend the king of our side, there were taken 600 prisoners, whereof we hoped to have our choice; but the negro (in which nation is seldom or never found truth) meant nothing less; for that night he removed his camp, and prisoners, so that we were fain to content us with those few which we had gotten ourselves." Having
* A bark of 50 tons, commanded by young Francis Drake. "He was born in 1545 son of one Edmund Drake sailor being the eldest of 12 brethren and was brought up at the expense and under the care of his kinsman Sir John Hawkins. At 18 he was purser of a ship trading to Guinea, at 20 made a voyage to Guinea and at 22 sailed with Hawkins."-So STOW'S Annals, p.807. ** His'. Gen. (lib. xix. cap. 8).
The Hawkins Family. 29
obtained between 400 and 500 negroes they set sail for the West Indies, where they experienced some difficulty in exchanging them for merchandise, owing to the order from Spain forbidding dealings with the English; but notwithstanding this order they had a reasonable trade, and courteous entertainment.
From the Isle of Margarita to Cartagena, without anything greatly worth the noting, saving "at Capo de la Vela, in a town called Rio de la Hauche, from whence came all the pearls," where the Governor would not agree to any trade, or let them take in water; he had "fortified his town with divers bulwarks in all places where it might be entered," and so thought "by famine to have enforced us to have put a land our negroes."
Seeing this, Hawkins with 200 men broke in upon their bulwarks, and entered and took the town, "with the loss of two men only, and no hurt done to the Spaniards, because after their volley of shott discharged they all fled." Thus having possession of the town, and the Spaniards desiring the negroes, by the friendship of the Governor they obtained a secret trade, the Spaniards coming by night, and buying 200 negroes. At Cartagena the Governor would not traffic; so, without losing more time, the trade being so nearly finished, they departed 24th July, hoping to escape the time of their storms called "Furicanos." Towards the coast of Florida they were overtaken by a dreadful storm which lasted four days, and "so beat the Jesus that we cut down all her higher buildings." Her rudder was also shaken, and having sprung a big leak she was on the point of being abandoned, they finding no haven because of the shallowness of the coast; thus being in "great despair, and taken with a new storm which continued other three dayes, we were enforced to take for our haven the port which serveth the city of Mexico, called St. John de Ulloa. In seeking of which port we took in our way three ships which carried passengers to the number of 100, which passengers we hoped would be the means of our obtaining victuals for our money, and a quiet place to repair our fleet. Shortly after, 16th September, we entered the port of Ulloa, and in our entry, the Spaniards thinking us to be the fleet of Spain, the chief officers of the country came aboard us, which being deceived of their expectation were greatly dismayed but immediately when they saw our demand was nothing but victuals, were recomforted.
"I found also in the same port twelve ships which had in them by the report, 200,000 li. in gold and silver, all which, being in my possession with the King's Island, as also the passengers before in my way thitherwards
30 Plymouth Armada Heroes.
stayed, I set at liberty, without the taking from them the weight of a grote: only because I would not be delayed of my dispatch, I stayed two men of estimation, and sent post immediately to Mexico, 200 miles from us, to the Presidents and Council there, showing them of our arrivall there by the force of weather, and the necessity of the repair of our ships and victuals, which wants wee required as friends to King Philip to be furnished of for our money." Also stating that the Presidents and Council should give orders that on the arrival of the Spanish fleet, which was daily expected, there might be no cause of quarrel.
This message being dispatched the day of the arrival of the English fleet, the next morning, the 16th, they "saw open of the Haven thirteen great ships." Understanding them to be the Spanish fleet, Hawkins immediately sent to advertise the "General of the fleet" of his being there, giving him to understand that before he would allow the Spanish fleet to enter the port, conditions must pass between them for the maintenance of peace, and the safety of the English fleet of six ships. "Now it is to be understood that this Port is a little Island of stones not three foot above the water in the highest place, and but a bow shot of length any way. This Island standeth from the mainland two bow shots or more, also that there is not in all this coast any other place for ships to arrive in safety, because the north wind hath there such violence that unless the ships be very safely moored with their anchors fastened upon the Island, there is no remedy for these north winds but death: also the place of the Haven was so little, that of necessity the ships must ride one aboard the other, so that we could not give place to them, nor they to us: and here I began to bewail that which after followed, for now said I, I am in two dangers, and forced to receive the one of them. That was, either I must have kept out the fleet from entering the Port, that which with God's help I was very well able to do, or else suffer them to enter in with their accustomed treason, which they never fail to execute, where they may have opportunity, or circumvent it by any means: if I had kept them out [Sir John says], there had been present shipwarke [shipwreck] of all the fleet which amounted in value to six millions, which was in value of our money 1,800,000 li. which I considered I was not able to answer, fearing the Queens Maiesties indignation in so weighty a matter . . . therefore as choosing the least mischief I proceeded to conditions." The first messenger now returned from the Spanish fleet reporting the arrival of a Viceroy "who sent us word that we should send our conditions, with many fair words; how passing the coast of the Indies he had understood of our honest behaviour. . ."
The Hawkins Family. 31
Hawkins's requests were acceded to; namely, that he required victuals for his money; that on either side there might be twelve gentlemen hostages; and that the island, for their better safety, might be in the possession of the English; with the ordnance thereon (eleven pieces of brass), during the stay of the English; also that no Spaniard might land on the island with any kind of weapon.
"These conditions at the first, he somewhat misliked, chiefly the gard of the Island to be in our own keeping, which if they had had, we had soon known our fate: for with the first north wind they had cut our cables and our ships had gone ashore: but in the end he concluded to our request, bringing the twelve hostages to ten, with a writing from the Vice Roy signed with his hand and sealed with his seal, of all the conditions concluded." A trumpet was then blown, with a command that the peace was not to be violated upon pain of death; "further that the two generals of the fleets should meet and give faith each to the other for the performance of the promises which was so done. . .
"Thus at the end of three days all was concluded, and the Spanish fleet entered the port, saluting one another as the manner of the sea doth require."
The English fleet had entered the port on Thursday. On Friday they saw the Spanish fleet, which on Monday (at night) also entered the port. Two days were taken up in "placing the English ships by themselves, and the Spanish ships by themselves, the captains of each part and inferior men of their parts promising great amity of all sides;" but the treacherous Spaniards "had furnished themselves with a supply of men to the number of 1000, and meant the next Thursday, being the 23 of Sept, at dinner time, to set upon us on all sides." On the Thursday morning some appearance of treason was shown, "as shifting of weapons from ship to ship, planting and bending of ordnance from the ship to the Island where our men warded, passing to and fro of companies of men more than required for their necessary business, and many other ill likelihoods which caused us to have a vehement suspicion, and therewithal sent to the Vice Roy to inquire what was meant by it, who sent immediately straight commandment to unplant all things suspicious, and also sent word that he in the faith of a Vice Roy would be our defence from all villanies. Yet we being not satisfied with this answer because we suspected a great number of men to be hid in a great ship of 900 tons which was moored next unto the Minion, sent again to the Vice Roy, Robert Barret, the master of the Jesus," who spoke Spanish, and required to be satisfied.
32 Plymouth Armada Hcroes.
The Viceroy, seeing that the treason must now be discovered, kept the master, blew a trumpet, "and on all sides set upon us; our men which warded ashore being stricken with sudden fear, gave place, fled, and sought to recover succour of the ships. The Spaniards being before provided for the purpose Janded in all places in multitudes from their ships, which they might easily do without boats and slew all our men ashore without mercy." A few of them escaped aboard the Jesus. The great ship with 300 men hid in her, immediately fell aboard the Minion, but the English suspecting their design half an hour previously, in that short time, "the Minion was made ready to avoid and so leesing her hed fastes, and hayling away by the stern fasts she was gotten out: thus with God's help she defended the violence of the first brunt of these 300 men. The Minion being past out they came aboard the Jesus, which also with very much ado and the loss of many of our men were defended and kept out. Two other ships assaulted the Jesus, so that she escaped hardly." After the Jesus and the Minion had got two ship's lengths from the Spanish fleet, the fight began hotly on all sides. Within an hour the "Admiral" of the Spaniards was supposed to be sunk, their "Vice Admiral" burned, and another principal ship supposed to be sunk, "so that the ships were~little~to annoy us. But all the ordinance on the Island was in the Spaniards hands which did us so great annoyance, that it cut all the masts and yards of the Jesus that there was no hope to carry her away: also it sunk our smaller ships, whereupon we determined to place the Jesus on that side of the Minion next the battery to be a defence for the Minion till night, then after taking victual and other necessaries from the Jesus. as time would allow, to leave her. When the Minion had been thus sheltered from the shot of the land, suddenly the Spaniards had had set on fire two great ships which were coming directly to us and having no means to avoid the fire, great fear spread among the men, some saying 'Let us depart with the Minion,' others said 'Let us see if the wind will carry the fire from us.' But the Minion men who had always their sails in readiness, thought to make sure work, and so without consent of the captain or master cut their sail, so that verily," says Hawkins, "hardly was I received into the Minion. Most of the men that were left alive. in the Jesus made shift and followed in a small boat, the rest were forced to abide the mercy of the Spaniards; so with the Minion only and the Judith (a small bark of 50 tons) we escaped, which bark the same night forsook us in our great misery."
The Hawkins Family. 33
The Judith was commanded by young Francis Drake, and it does not say much in his favour that he forsook his admiral in distress. It is also remarkable that Hawkins never once mentions Drake's name throughout the narrative; perhaps to shield his young kinsman from censure.
The Minion lay that night two bowshots from the Spanish ships, and next morning recovered an island a mile off; where she was overtaken by a north wind, and being left with only two anchors and two cables (having lost two anchors and three cables in the conflict) they thought to have lost the ship during the storm. The weather improving, the Saturday they set sail with a great number of men and little victuals, and with small hope of life wandered in an unknown sea fourteen days, till hunger forced them to seek land, for "rats, cats, mice, and dogs were thought very good meat - none escaped that might be gotten."
On the 8th October they sighted land in the same bay of Mexico, where they hoped to procure victuals and repair the ship, "which was so sore beaten with shot from our enemies and bruised with shooting of our own ordinance that our weary and weak arms were scarce able to defend and keep out the water." But they found nothing except a dangerous place, wherein a boat might be landed. Some of the men, forced with hunger, desired to be set on land, about 94 in all, the remaining 100 desiring to go homewards. Having landed the men who wished to remain, the next day Hawkins, with fifty men, went ashore to bring off water, when a storm arose, so that for three days they could not return to the ship, which was in such peril that every hour they looked for shipwreck. However, fair weather returning, they departed 16th October, with prosperous weather till 16th November, on which day they were clear of the coast and out of the Gulf of Bahama. After this, nearing the cold country, together with famine, the men died continually. Those left were so weak that they could scarce manage the ship, the wind being always against their direction for England, which determined them to go to Galicia, in Spain, to relieve their distress.
On the 31st December, at Ponte Vedra, near Vigo, the men with excess of fresh meat got miserable diseases, and a great part of them died; and by access of the Spaniards the feebleness of the English became known, whereupon they tried to betray them; but with all speed the English departed to Vigo, where some English ships helped them, and with twelve fresh men they sailed 20th January, 1568, and arrived in Mount's Bay, Cornwall, the 25th of the same month. Thence Hawkins wrote the following letter:
34 Plymouth Armada Heroes.
John Hawkins to Sir William Cecil. 25th January 1568
My dewty most humbly consydered: yt may please your honor to be advertysed that the 25th day of Januarii (thanks be to God) we aryved in a place in Cornewall called Mounts bay, onelie with the Minyon which is left us of all qur flet, and because I wold not in my letters be prolyxe, after what manner we came to our dysgrace, I have sent your honor here inclosed some part of the circumstance, and althoughe not all our meseryes that hath past yet the greatest matters worthye of notynge, but yf I shold wryt of all our calamytyes I am seure a volome as great as the byble wyll scarcelie suffyce; all which thyngs I most humblie beseeche your honour to advertyse the Queens Majestie and the rest of the counsell (soch as you shall thinke mette).
Our voyage was, although very hardly, well achieved and brought to resonable passe, but now a great part of our treasure, merchandyze, shippinge and men devoured by the treason of the Spanyards.
I have not moche or any thynge more to advertyse your honour, nore the rest, because all our business bath had infelycytye, mysfortune, and an unhappy end, and therefore wyll troble the Queens Majestie, nor the rest of my good lords with soch yll newes. But herewith pray your honours estate to impart to soch as you shall thynke mete the sequell of our busyness.
I mynd with Gods grace to make all expedicyon to London myselfe, at what tyme I shall declare more of our esstate that ys here omytted. Thus prayinge to God for your Honours prosperous estate take my leave: from the Mynion the 25th day of Januarii 1568. Yours most humbly to command
(Signed) JOHN HAWKINS
To the Ryght Honorable Sir Wm Cycylle Knighte, and Principall Secretarie to the Queen's Majestie, gyve this.
So ends Hawkins's sorrowful narrative.* How he escaped at all is marvellous; and the Spaniards must have thought that they had "Achines de Plimua" caught in their trap at last!
Hakluyt quotes a brief summary of the affair at St. Jean de Ulloa by Job Hartop, one of the sufferers who returned to England, December 2nd, 1590:
From Cartegena, by foule weather, wee were forced to seeke the port of Saint John de Ulloa. In our way thwart of Campecke we met with a Spaniard, a small ship who was bound for Santo Domingo; he had in him a Spaniard called Augustine de Villa Neuva; him we took and brought with us into the
* Sta. Pa. Dom. (Eliz.) Vol. LIII. of this collection is occupied with reports of Hawkins's case.
The Hawkins Family. 35
port of Saint John de Ulloa. Our Generall made great account of him, and used him like a nobleman; howbeit in the ende he was one of them that betrayed. When wee had mored our ships and landed, wee mounted the ordinance that wee found there in the Ilande, and for our safeties kept watch and warde. The next day after wee discovered the Spanish fleete, whereof Lu~on, a Spanyard, was Generall: with him came a Spaniard called Don Martin Henriquez, whom the King of Spain sent to be his viceroy of the Indies. - He sent a pinnesse with a flag of truce into our Gerierall, to knowe of what countrie those shippes were that rode there in the King of Spaine's port; who sayd they were the Queene of England's ships which came in there for victuals for their money; wherefore if your Generall will come in here, he shall give me victuals and all other necessaries, and I will goe out on the one side the port, and he shall come in on the other side."
Hawkins, during the pretended friendship of the Spaniards in the port of Ulloa, nearly lost his life by assassination. Some of the Spanish officers were dining on board Hawkins's ship, when Augustine de Villa Neuva was detected with a dagger, "which he had privily hid in his sleeve," while sitting at table, and with which he intended to have killed his host, "which was espyed and prevented by one John Chamberlayne, who took the poynarde out of his sleeve. Our General hastily rose up and commanded him to be put prisoner in the steward's room."* This confirmed Hawkins's idea of the treachery of the Spaniards, who to the number of 300 then boarded the Minion; ." whereat our general with a loud and fierce voice called unto us, saying, 'God and St. George! Upon these traitorous villains, and rescue the Minion! I trust in God, the day shall be ours!'" Nearly 600 Spaniards fell in that day's unequal fight.
And here again Hawkins had a second narrow escape; for "when the Minion stood off," says Hartop, "our general courageously cheered up his soldiers and gunners, and called to Samuel, his page, for a cup of beer; who brought it to him in a silver cup: and he drinking to all the men, willed 'the gunners to stand to their ordinance lustily like men.' He had no sooner set the cup out of his hand but 'a demi-culverin shot struck away the cup and a cooper's plane that stood by the mainmast and ran out on the other side of the ship; which nothing dismayed our general, for he ceased not to encourage us, saying, 'Fear nothing! For God, who hath preserved me from this shot, will also deliver us from these traitors and villains "**
The disaster in the harbour of Ulloa, was made the subject of inquiry
* HARTOP. ** Hist. Gen. (Book xix. c. 18).
36 Plymouth Armada Heroes.
in the English Admiralty Court, with a view to assess the amount of damage, and the depositions made are still preserved. They are those of Hawkins himself; of Thomas Hampton, captain of the Minion; William Clarke, supercargo; John Tommes, Hawkins's servant; Jean Turren, trumpeter in the Jesus; Humphry Fownes, steward of the Angel (afterwards Mayor of Plymouth); and of William Fowler, a merchant trading with Mexico, to give independent testimony as to prices. Drake was not called. The loss was very heavy. Fitting out the expedition cost £16,500; and making allowance for the profits in the traffic antecedent to the fight, the claims put in amounted to about £29,000.
"Incidentally we get here an indication of the wealth and style of Hawkins, who was very far indeed from being the rough, old, 'tarry-breeked,' sea-dog described by Kingsley (in Westward Ho!). His personal apparel and furniture were set down as worth at least £440, which would be little if at all short of £3000 now. And supercargo Clarke deposed that he saw- Master Hawkins wear during the voyage 'divers suits of apparel of velvets and silks, with buttons of gold and pearl.' His cabin was hung with tapestry said to be worth £100; and his 'instruments of the sea, books, and other things' were put at £60."*
The Spaniards, after this breach of treaty at Ulloa, turned a deaf ear to all expostulations, and vindicated the injustice of the Viceroy, or at least forbore to redress it.
The fate of the 100 men landed in the Bay of Mexico was most cruel. Some were killed by the natives; others were sent to the capital, where they suffered in the most inhuman way at the hands of the Inquisition. Robert Barrett, the master of the Jesus, was burnt at the stake in Seville, which was the fate pf several; others were left to 4ie of hunger in the dungeons. Three men only out of the 100 escaped-Miles Philips and Job Hartop, who returned to England, the one after sixteen years', the other after twenty-three years captivity; and David Ingram, who found his 'way among the savage tribes to Cape Breton, coming home in a French ship the next year, when he visited Hawkins. The narratives of these men are extant,** and no one who reads them can wonder at the e&treme hatred of the English against the Spaniards.
"The Spanish treachery at San Juan de UlIa, by which means this voyage ended so disastrously, resulted in the mightiest issues. Plymouth declared war against Spain, and no opportunity was missed of harassing the Spaniards, which culminated in the invasion and destruction of the Spanish Armada.
* WORTH' from the depositions. ** HAKLUYT, vol. iii.
The Hawkins Family. 37
For every English life then lost, for every pound of English treasure then taken, Spain paid a hundred and a thousand fold. John Hawkins led the way with one of the boldest acts of Machiavellian statesmanship on record. The plain blunt sailor set his wits against those of King Philip and all his Court, and bent them to his will like puppets."*
Hawkins had great affection for his seamen, and he was extremely anxious about the fate of his 100 unhappy men who were put on shore in Mexico. "Hawkins promised," says Hartop, "if God sent him safe home, he would do what he could, that as many of us as lived should by some means be brought into England." He intended to go out again, but the news soon became known that most of his men were in the hands of the Inquisition, where entreaty was hopeless, and force also. What could be done? "Hawkins could not rest until they were rescued. They owed their captivity to Spanish treachery; they should owe their deliverance to English pretence. With Burleigh's permission, and the consent of the Queen, he complained bitterly to the Spanish ambassador of the way in which he had been treated by Elizabeth; that he was deeply penitent for his evil deeds; that he was broken-hearted at the progress of heresy; that he would do his utmost to place the Queen of Scots upon the throne. He offered to go over to Spain with his ships and men. The bait took. Having thus paved the way, he applied to Philip himself by sending George Fitzwilliam, one of his officers, to Spain with full powers to arrange matters. Philip at first could not believe such good news that the redoubted 'Achines,' the terror of the Spaniards, the simple occurrence of whose name in a dispatch made the Spanish King splatter the margin with exclamation-marks of horror and dismay, would turn traitor."
Hawkins even succeeded in taking in Dr. Lingard, who mistook pretence for earnest, but never was there a more absurd calumny than that Hawkins had consented to betray his country for a bribe with Spain. Lingard quotes an agreement made at Madrid, 10th August, 1571, between the Duke of Feria, on the part of Phillip II., and George Fitzwilliam on the part of John Hawkins, by which the latter was to transfer his services to Spain, with sixteen of the Queen's ships fully equipped with 420 guns, in return for pardon for past offences, and 16,987 ducats monthly pay. This agreement is indeed amongst the Spanish archives. The calumny lies in Dr. Lingard's conclusion from it, and in his statement "The secret was carefully kept, but did not elude suspicion. Hawkins was summoned, and examined by order of the Council. Their lordships were, or pretended to be, satisfied, and he was
38 Plymouth Armada Heroes.
engaged in the Queen's service." Lingard adds that Hawkins tendered hostages to Spain for his fidelity. All these supplementary statements are untrue. The simple fact was that Hawkins was trying to deceive and entrap the Spaniards, with the full knowledge and approval of the English Government from the first. This is proved beyond doubt by Cecil's correspondence. A more loyal and devoted subject never lived. His whole life was one of zealous devotion to the service of his Queen. His Spanish intrigue was undertaken with the object of rescuing his unfortunate men by a resort to guile, as he could not do so by force.
Fitzwilliam returned from Spain, and with Burleigh's help he had an interview with the Queen of Scots. He returned to Philip with credentials from her on Hawkins's behalf;* who wrote to Burleigh that he had no doubt three "commodities" would follow: "First. The practices of their enemies will be daily more and more discovered. Second. There will be credit gotten hither for a good sum of money. Third. The same money, as the time shall bring forth cause, shall be employed to their own detriment; and what ships there shall be appointed (as they shall suppose to serve their turn) may do some notable exploit to their great damage."
The King of Spain was thoroughly taken in. To show his good faith in the proposals made he set the remaining imprisoned sailors free, and gave ten dollars to each man; granted Hawkins a full pardon, and made him a grandee of Spain. Hawkins sent a copy of the pardon to Burleigh- "large enough! with very great titles and honours from the King: from which may God deliver me!" and alluding to the Spaniards, he adds, "Their practices be very mischievous, and they be never idle; but God) I. hope, will confound them! and turn these devices upon their own necks."**
The plot, wrote Hawkins to Burleigh, was, "that my power should join with the Duke of Alva's power, which he doth secretly provide in Flanders, as well as with the power which cometh with the Duke of Medina out of Spain, and so altogether to invade this realm and set up the Queen of Scots."
This scheme of 1571 was identical with that which was in 1588 attempted with the Armada.
The next move made by Hawkins was to ask Philip for two months' pay for 1600 men, to man the fleet of sixteen ships with which he was to join him. "The Spanish Ambassador paid Hawkins; and the money was at once laid out in works of defence! There was no immediate danger; the Spanish plans had been unravelled, and England saved, by the statecraft of a Plymouth sailor." * Sta, Pa. (Scot.), vol. vi. ** Sta. Pa. Dom. (Eliz.)
The Hawkins Family. 39
For some years John Hawkins appears to have made no long voyages - though still occasionally serving afloat - and resided in Plymouth. In 1571 and 1572 he was twice elected to represent the town in Parliament.
While the Duke of Feria, and other Spanish grandees, were assuring Hawkins of their friendship, Elizabeth was urged through Walsingham by Count Ludovici, to license Hawkins to serve him "underhand" against the Spanish power in Flanders. It was said that no Spaniard could land there while Hawkins kept the seas. No English sailor at this time bore so famous a name. In 1572 we find the Dutch Admiral, de la Marck, complaining that Hawkins, either Sir John or his brother William, had done some damage to one of his captains.
The great occupation of Plymouth seamen, however, was to defend the Protestant cause, and their own interests, together with those of the nation, by attacking any of the Catholic powers, such as the Spaniards or Portuguese. The Huguenots were under the protection of the English, and in 1573 Charles IX., in a letter to La Motte Fenelon, dated 23rd February,. complained that M. Haquin (Hawkins) had joined with certain of his rebels near the Isle of Wight, with twelve or thirteen ships, with which they carried munitions and stores from England to Rochelle, and had taken several French ships. Two years later a St. Malo ship was captured by a vessel belonging to the Hawkinses, called the Castle of Comfort.
"The accursed doctrine of the Inquisition, that no faith was to be kept with heretics, proved a dangerous doctrine for Spain when the heretics were such men as Hawkins, Candish, and Drake."*
Sir Thomas Smith to Lord Burleigh.
MY VERY GOOD LORD,- . . . . I shewed also her Majestie Hawkyns letter Her Majestie willed me further to tell you, that Conte Montgomerie and Vidame were here with her Highnes, and wold that her Majestie should send Hawkyns or some othe; by some colour with some munition of powder to Rochelle as driven thither by tempest or contrary winds. But she saith, she cannot tell how to do it, especially being already spoken to by the French ambassador not to aid. Her Majestie praies you to think of it, and devise how it may be done, for she thynks it necessary. . Thus I commit your Honor to Almighty God. From Hampton Court the 5th of January, 1572,** by English account. Your Lordships alwais at commandement, T. SMITH.***
* JUSTIN WINSOR'S Hist. of America. ** The dates of the quoted documents are Old Style. *** Sta. Pa. Dom. (Eliz.)
40 Plymouth Armada Heroes.
In 1573 Sir John Hawkins was very nearly being murdered, as he was going to Court, by an assassin who mistook him for Sir Christopher Hatton. The man who made the attempt was one Peter Burchet, of the Inner Temple, a fanatical Puritan, who, as Hatton was a Papist, thought there was merit in putting to death a man to whom his party had an implacable hatred. Hawkins, after receiving one dangerous wound (probably from behind), managed to defend himself; and seized the would-be murderer. This is referred to in the following letter:
Sir Thomas Smith to Lord Burlagh.
Mv VERY GOOD LORD,-I moved the Quenes Majestie yesternight, as sone as I came to the Courte, touching the advertisement of the Vidame. Her Majestie thynketh, that neither it is possible nor likely for the French to attempt anything now, they are so well occupied otherwise, and it were so unprofitable for themself now to provoke displeasure of their neighbors. I perceiye her Highnes is multum secura; yet she lyketh well the sending away of the man into France, and not much mislyketh the sending of some bark or pynness to discover. Her Majestie taketh heavily the hurting of Hawkyns* and sent her own Surgeons to hym and Mr. Gorges to visite and comforte hym. It will sone appeare whether he can escape or no. Neither her Majestie, nor ailmost any one here can thynke otherwyse, but that there is some conspiracie for that murder, and that Burchet is not indeede mad. It is said here that divers tymes, within this fortnight, both by wbrdes and writings, Mr. Haddon bath bene admonished to take hede to hymself; for his life was laide in waite for. Mr. Garret told me that he hath bene with one or two gentlemen that came out of the west countrey to London with Burchet, who declareth that he had many phantasticall speeches and doings whereby they might perceive that he was not well in his witts all the whole journey hitherwards.
Thus I commit your Lordship to Allmighty God, the 15th of October, 1573. Your Lordships at commandement, T. SMITH.**
The Queen and her ministers now availed themselyes of Hawkins's skill and experience to employ him in the service of the public, by appointing him Treasurer of the Navy, a post in those days not only of great honour, but also of considerable trust.
* The Queen, it seems, was so enraged, that she would have had Burchet executed immediately by martial law, but the Earl of Essex showed her that it was contrary to the laws of the country. When Burchet was committed to the Tower, he killed his keeper with a billet that lay in his prison. He was hanged. ** Sta. Pa. Dom. (Eliz.)
The Hawkins Family. 41
"In 1573 Hawkins succeeded his father-in-law (Benjamin Gonson) as Treasurer of the Navy, and commenced a useful but very anxious and laborious administrative career on shore. But he still occasionally served afloat Besides the Treasurership of the Navy, Hawkins was also Treasurer of the Queen's Majesty's Marine Causes; and in the same year he succeeded Mr. Holstock as Comptroller of the Navy. He was a keen reformer of Dockyard abuses, and Sir William Monson says that he introduced more useful inventions and better regulations into the navy than any of his predecessors."
DECLARATION of the accompte of John Hawkins Esq. Treasurer of the Marine causes thereunto appointed with Benjamin Gonson Esq. since lately deceased by Letters Patent dated 18th Nov. 20 Eliz. , to have & occupy the said office of Treasurer to Benjamin Gonson & John Hawkins for their natural life, with all fees wages & allowances thereunto belonging; also an annuity of 'oo marks sterling, and for two clerks under them 8d. sterling by the day, together with the allowance of 6s. 8d. for every day that the sd Ben Gonson & J. Hawkins shall travail & by occupied either by sea or land, only for such business as shall be needful to be dispatched concerning the same office, and £8 sterling by the year for their boatehier. The said Benjamin and John shall have full allowance for all and every such sums of money as they shall disburse about the said Marine causes, they having the hands of 2 or 3 of the officers of the same Marine causes subscribed to the books of account or reckoning, the shewing of such books to be a sufficient warrant to all and every Auditor. Further the said Benjamin Gonson & John Hawkins to have the costs & charges of their clerks when & as often as they shall send them for the payment or receipt of any money for the said Marine causes. By the death of Benjamin Gonson the said office has wholly fallen upon John Hawkins.+
[Then follows the account of John Hawkins for one year from 1st Jan. 20 Eliz. to 31st Dec. 21 Eliz.]
Sir John Hawkins recommended forming accommodation at the Isle of Wight, Weymouth, Dartmouth, Plymouth, and Falmouth, to save ships the time and expense of coming round to the river and the Downs." ++
Stow tells us that Hawkins was the inventor of the cunning stratagem of boarding nettings early in the Queen's reign, which he introduced into the fleet to protect ships in action. Also that he was the author of chain-pumps for ships, which were of excellent use. Besides these he brought in many
* Hawkins' Voyages. ** Audit Office. Declared Accounts. Bale 1684. Roll 13. *** HASTED'S Kent.
42 Plymouth Armada Heroes.
inventions from time to time, and was indefatigable in labouring to bring all things as near as might be to perfection.
He was thus chosen by Queen Elizabeth as the "fittest person in all her dominions to manage her naval affairs," and never had she a more faithful, devoted servant. "Endowed with huge capacity for work, Hawkins toiled terribly in the discharge of his manifold official duties. All that is now carried out by the executive department of the Admiralty fell upon his shoulders. His office was no mere matter of accountancy. It involved the whole management and maintenance of the fleet. He had to estimate the cost of all expeditions, to keep the stores, to build the ships, to provide and pay the crews, to report on harbour works. Every disbursement was made through him, and he had to render the strictest account of each item of expenditure. The office demanded the exercise of all his sea-craft, required the possession of distinguished abilities as a financier, and proved an incessant drain on all his energies. Driven nearly to his wits' end by the parsimony of Elizabeth, perpetually harassed by rivals whose pilferings he stopped, or whose useless offices he abolished, and who in return insinuated that he was turning the public money to private account; he did for England then what no other man had equal technical skill, energy, and dogged perseverance to perform."* Faithful in the least, as well as in the greatest, when the moment of trial came "he sent her ships to sea in such a condition that they had no match in the world." The royal vessels that sailed out of Plymouth Sound to beat the Armada were perfectly equipped to the minutest detail, though Hawkins bitterly felt the straits to which he had been put.
As time went on the need of weakening the strength of Spain became apparent. The English expeditions kept the Spaniards in check, but stronger measures were required for the safety of England. In November, 1577, the Queen received a remarkable letter, in which the writer declared his readiness to deal a blow, to be the means of putting an end to the naval power of Spain, Portugal, and France. The propQsal was to clear out of England's way some 25,000 sailors belonging to the Catholic powers by attacking the Newfoundland fisheries, the great nursery of European sailors, "the best [ships] to be brought away, the rest to be burned." Who the writer was is unknown; the signature has been erased. Froude hesitates to assign what he considers its guilt to anyone, but doubtfully hints at the possibility that it may have been Drake. Less cautious authorities have been positive it was Hawkins. "But the letter is unlike anything Drake or Hawkins ever wrote, and I," says * WORTH.
The Hawkins Family. 43
Mr. Worth, "feel little doubt that it came from the pen of Ralegh's half- brother, Sir Humphry Gilbert, famous through all time as he who went down to his death with the brave words, 'Heaven is as near by water as by land."'
In 1581 Hawkins had a severe illness,* but he had recovered in 1583, when he was busily investigating reductions of naval expenses, in which he met with great opposition. The officers at Chatham during fifteen months "took hardness and courage to oppose themselves against him," yet he saved there a sum of over £3200, while adding to the efficiency of the navy. "His correspondence with Sir Julius Caesar, the Judge of the Admiralty, shows that he paid close attention to all branches of naval expenditure, detecting and putting a stop to many abuses. This good service naturally made him enemies. Mr. Borowe who was ousted made a book against him." And in 1583 there were articles drawn up "against the injuste mind and deceitful dealings of John Hawkins." Among those whom he found out conniving at abuses were Sir William Winter and the Master Shipwright Baker, who of course became his bitter enemies; and he had a controversy with "Peter Pett, the shipwright," touching his accounts. Winter wrote: 'When he was hurte in the Strande, and made his will, he was not able to give £500. All that he is now worth hath been drawne by deceipte from her Majesty.' These calumnies received no credit, and Hawkins never lost the confidence of his Government." Among his other duties he was Surveyor of the Queen's Lands in Kent.**
* John Hawkins to Mr. Bolland
I have received your letter of the 19th of this present, together with a letter inclosed from Sir F' Drake of the 14th of the same. I would be glad my ability and state were such that I might be an adventurer in this journey; but I assure you I had so great a burden layd upon me in this last preparation, that with all the means that I can make I am hardly able to overcome the debt I owe her Majestie and keep my credit. It is well known to you, Mr Bolland, to whom I did at large declare my losses and burdens, besides the shipping and other dead provisions which lay upon my hands. My sickness doth continually abide with me, and every second day I have a fit; if I look [a ?] broad in the air but one hour, I can hardly recover it in six days with good order, so as I am heartily sorry that I cannot attend upon my very good Lord [Leicester], whom I am desirous to satisfy according to my ability, if I had strength, for I am more like to provide fur my grave than encumber me with worldly matters.
There cannot lack neither adventurers nor anything that is good, to the furtherance of so good an attempt, which enterprise I have had always a very good liking unto for the farther benefiting of our country, which God, I hope, will send to a good and prosperous end, and so I heartily take my leave.
From Chatham, the 20th Oct' 1581 Your assured and loving friend JOHN HAWKYNS
** HASTED'S Kent
44 Plymouth Armada Heroes.
John Ilazokyns to Lord Burleigh.
My bounden duty in right humble manner remembered unto your good Lordship. I have briefly considered upon a substantial course and the material reasons that by mine own experience, I know (with God's assistance) will strongly annoy and offend the King of Spain, the mortal enemy of our religion and the present government of the realm of England.
And surely my very good Lord, if I should only consider and look for mine own life, my quietness and commodity, then truly mine own nature and disposition doth prefer peace before all things. But when I consider whereunto we are born, not for ourselves but for the defence of the church of God, our prince, and our country, I do then think how this most happy government might with good providence, prevent the conspiracies of our enemies.
I do nothing at all doubt of our ability in wealth, for that I am persuaded that the substance of this realm is trebled in value since her Majesty's reign. God be glorified for it!
Neither do I think there wanteth provisions carefully provided, of shipping, ordinance, powder, armour, and munition, so as our people were exercised by some means in the course of wars.
For I read when Mahomet the Turk took that famous city of Constantinople, digging by the foundations and bottoms of the houses, he found such infinite treasure, as the said Mahomet condemning their wretchedness, wondered how this city could have been overcome, or taken, if they had in time provided men of war and furniture for their defence, as they were very well able; so I say there wanteth no ability in us, if we be not taken unprovided, and upon a sudden.
And this is th' only cause that hath moved me to say my mind frankly in this matter, and to set down these notes enclosed, praying.th' Almighty God, which directeth the hearts of all governours, either to the good or benefit of the people for their relief and deliverance, or else doth alter and hinder their understanding to the punishment and ruin of the people for their sins and offences. Humbly beseeching your good Lordship to bear with my presumption in dealing with matters so high, and to judge of them by your great wisdom and experience how they may in your Lordship's judgment be worthy of the consideration, humbly taking my leave.
From Deptford the 20th July 1584
Your honourable Lordship's ever assuredly bounden
The enclosure alluded to is as follows :
The best means how to annoy the King of Spain, in my opinion, without charge to her Majesty, which also shall bring great profit to her Highness and subjects, is as followeth. First, if it shall be thought meet that the King of
The Hawkins Family. 45
Portugal may in his right make war with the King of Spain, then he would be the best means to be the head of the faction.
There would be obtained from the said King of Portugal an authority to some person that should always give leave to such as upon their own charge would serve and annoy the King of Spain as they might both by sea and land, and of their booties, to pay unto the King of Portugal, five or ten of the hundred.
There would be also some person authorized by her Majesty to take notes of such as do serve the said King of Portugal, and to that party with her Majestie's consent to give them leave and allowance to retire, victual, and sell in some port of the West Countrye, for which liberty they should pay unto their Majesty five or ten of the hundred.
None should have leave to serve the said King of Portugal, but they should put in surety to offend no person, but such as the said King had war with, but should be bound to break no bulk but in the port allowed, where would be commissioners appointed to restore those goods as are belonging to friends in amity with the King of Portugal, and to allow the rest to the taker.
There would be martial law for such as committed piracy, for there can be none excuse, but all idle seamen may be employed.
If these conditions be allowed, and that men may enjoy that which they lawfully take in this service, the best owners and merchant adventurers in the river will put in foot, and attempt great things.
The gentlemen and owners in the west parts will enter deeply into this party.
The Flushingers will also be a great party in this matter.
The Protestants of France will be a great company to help this attempt.
The Portuguese in the Islands, in Brazil, and in Guinea, for the most part will continually revolt.
The fishings of Spain and Portugal, which is their greatest relief, will be utterly impeded and destroyed.
The islands will be sacked, their forts defaced, and their brass ordinance brought away.
Our own people, as gunners (whereof we have few) would be made expert, and grow in number, our idle men would grow to be good men of war both by land and sea
The coast of Spain and Portugal in all places would be so annoyed, as to keep continual armies there would be no possibility; for that of my knowledge it is trouble more tedious and chargeable to prepare shipping and men in those parts than it is with us.
The voyage offered by Sir Francis Drake might best be made lawful to go under that licence also, which would be secret till the time draw near of their readiness.
All this before rehearsed shall not by any means draw the King of Spain to offer a war, for that this party will not only consist of Englishmen, but rather
46 Plymouth Armada Heroes.
of the French, Flemings, Scotts, and such like, so as King Phillip shall be forced by great entreaty to make her Majestie it mean to withdraw the forces of her subjects and the aid of her Highness' ports, for otherwise there will be such scarcity in Spain, and his coast so annoyed, as Spain never endured so great smart. The reason is that the greatest traffics of all Phillip's dominions must pass to and fro by the seas, which will hardly escape intercepting.*
In 1584 Hawkins held a consultation with Peter Pett with regard to improving Dover Harbour. In 1585 he submitted books to Lord Burleigh with lists of her Majesty's ships, their tonnage, and estimates for outfit, at the same time sending in a statement of the management of the Navy from 1568 to 1579, with his scheme for its future government by commissioners.
Hawkins was the British sailors' first friend; for by his advice their pay was raised, in 1585, from 6s. 8d. a month to 10s., holding that this would bring the service better and more capable men, so that fewer would do the same work. "Such as could make shift for themselves, and keep themselves clean without vermin." As well as raising the quality of the men he improved the ships. The finest vessels in the English fleet against the Armada were built with Hawkins's improvements; he lowered the sterns and forecastles, made the keels longer, and the lines finer and sharper, thus anticipating the main principles of improvement which have been continued down to the present time.
His health at this time was very bad, but ill or well he never gave up his work. In January, i586, he had a fit every other day. Vast sums of money passed through his hands, his jealous enemies asserting that he was enriching himself; but such malicious reports were treated with the contempt they merited.
Writing to Burleigh, November 13th, 1587, Hawkins speaks of the improvements during his office through money spared from the ordinary warrant - "the refitting of sail, cordage, bolts, hulks, pullies, forges, warfs, storehouses, an much more," ending with
For myne owne parte I have lived in a very mean estate since I came to be an officer [Treasurer], neither have I vainly or superfluously consumed Her Majestie's treasure, or myne owne substance, but ever been diligently and carefully occupied to prepare for the danger to come, and whatsoever hath been or is maliciously spoken of me, I doubt not but your Lordshipes wisdome is such that ye may discern and judge of my fidelity, of which Her Matie and your Lordships have had long trial, and hereafter I will speak little in mine own behalf. * Sta. Pa. Dom. (Eliz.)
The Hawkins Family. 47
John Hawkins to Sir F Walsingham. Mv duetie humblie remembred unto your honour, havinge of longe tyme seen the malycious practises of the Papists combined generally throughout Christendome to alter the government of this Realme and to bring it to Papisterie, and consequently to servitude, povertie and slaverye, I have had a good will from time to time to doe and set forward something as I could have credit to impeach their purpose, but it hath prevailed little, for that there was never any substantiall ground laid to be followed effectually and therefore it hath taken bad effect and bred great charge, and we still in worse case, and less assurance of quietnes.
I doe therefore now utter my mind particularly to your Honour howe I doe conceave some good to be done at last; I do see we are desirous to have peace, as it becometh good Christians, which is best for all men and I wish it might any way be brought to that passe, but in my poor Judgment the right way is not taken. .
Therefore in my mind our profit and best assurance ys to seek our Peace by a determyned and resolute Warre, which no doubte would be both less charge, more assurance of safetye, and would best discern our friends from' our foes, both abroad and at home, and satisfy the people best generallie throughout the whole Realme.
In the continuance of this Warre, I wish it to be ordered in this sorte, That first we have as little to doe in forrayne Countries, as may be, but of meere necessitie, for that breedeth great charge and no profit at all.
Nexte that there be always Six principal good shipps of her Maties upon the Coast of Spain, victualled for some months & accompanied with some six small vessels, which shall haunt the Coast of Spain and the Islands, And be a sufficient company to distress any thing that goeth throughe that seas. And when these must return, there would be other six shipps likewise accompanyed, to keepe the place, So should the seas be never unfurnished, But as one company at the four monethes ende doth return, the other company should be always in the place. .
For these 6 ships we shall not break the strength of our Navie, for we shall leave a sufficient company always at home, to front any violence that can be any way offered unto us. I do herewith send a note how the shipps may be fitted, and what they are, and what will be left at home. In open and lawfull warrs God will help us, for we defend the chief cause, our religion, Gods own cause, for if we would leave our profession and turn to serve Baal (as god forbid, and rather to die a thousand deaths) we might have peace but not with God. .
From aborde the Bonaventure the first of Feb. 1587. Your Honours humbly to command JOHN HAWKYNS.
[Endorsed] To the right honorable Sir Francis Walsingham Knt.* * Sta. Pa. Dam. (Eliz.)
48 Plymouth Armada Heroes.
The Treasurer had a house for his office at Deptford but Hawkins resided in the parish of St. Dunstan's in the East, and also at his house in Plymouth. In December, 1587, Sir William Wynter and William Holstock reported that Hawkins's duties had been satisfactorily performed.
Masses of State papers remain to bear testimony of his labour, industry, and zeal in carrying out this dry detail business. Still he never lost his love of adventure, and often longed for the sea to escape from the vexations of his land service. Hence his offer in November, 1587, to undertake, with seventeen ships and pinnaces (the real germ of the Armada fleet), to oppose the landing of any foreign power on any part of the West coast.
But he had other work to do on land. With keen foresight he scented the struggle from afar. Hence we find him writing that it was impossible thipgs could remain as they were. "The only way to gain a solid peace was by a determined and resolute war." When the intention of Spain to invade England became manifest, a Cquncil, consisting of Lord Charles Howard, Hawkins, Drake, and Frobisher, got the English fleet in readiness to meet its formidable adversary. Hawkins was appointed Vice-Admiral, hoisting his flag on board the Victory, and received the highest reward, a mark of the highest distinction in those days, the honour of knighthood, during the action on the 26th of July! *
The following despatch from Sir John, detailing the circumstances of the defeat of the Armada, shows the practical business side of his character to the life:
To the Honble Mr Sec Walsingham July 31-1588
Mv bounden duty humbly remembered unto your good Lordship I have not busied myself to write often to your Lordship in this great Cause for that my Lord Admiral doth continually advertise the manner of all things that doth pass, so do others that understand the state of all thingsas well as myself: We met with this fleet somewhat to the westward of Plymouth upon Sunday in the morning being the 218t July where we had some small fight with them in the afternoon. By the coming aboard one of the other of the Spainards a great ship a Biscane, spent her formast & bowsprit which was lost by the fleet in the Sea and so taken up by Sir Francis Drake the next morning.
The same Sunday there was by a fyer chancing by a barrel of powder a great Biscane spoiled and abandoned which my lord took up and sent away.
The Tuesday following athwart of Portland we had a sharp & long fight
* For the account of the defeat of the Armada and the part of Hawkins therein, see Chapter IV.
TAe Hawkins Family. 49
with them, wherein we spent a great part of our powder & shot, so as it was not thought good to deal with them any more till that was releived
The Thursday following by the occasion of the scattering of one of the great ships from the fleet which we hoped to have cut off there grew a hot fray where in some store of powder was spent & after that little done till we came near to Calais where the fleet of Spain anchored & our fleet by them, and because they should not be in peace there to refresh their water or to have conference with those of the Duke of Parmas party, my lord admiral with firing of shipes determined to remove them as he did and put them to the seas in which broil the chief galliasse spoiled hir rother [rudder] and so rowed ashore near the town of Calais where she was possessed of our men but so aground as she could not be brought away
That morning being Monday 29 July we followed the Spaniards and all that day had with them a long and great fight wherein there was great valor shown generally of our company in that Battile. There was spent very much of our powder & shot and so the wind began to grow westerly a fresh gale. and the Spaniards put them selves somewhat to the northward where we follow & keep company with them, in this fight there was some hurt done among the Spaniards. A great ship of the galleons of Portugal spoiled her rother and so the fleet left her in the sea. I doubt not but alL these things are written more at large to your Lordship (then I can do but this is the substance and material matter that hath passed)
Our ships God be thanked have received little hurt and are of great force to accompany them and of such advantage that with some continuance at the seas and sufficiently provided of shot and powder we shall be able with Gods favour to weary them out of the sea and confound them.
Yet as I gather certainly there are amongst them so forcible and invincible ships which consist of those that follow viz 9 galleons of Portugal of 800 Tons apiece saving 2 of them are but 400 Tons apiece 20 great Venetians and argosies of the seas within the Straight of 800 apiece one ship of the Duke of Florence of 800 Tons 20 great Biskanes of 500 or 600 tons 4 galliasses where of one is in France There are 30 hulks and 30 other small ships whereof little account is to be made. At their departing from Lisbon being the 19th May by our account they were victualled for 6 months, they stayed in the Groyne 28 days and there refreshed their water, at their coming from Lisbon they were taken with a flawe and 14 hulks or thereabouts came near Ushante - and so returned with contrary winds to the Groyne and there met, and else there was none other company upon our coast before the whole fleet arrived and in their coming now a little flaw took them 50 leagues from the coast of Spain where one great ship was severed frorh them and 4 gallies which hitherto have hot recovered their company
At their departing from Lisbon the soldiers were 20,000 the mariners and others 8000 so that in all they were 28000 men. Their commission was to
50 Plymouth Armada Heroes.
confer with the Prince of Parma (as I learned) and then to proceed to the service that should be there concluded. And so the Duke to return into Spain with these ships and mariners, the soldiers and their furniture being left behind. Now this fleet is here and very forcible and must be waited upon with all our force which is little enough. there would be an infinite quantity of powder & shot provided and continually sent aboard without the which great hazard may grow to our country for this is the greatest and strongest combination to my understanding that ever was gathered in Christendom, therefore I wish it of all hands to be mightily and diligently looked unto and cared for.
The men have been long unpaid and need relief I pray your Lordship that the money that should have gone to Plymouth may now be sent to Dover.
August now cometh in, and this cost [coast] will spend ground tackle, cordage canvas and victual, all which would be sent to Dover in good plenty, with these things and Gods blessing our kingdom may be preserved which being neglected great hazard may come. I write to your Lordship briefly and plainly, your wisdom and experience is great, But this is a matter far passing all that hath been seen in our time or long before.
And so praying to God for a happy deliverance from the malicious and dangerous practice of our enemies I humbly take my leave from the sea aboard the Victory ye last of July 1588.
The Spaniards take their course for Scotland My Lord doth follow them. I doubt not with Gods favor but we shall impeach their landing, there must be order for victual and many powder and shot to be sent after us. Your Lordships humbly to command JOHN HAWKINs
This is copy of the letter I send to my Lord Treasurer whereby I shall not need to write to your honour help us with furniture and with Gods favour we shall confound their devyse. Your Honours ever bounden JOHN HAWKINS
I pray your honour bear with this for it is done in haste and bad weather.*
But the defeat of the Armada was child's play for Hawkins in comparison with the subsequent rendering of his accounts, which he was called upon to do. For years the whole burden of the navy had lain upon his shoulders; and when the money of the State had failed, he had freely spent his own. The Queen insisted that every item should be vouched; Hawkins, more careful of results than book-keeping, held himself a ruined man. Howard defended him from the unjust aspersions of his enemies; but Burleigh wrote him so severely, that in reply Hawkins says, "I pray God I may end this account to her Majesty's
* Sta. Pa. Dom. (Eliz.)
The Hawkins Family. 51
and your Lordship's liking, and avoid mine own undoing, and I trust God will so provide for me as I shall never meddle with such intricate matters more."
The following correspondence from the State Papers will show better than any mere description the nature of the work Sir John had to do, and the difficulties he had to overcome:
Sir John Hawkins to Lord Howard of Effingham.
THE QUEENES SHIPPES. The White Beare The Victorye The Nonperely The Hope The Swiftsure The Foresight The Moone The White Lyon The Disdaine
THE SHIPPES OF LONDON. The Mynyon The Golden Lyon The Tho: Bonavent The Hercules The Redde Lyonn The Royall Defenee The B. Burre The Gallion Leicester The Gallyon Dudley The Tagar of Plymouth The Barque Bonner The Samaritane of Dartmouth The Delight The Eli. Bonaventure The Diamonde of Dartmouth The Mynyon of Plymouth The Jacob of Lyme The Barque Hawkins The Chaunce of Plymouth The John of Barstable The Acteon The Barque Fleminge The Sallomon of Alborow The Pellicane of Lee The Katherine The Ratte
Mv VERIE GOOD LORD,-This Thursdaie beinge the viij of August we came into Harwiche with these shippes that are above noted. We are in hande to have out the Ordenance and Ballast of the Hope and so to grounde her. With the nexte faire wynde we mynde with those shippes that are here to follow your Lordshippe into the Downes, or where we maye heare of your Lordshippe, and to bring all the victuallers with us.
There are three of the whoies here alreddye with Beere and bread and the rest being seven more, have order to come hither. We will relyeve such as be in necessitie, and bringe awaie the rest with us.
The Beare hath a leake which is thought to be verie lowe, yet my Lord will follow your Lordship.
The Elizabeth Jonas and the Tryumphe drave the last stormie night being Mondaye, since which time we have not heard of them. But this faire weather I hope your Lordshippe shall heare of them at the Forelande. As I wrote this letter more of the Victuallers are come. There is xiiij daies victuall in them
52 Plymouth Armada Heroes.
for the shippes under your Lordshippes charge as I learne. And so praying to God to sende us shortly to meete with your Lordshippe I humbly take my leave from Harwich the 8th of August 1588.
Your honorable Lordshippes most bounden
THIS is the coppy of the letter sent to my Lord Admyrall which I send to yor Honour, that ye may see in what state we are & what we pretend. the wynd is now bad for us to ply to my Lord but we will lose no tyme.
Your Honours most bounden
Sir John Hawkins and Lord Howard to Lord Burlegh.
RIGHT honorable myne especyall good Lord this day my Lord Admyrall called 5r WiHiam Wynter and me aboard his Lordships ship and shewed unto us your Lordships letter of the 24th of August wherby your Lordship required to bee advertised what numbers of maryners and soldiers there were in the ships that are here with my Lord. Since I came down the weather hath been such as our fleet hath been divided part in Dover rood and part at Margate & goorend and never could come either of us to other and those at the Margate can hardly row ashore or gett aboard when they were ashore.
Sr Francis Drake and I discharged & sent away many of the westerne & coast ships before my Lord came down which upon some news that Sr Edward Norys brought, my Lord was somewhat displeased & misliked it.
I am not able to send your Lordship a better particular of the numbers that are & were in her Majesties certain pay then that which I sent from Plymouth wherein was demaunded about xix thousand pounds to bring the pay to the 28 of July wherein there was no condoctes demanded for that no discharge was then thought of; neither was there any ships of the coast spoken of; or voluntary ships but those of Sr Richard Graynfylds & those taken into service by Sir Francis Drake then, over & above his warrant yet by order from the counsell as Sr Richard Graynfyld & he hath to shew.
Your Lordship may think that by death, by discharging of sick men & such like, that there may be spared somethinge in the generall pay, first those that die their friends require their pay in place of those which are discharged sike & insufficient which indeed are many there are fresh men taken, which breedeth a far greater Charge by mean of their condoct in discharge, which exceedeth the wages of those which were lastly taken in, & more lost by that then saved. We do pay by the poll & by a Check book wherby if anything be spared, it is to her Majesties benefit only. The ships that I have paid of those
* Sta. Pa. Dom. (Eliz.)
The Hawkins Family. 53
which were under Sr Francis Drakes Charge, I find full furnished with men & many above their numbers. Those ships that are under my Lord Seemour, Sir Wm Wynter doth assure my Lord they have their full numbers besyde there were sent aboard 500 soldiers by Sir John Norys and others which stood them in little stede for that they were imperfect men. but they kept them not above viij days. The weather continueth so extreme & the tides run so swift that we cannot get any victuals aboard but with trouble & difficulty we go from ship to ship, but as weather will serve & time to gather better notes your Lordship shall be more particularly informed of all things.
And so I humbly take my leave from the Arke Rawley in Dover roode the 26th of August 1588.
Your good Lordship humbly to command
[Appended to the same letter]
Mv good Lord this is as much as is possible for Mr Hawkyns to do at this time. There is here in our ship many Lieutenants and Corporals which of necessity we were and are driven to have. Your Lordship knoweth well how services be far from what they were, and assure your Lordship of necessity it must be so. God knoweth how they shall be paid except her Majesty have some consideration on them. The matter it is not great in respect of the service I think 500li with the help of my own purse will do it, but howsoever it fall out I must see them paid and will for I do not like to end with this service, and therefore I must be solved here after. My good Lord look but what the officers had with Sir Francis Drake having been 4 of her Majesty's ships I do not desire half so much for all this great fleet.
My good Lord it grieveth me much to hear of my Lord Chamberlains sickness. The Almighty God help him. The Queens Majesty and the Realm should have as great a loss as of any one man that I do know. God send the next news to be of his Amendment. God send you health my good Lord.
Your Lordships most assured to Command
Sir John Hawkins to Lord Burleigh.
Mv HONORABLE GOOD LORD,-I am sorry I do live so long to receive so sharp a letter from your Lordship considering how carefully I take care to do all for the best & to cease charge
It shall hereafter be none offence to your Lordship that I do so much alone, for with Gods favour I will & must leave all. I pray God I may end this accompt to her Majesties & your Lordships liking & avoid myne own
* Sta. Pa. Dom. (Eliz.)
54 . Plymouth Armada Heroes.
undoing, & I trust you will so provide for me as I shall never meddle with such intricate matters more, for they be importyble for any man to please & overcome it;. if I had any enemy I wolde wish hym no more harme then the course of my troublesome and painfull liffe; but hereunto, & to Gods good providence we are born.
I have shewed your Lordships letter to my Lord Admiral & Sir William Wynter who can best judge of my care & painfull travail & the desir& I have to cease the charge.
Since we came to Harwyche the Margett & Dover our men have much fallen sick whereby many are discharged which we have not greatly desired to increase because we always hoped of a generall discharge, yet some mariners we have procured to divers of the ships to redress them. And so I leave in haste to trouble your Lordship. From Dover the 28 of August 1588.
Your Honorable Lordships humbly to command
Sir John Hawkins to Secretary Walsingham.
My Lord Treasurer I understand hath not been pleased for that I could not send his Lordship the certain number of such men as were in her Majestys pay. The truth is, the weather was such & so cruel as I cold not ferry from ship to ship a long time & the fleet was dispersed some at Dover, some at Margate & some to seek out the great Spaniard upon the coast of France. but now the v of September all the fleet met in the Downs & presently within two hours I sent my Lord a perfect note which was near about 4300 men that remained in pay.
I would to God I were delivered of the delyng for money & then I doubt not but I should as well deserve & continue my Lords good liking as any man of my sort. but now I know I shall never please his Lordship two months together for which I am very sorry, for I am sure no man living hath taken more pain, nor been more careful to obtain & continue his Lordships good liking & favour toward him then I have been.
My pain & mysery in this service is infinite, every man would have his turn served though very unreasonable yet if it~be refused then adieu friendship. I yield to many things more than there is whereof, and yet it will not satisfy many. God I trust will deliver me of it ere it be long for there is no other help.
I devise to ease charge & shorten what I can for which I am in a general misliking but my Lord Treasurer thinketh I do little but I assure your Honour I am seldom idelle.
I marvel we doubt the Spaniards. surely there can be no cause & we put our ships in great peril for they are unfitted of many things & unmeet for
* Sta. Pa. Dom. (Eliz.)
The Hawkins Family. 55
seryice till they pass a new furnishing both of men grownding & reforming of a world of provisions as it will be felt when we shall set forth again. The discourse which I wrote your honour in December last must take effect & so her Majesties charge shall cease, the coast of Spain & all his traffiques impeached & afflicted, & our people set awork, contented & satisfied in conscience & there is no other way to avoid the misery that daily groweth among our people, & so being over "fattygatyd" with a number of troubles I humbly take my leave from the Downes aboard the Victory the 5th of Sept 1588.
Your Honours ever assured & bounden JOHN HAWKYNS.*
So anxious and troublesome a time had Sir John, in paying off the fleet after the defeat of the Armada, owing to the frequent engaging and discharging of the men by the Queen's orders in the spring of 1588! So many changes too added greatly to the expense, independently of the large amount of money required to fit out the fleet for the extraordinary sea service during that year. In December, 1588, at Hawkins's request, Edward Fenton, his brother-in-law, who commanded the Mary Rose against the ArmAda, was appointed his deputy for a year, to enable him to finish his great and intricate accounts.* Hawkins set to his task with accustomed energy; and by the following September the accounts for eleven years-some had been previously sent in- were made up complete to December, 1588, and he was able to "clear himself with credit. The office was not one of profit; although an unscrupulous man might have made a fortune. Hawkins did not find in his time any fees or vails worth 20s. besides his ordinary fee and diet which he consumed in attending his office." Instead of profit his post was a great loss.
According to the original accounts, Sir John Hawkins, while Treasurer of the Navy, had paid out of his own pocket for thirteen years up to 1590 the sum of £9659 5s. 4d. This sum in the present day represents about £50,000. So he prayed to be delivered from this "continual thraldom," but in vain "Elizabeth knew when she had a good servant, though she did not know how to treat him." His work increased. The yearly payment in 1590 for keeping and repairing vessels in harbour was advanced to £8973 125. lOd., now equal to £50,000.
In 1588, after the defeat of the Armada, Sir John Hawkins and Sir Francis Drake instituted that useful fund long known as the "Chest at Chatham," for seamen and shipwrights voluntarily to set apart every month a portion of their pay, for the perpetual relief of such as were maimed or wounded in the service
* Sta. Pa. Dom. (Eliz.)
56 Plymouth A '-mada Heroes.
of the Crown. Probably the distress of the men after the fight of 1588 suggested the idea. This fund is now removed to and incorporated with Greenwich Hospital, of which it was the forerunner.
In this Hundred of Blackheatb, moreover, which contains two royal dockyards intimately associated with their names, and that noble institution Greenwich Hospital, both Hawkins and Drake deserve especial mention, since they were the first to make provision for disabled seamen."*
But it is not in this instance alone that seafaring men employed in the Queen's service have reason to gratefully commemorate the good deeds of Sir John Hawkins; for, not satisfied with having promoted the excellent scheme of the "Chest at Chatham," this noble and public spirited officer founded and endowed during his lifetime, entirely at his own cost, a hospital at Chatham for poor decayed mariners and shipwrights. From an old inscription cut in the wall, the building was finished in 1592. And on the 27th of August, 1594, Queen Elizabeth, at the request of Sir Jobn, granted a charter (which is in fine preservation, and still kept in the chest belonging to this charity) of incorporation, by the name of "the governors of the hospital of Sir John Hawkins, Knight, in Chatham. The society were always to consist of twenty-six governors, recited as follows in the charter: The Archbishop of Canterbury; the Bishop of Rochester; the Lord High Admiral; the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports; the Dean of Rochester; the Treasurer, Comptroller, Surveyor, and Clerk of the Accounts of the Navy; six principal Masters of Mariners; two principal Shipwrights; the Master and Wardens of Trinity House, for the time being, and their successors," &c. **
It reflects a lasting honour on the character of this worthy Knight, that he in his lifetime, and while he was blessed with health and vigour, to have enjoyed his fortune, conveyed to this house of charity the lands and tithes which he intended for the poor inhabitants of it." During his life Sir John had the sole power of appointing the poor men who were received into his hospital. After his death the right devolved upon the governors. Twelve pensioners were settled in the hospital, and a weekly stipend of two shillings was to be paid to each poor seaman; and no person was eligible who, while in the service of the Royal Navy, had not been maimed, disabled, or brought to poverty. In 1722 this hospital was put in thorough repair, by order of the governors, and the original inscriptions were continued. On the outer side, over the gate, "The poor you shall always have with you : to whom ye may do good yf ye wyl;" and on the inner side, "Because there shall be ever some poor
* HASTED'S Kent. ** History of Rochester.
The Hawkins Family. 57
in the land, therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shall open thyne hand unto thy brother that is needy and poor in the land." *
" It is evident that the founder by fixing in a conspicuous part of the walls these admonitions to charity, intended to awaken in the minds of passengers sentiments of pity and compassion, and to excite those of his own profession, at least, who had been successful in the world, to enlarge and improve upon a plan calculated for the support, in the decline of life, of a body of men useful to the community, and to whose laborious and perilous assistance they were chiefly indebted for the wealth they had acquired. But if this was the expectation and laudable aim of Sir John Hawkins, they have been in a great measure ineffectual. For though, since the establishing of this institution, very ample-nay, noble-fortunes have been made by naval officers in the service of the Crown, the name of Robert Davis is almost the only one who stands recorded as a benefactor, and it was by the direction of Dame (Elizabeth Narborough (afterwards Shovel), whom he appointed hi's sole executrix."**
Sir John, after settling his accounts with regard to the navy in 1590, requiring a relief from his arduous office work; suggested an expedition to Cadiz and the South Seas, "the sea calling him, and feeling there was good work to be done."*** As usual he was vexed by delays, but towards the end of the summer of 1590 the fleet of fourteen ships, commanded by himself in the Mary Rose and Sir M. Frobisher in the Revenge set sail, with orders to do all possible mischief on the coast of Spain.**** In September Hawkins was Admiral at Flores', waiting' for the
*Twelve pensioners are still living in Sir Jnhn Hawkins's Hospital at Chatham, but during this century the old gate has disappeared. In the Council Room, over the fireplace, is a portrait in oils of the founder, also two hatchraents, one with the arms of Sir John Hawkins, and the other with the arms of Trelawny impaling Arg. on a chey. sable three cross crosslets of the first, likewise a huge oak chest with three locks, in which the charter is kept. On the lid of the chest are the arms of Sir John Hawkins; ** History of Rochester. *** 1590. May 2. Westminster. Commission of Queen Eliaabeth to Sir Jolin Hawkins, authorising him to press and take up men for her service to the furnishing of such ships as are committed to his charge, viz. the Mary Rose, Hope, Nonpareil, Rainbow, Swiftsure, and Foresight, in any place upon the coasts of England and Ireland any mariners, soldiers, &c. Provided that Sir John, and those who accompany him in the voyage, shall not willingly attempt anything that may give just cause of offence to such princes as are in good amity and league with England. - Second Report of the Historical Manuscripts Commission. Duke of Northumberlan d's MSS. ****Sir John Hawkins and Sir Martin Forbusher, their voyage to the Coast of Spain and Islands Anno 1590.
The Revenge Sir Martin Fohisher The Hope Captain Bostock The Mary Rose Sir John Hawkins The Crane Captain [Richard] Hawkins The Lion Sir Edward Vorke The Quittance Captain Burnell The Bonaventure Captain Fenner The Foresight The Rainbow Sir George Beeston The Swiftsure MONSON's Naval Tracts.
58 Plymouth Armada Heroes.
Spanish fleet. Says Sir Richard, in his Voyage to the South Seas, "In the fleet of her Majesty, under the charge of my father Sir John Hawkins anno 1590, upon the coast of Spain the Vice-Admiral [Frobisher?] being ahead one morning, where his place was to be astern, lost us the taking of eight men of war laden with ammunition, victuals, and provisions, for the supply of the soldiers in Brittany [the Spaniards sent assistance of troops and stores to the Duc de Mercoeur in Brittany, in his war against Hen. IV., which was not concluded until 1598], and although they were 7 or 8 leagues from the shore, when our Vice-Admiral began to fight with them, yet for that the rest of our fleet were some 4, some 5 leagues, and some more distant from them, when we began to give chase, the Spaniards recovered into the harbour of Mungia ['4 miles N. of Cape Finisterre] before our Admiral [Sir John Hawkins] could come up to give direction; yet well beaten, with loss of above 200 men, as they themselves confessed to me after. And doubtless, if the wind had not over-blown and that to follow them I was forced to shut all my lower ports, the ship I undertook [chased] doubtless had never endured to come to the port; but being double fli-boats, and all of good sail they bare for their lives, and we did what we could to follow and fetch them up,* and to intercept the Spanish fleet.
"But the Plate fleet was warned in time, and remained in the Indies. None of the enemy's ships appeared, and the expedition came back without any results."
The English in this year were seven months without taking a ship, as the Spaniards did not come out of port, but the English fleet succeeded in stopping trade with Spain. Not taking the eight men of war on their way to Brittany was no fault of Sir John, who, however, had to bear the blam~. For when he returned and reminded Elizabeth that "Paul doth plant, Appollo doth water, but God giveth the increase" "God's death !" exclaimed the Queen, "this fool went out a soldier and is come home a divine."**
Sir John Hawkins to Lord Burleigh.
Mv MOST HONORABLE GOOD LORD,
I ame many wayes burdenyd & brought behinde hande and especyally by the overthrow of this Jorney which I had with great care & cost brought to passe, hopinge as your Lordship dyd see an orderly & a sparyng begYnnyng so yf yt had pleased God that yt shold have procyded ther shold have byne sene with Gods favour a rare example of governement, wherin matter of great moment might have byne performyd, but seying yt ys thus I can but saye, the wyll of god be done. * This proves that Sir Richard Hawkins was in this expedition of 1590. ** Sta. Pa. Dom. (Eliz.)
The Hawkins Family. 59
I ame many wayes to be an humble sewter to your good Lordship to looke favourably to me, ells I shall be utterly cast downe, for many thynges are now owt of my handes wherein I have streched my abyllytye & many of my fryndes, & especially this late Jorney intendyd.
The remayne of the warrant of the 27 of March 1588. 2147 10 0 the consideracon for my ship the repentance 714 0 0 my porcyon with Sr francys Drake which her Matie promysed me long syns beynge 7000 0 0
. all which I thought shold have byne small matters in comparyson of that which God wold have blessyd me with yf I had procyded, but now beynge owt of hope that ever I shall performe any royall thynge, I do put on a meane mynde, & humbly pray your Lordship to be good lord to me, to whome onely I wylbe beholdynge, & wyll be dysposed of and all that I have by your Lordship & ever thankfull.
From London the first of Marche 1589. Your Lordships ever bownden
[Endorsed] To the Ryt Honorable my synguler good Lord the Lord High tresorer of Ingland.*
We subsequently find:
Sir John Hawkins to Lord Burleigh.
My bownden dewty Humbly remembryd unto your good Lordship. we aryvyd by Dover with fowre of her Ma'ties good shipes and the Daynty in good saffety god be thankyd the viiith day of Desember, & mynd to plye into chattham with all spede possyble
The pryse at Dartmouthe ys dyschargyd there and a perfytt inventory sent unto your Lordship of all that was fowud in her by the costomer or collectour Mr Blaccoller to which inventory bothe be and I have subscrybed, & lest the same may not come so soone to your Lordsbips hands by land as now by me I have sent your Lordship a coppy of it word for word.
I have deliveryd the cochenyle to those your Lordship and the rest of the Lordes wrot for even at my beyng under sayle I gave order for it.
The ryalls of platt & the matters of worthe I have here with me in the Mary rose which I wyll bryng to your Lordship, so have I other things wherin your Lordship shall see I have demynyshed nothing.
From the Mary rose nere Dover the 8th of Des. 1590. Your Honorable Lordships ever bounden JOHN HAwKvNs.
[Endorsed] To the Ryt Honorable my synguler good Lord The Lord Heigh Tresorer of ingland.*
* Sta. Pa. Dom. (Eliz.)
60 Plymouth Armada Heroes.
The character of the disputes that arose in the division of the spoil is indicated by the annexed curious official report:
Most worshippful Sir, having traveled about your affaires conserning the goods of yours brought into Plimouth by Sir John Hawkins and Sir Martin Frobisher Knights at my coming to Plimouth aforesaid your factors and I fownde in sundrye warehowses by ther markes the said goodes mentioned in scedules geven us. And by virtue of letters from the right honourable the Lords and others of her Majesties Privie Councell your factors receyved them and transported them according to your directions, saving fortie bagges of Cochinille and one smale barrell delivered me by waight by Humferye Founes in this manner, viz. x bagges and a smale barrell in his owne keeping, as allotted out for his share, and so he commanded from one Phillipps Goddard and Mr Hawkins as their share also x bagges a piece more, All which commodities after the possession for my discharge being goodes of great vallewe called some honest persons to viewe them And fownd the said goodes to be mingled with grimy (?) graynes and coldust &c. And after roade to the Commissioners viz. Sir John Gilbert Knt. &c. to shew them how the forenamed persons together with Mr Richard Hawkins had misused (?) the said goodes in manner as is aforesaid
Uppon the 26th of October past Sir John Hawkins being sent unto by the said commissioners, and a coppie of Her Matie warrant, desiering him to be a meane that his kinsman Richard Hawkins might restore the rest of the said goodes, which he refused to do, but wrote his warrant unto the Mayor of Plimouth to take the same go6des again from us
Sir John sent to the number of 50 or threescore mariners, with a man or twoe of his own well weaponed the xxixth of October and with great violence took the same goodes from us CAR. ATKINSON.*
There was still sharper controversy when the Madre de Dios was captured, in 1592, after a hot engagement. This great caracke, or seven-decked ship, of 165 feet from stem to stern, manned by 600 men, was the largest prize that had ever been brought to England. The Queen, who had contributed little towards the expenses of the enterprise, nevertheless engrossed the largest share of the profits, which were estimated by Ralegh and Sir John Hawkins, who had joined him in this expedition, at £500,000. The officers and sailors, however, had previously secured for themselves the jewels and other valuable effects, and thus obtained considerable booty. This vessel was brought into: the port of Dartmouth. Ralegh's share of the profits is said to have exceeded £30,000; but he complains that he had back less than his own. * Sta. Pa. Dom. (Eliz.)
The Hawkins Family. 61
We. find under date, October 28th, 1594: GRANT to Sir John Hawkins, Sir John Hart, Hen. Colthurst, John Moore, and other merchants of London, of a prohibition for two years against the bringing in of pepper, with proviso that they sell the pepper which they have bought of the Queen at not more than 3s. the pound.*
Sir John Hawkins's career was now drawing to a close. His health became affected from the strain of a continuance of service afloat, combined with the performance of responsible and laborious duties on shore. Hence he writes, in January, 1594, begging again to be released from his labours. He had grown grey in the service of his country, and now required the much-needed rest. "His second wife, Margaret Vaughan, was weak, and could not be removed. His brother William had died and been honoured by a monument in Deptford Church. There was to be no other rest for him."
As his life had been heroic so was his death. In 1593 his only child, Richard Hawkins, had sailed on his adventurous voyage to the South Sea. Then came the news that his son was a prisoner in the hands of the Spaniards; and his brave father determined to put to sea once more, broken-hearted as he was, to attempt the rescue of his son, hoping that during the enterprise an opportunity might offer to procure his freedom.
An expedition to sail to the West Indies was planned by Hawkins, who as usual directed all the preparations himself. Sir Thomas Gorges reported, from Plymouth to Cecil, of this his last service, "Sir John Hawkins is an excellent man in all these things; he sees all things done orderly."
The fleet was under the command of Sir John Hawkins and Sir Francis Drake. The Queen was to bear a share of the expenses, and to have a third of the profits. Hawkins was to victual the fleet at his own cost. "As a matter of fact the chief outlay fell upon Sir John," who expended £18,661 18s. 6d, and Drake £12,842 9s. 10d. If required the Queen would have found £20,000; but Hawkins and Drake paid £1504 8s. 5d. above their proportion.
Carew notes : On the 23rd July, 1595, four Spanish galleys arrived off the Cornish coast near Penzance, where they landed, and set the town on fire. A messenger was sent by post to Sir Francis Drake, and Sir John Hawkins, then at Plymouth with a fleet bound for the Indies, &c.;
The following letter will be read with interest:
Sir F Drake and Sir J Hawkins to Lord Budeigh. Our duty in most humble manner remembered, it may please your Lordship, we have answered her Majestys letter we hope to her Highness contentment, whom we would not willingly displease. * Sta. Pa. Dom. (Eliz.)
62 Plymouth Armada Heroes.
We humbly thank your Lordship for your manifold favours which we have always found never variable, but with all favour, love, and constancy, for which we can never be sufficiently thankful, but with our prayers to (God long to bless your good Lordship with honour and wealth.
We think it be true, that some small men of war be taken upon the coast of Spain, but they are of very small moment; they be for the most part such small carvels as was before this taken from the Spaniards. Some small number of our men are yet in Spain, which is the only loss, but as we learn, there be not above one hundred left in Spain of them, but many returned already into England. And so looking daily for a good wind, we humbly take our leave. From Plymouth the 18th of August, 1595. Your Lordships ever most bounden, FRA. DRAKE, JOHN HAWKINS.*
Their force consisted of 27 ships and 2500 men. Of all the expeditions against the Spaniards there was none that promised so much success, and which ended with less.
This fleet of six royal ships, the Bonaventure, Garland, Defiance, Hope, Foresight, and Adventure, with twenty-one other vessels, was detained by reports of a Spanish invasion, which proved without foundation. The ships sailed from Cawsand Bay on the 29th April, 1595, to execute their plan of burning Nombre de Dios, marching to Panama, and there seizing the treasure which had arrived from Peru. The first mishap that occurred was to the Hope. She struck on the Eddystone, but was got off again. A few days before they sailed, the Queen sent to say that the Plate fleet had arrived in Spain, with the exception of one galleon, which had lost a mast and was obliged to return to Porto Rico, and advised their taking this vessel. When they were at sea the "generals" in a very short time differed. Hawkins was for executing the Queen's command; but Drake, instead of seconding the wise judgment of his kinsman and early patron, succeeded in persuading him to make an attack on the Canaries. But the attempt of reducing these islands proved as dishonourable as it was unsuccessful, and they set sail for Dominica, where they spent too much time in refreshing the crews and building pinnaces, remaining at Guadaloupe until the 4th November; thus giving the Spaniards so much insight into their design that, having heard of the departure and force of the English squadron, they dispatched five stout frigates to bring away the galleon from Porto Rico. * Sta. Pa. Dom. (EIiz.)
Tke Hawkins Family. 63
Sir John Hawkins having left St. Dominica, the same day the Francis, of thirty-five tons, and the stemmost of his ships, fell in with the five Spanish ships despatched to observe the English, and to convoy the Plate fleet from Porto Rico. The Spaniards, by putting the master and mariners of the Francis to the torture, obliged them to confess all they knew with regard to the expedition. This loss so deeply affected Sir John Hawkins that, on hearing the news, the consequence of which he had foreseen, and knowing that their whole scheme must be discovered, he was thrown into a fit of sickness, of which (or rather of a broken heart) he died, on the 21st November, 1595, the very day the fleet anchored before Porto Rico. Hawkins's death had a great effect upon those whom he commanded, because what he predicted had come only too true. This was so mortifying to Drake, he being greatly to blame, that he too fell ill, and died a few weeks later.
"His younger colleague and pupil soon afterwards followed him, and shared the same watery grave."*
Anticipating the arrival of the English fleet, the Spaniards had sunk a great ship to prevent the English entering the haven, where there were five Spanish vessels well armed for defence. Directly the English came to an anchor, they played their great guns upon them, doing much damage. Sir Nicholas Clifford and Brute Brown were mortally wounded. Baskerville, however, with twenty-five boats, ventured within the Roads, burning and doing much harm to their ships, and the fight was obstinately contested on both sides.
The English then proceeded to Nombre de Dios, whence Sir Thomas Baskerville, with 750 soldiers, began the march to Panama; but was repulsed, and returned, after they had gone halfway to the South Seas, with his half- starved and harassed men.
After the death of Sir Francis Drake, before the fleet reached Porto Bello, the command devolved upon Baskerville; and he, with the advice of the other officers, set sail for England, and, after a severe fight with a Spanish fleet off Cuba, arrived home in May, 1596, with very little booty, which was but a poor recompense to the nation for the loss of the two greatest sea officers then in Europe; and was much regretted and remembered for many years as a public calamity.
Sir John Hawkins was graceful in his youth, and of a grave and reverend aspcct as he advanced in years. "Every inch a sailor," with a thorough understanding of maritime affairs; a skilled mathematician, and a shrewd
64 Plymouth Armada Heroes.
tactician, with a keen insight into the characters of men; of an almost boundless capacity for work; an able and upright administrator, who for forty-eight years was employed in the active service of his country. He was a man of undaunted personal courage, and never-failing presence of mind, which enabled him frequently to deliver himself and others out of the most imminent dangers. He formed his plans judiciously, and executed the orders he received with the utmost punctuality. Submissive to his superiors, and courteous to inferiors; extremely affable to his seamen, and remarkably beloved by them: merciful," says Maynard, "and apt to forgive, and faithful to his word;" placing the sufferings of his men far before his own private dis'asters. "Not only the ablest seaman of his day, but the best shipwright that England had ever seen; often entering upon what in modern eyes are questionable ways, but never false to his own conscience and the moral standard of his time; 'a very wise, vigilant, and true-hearted man,' as Stow speaks of him in his Chronicle- Sir John Hawkins, of all the Elizabethan galaxy, seems to me most nearly to approach the typical Englishman. The very solidity of his virtues, the very greatness of his deeds, have caused them to be inadequately esteemed."*
He was not without failings, and these were exaggerated by such people as found it easy to censure a man whom it would have been difficult to imitate.
An anonymous. letter, of doubtful authenticity,** quoted by Prince, disparaging Hawkins, bears the marks of bias, and was in all probability written by one of the men Hawkins detected in abuses, and who thus owed him a grudge, and wrote the letter in retaliation.
In spite of objections, it is made evident from facts that Sir John Hawkins was one of the principal supports of the English navy, in a reign when its glory was very conspicuous, in consequence of which he received many testimonies of honour, favour, and reward. His merit was not only understood by the Queen and her ministers, but by the country also, since Sir John was so popular, that he was twice elected member of Parliament for Plymouth, and a third time for some other borough.
He was a pious man, as appears from his recorded sayings and letters, and from his having erected and endowed during his lifetime the hospital at Chatham.
* WORTH. ** The writer has carefully omitted his name. It has been stated, but on unreliable authority, that Sir Wm. Monson wrote this letter. This is incorrect, as Sir Wm. Monson speaks in the highest terms of Hawkins.
The Hawkins Family. 65
That he was a man of education, and able to handle the pen to good purpose, is proved by his narrative of the voyage to San Juan de Ulba,' and many letters still extant.
His contemporary, John Davis, in his World's Hydrographical Description, says, "The first Englishman that gave any attempt on the coasts of West India, was Sir John Hawkins, Knight: who there and in that attempt, as in many others sithens, did and hath prpved himself to be a man of excellent capacity, great government, and perfect resolution. For before he attempted the same it was a matter doubtful and reported the extremest limit of danger to sail upon those coasts. . How then may Sir John Hawkins be esteemed, who being a man of good account in his country, of wealth and great employment, did notwithstanding for the good of his country, to procure trade, give that notable and resolute attempt."
Admiral Sir John Hawkins was married twice. About 1558 he married Katherine, daughter of Benjamin Gonson, Esq., of Sebright Hall, Great Badow, near Chelmsford, by Ursula, daughter of Anthony Hussey, Judge of the Admiralty. Benjamin Gonson, and his father William Gonson before him, were Treasurers of the Navy in the reigns of Henry VIII., Edward VI., Mary, and Elizabeth. In 1573 Benjamin Gonson resigned in favour of his son-in-law, John Hawkins, who held the office of Treasurer of the Navy until his death, in 1595 - a period of twenty-two years. Sir John's first wife, Katherine Gonson, was the mother of Sir Richard Hawkins, his only child. She died in 1591, and was buried in St. Nicholas Church, Deptford. Katherine's sister, Tomasine Gonson, married first Captain Edward Fenton, Squire of the body to Queen Elizabeth, and commander of the Mary Rose against the Armada. He died in 1603, and a monument commemorates his memory in St. Nicholas Church, Deptford. His widow married, secondly, Christopher Browne, Esq., of Sayes Court, Deptford.
Sir John Hawkins's second wife was Margaret, daughter of Charles Vaughan, Esq., of Hergest, by Elizabeth, daughter of Sir James Baskerville, of Eardisley Castle, Co. Hereford. Lady Hawkins was bedchamber woman to Queen Elizabeth. Lady Hawkins is mentioned, in 1594, as attending the funeral, as "chefe morner," of her aunt, Lady Katherine Gates, widow of Sir Henry Gates; and again in the Carew MSS., 1601-1603. She survived her husband twenty-six years, and died in 1621.*
His skill and success had given him such a reputation, that by way of augmentation to his arms (Sable, a golden lion walking over the waves),
* Sir John Hawkins's two wives were allied to Roger Boyle, Earl of Cork.
66 Plymouth Armada Heroes.
Mr. Harvey, then Clarencieux King-at-Arms, granted to John Hawkins, by patent, for his crest, on his return from his voyage of 1564, a demi-Moor proper bound captive, with annulets on his arms and in his ears, for his victory over the Moors.
"2nd augmentation for John Hawkins exploits at Rio de la Hauche, and in honour of his great action at Ulloa, and to preserve the memory of his other noble achievements, Mr Cooke then Clarencieux added to his arms-on a canton or an escallop between two palmer's staves sable. This patent is [in 1779] still in existance."
The terms of the first grant of augmentation are worthy of note. Sir John is described as "gentleman," and as the second son of William Hawkins, of Plymouth, and Joan his wife, daughter of "Edmund" Trelawny, of Cornwall; who was son of John Hawkins, of Lawnstone, Cornwall, esquire, by Joane his wife, daughter and heir of William Amidas, of Lawnstone aforesaid. There is no record of the onginal grant of arms, which according to the augmentation were borne by his immediate ancestors. In 1616 the Corporation of Plymouth placed the arms of Sir John Hawkins, and those of Sir John Hele, in the Guildhall windows, at a cost of 33s. 6d., protecting them the next year with a "small grate of wire" costing 13s. 10d. In the new Guildhall windows Sir John is represented, but his arms have been omitted.
Sir John Hawkins's grave lies far away in the depths of the Western Ocean; but a handsome monument erected to his memory on the north side of the chancel of St, Dunstan's-in-the-East, which was his place of worship during many years, gave his age as "six times ten and three."* This would make his birth in 1532; the date usually given is 1520, but on no authority. This cenotaph was destroyed in the great fire of London in 1666. The present church was built by Sir Christopher Wren; and the tomb has disappeared. The monument bore the following inscription:
Johannes Hawkins, Eques Auratis, clariss. Reginse Marinarum causarum Thesaurarius. Qui cum xliii annos munus bellicis et longis periculosisque navigationibus, detegendis novis regionibus, ad Patrise utililatem, et suam ipsius gloriam, strenuam et egregiam operam navasset, in expeditione, cui Generalis prsefuit ad Indiam occidentalem dum in anchoris ad portum S. Joannis in insula Beriquena staret, placide in Domino ad coelestem patriam emigravit, 12 die Novembris anno salutis 1595. In cujus memoriam ob virtutem et res gestas Domina Margareta Hawkins, Uxor maestissima, hoc monumentum cum lachrymis posuit.
* The same date is given on Sir John's original portrait, in the possession of C. Stuart Hawkins, Esq.
68 Plymbuth Armada Heroes.
Stow, in his Survey of London, tells us that his widow hung a "fair table" by the tomb, "fastened in the wall, with these verses in English :" Dame Margaret, A widow well affected This monument Of memory erected, Deciphering Unto the viewer's sight The life and death Of Sir John Hawkins, Knight; One fearing God And loyal to his Queen, True to the State By trial ever seen, Kind to his wives, Both gentlewomen born, Whose counteffeits With grace this work adorn. Darne Katherine, The first, of rare report, Dame Margaret The last, of Court consort, Attendant on The chamber and the bed Of England's Queen Elizabeth, our head Next unto Christ, Of whom all princes hold Their scepters, states, And diadems of gold. Free to their friends On either side his kin Careful to keep The credit be was in. Unto the seamen Beneficial, As testifieth Chatham Hospital. The poor of Plymouth And of Deptford Town Have had, now have, And shall have, many a crown. Proceeding from His liberality By way of great And gracious legacy, This parish of St. Dunstan standing east (Wherein he dwelt Full thirty years at least) Hath of the springs Of his good will a part, Derived from The fountain of his heart, All which bequests, With many moe unsaid, Dame Margaret Hath bountifully paid. Deep of conceit, In speaking grave and wise, Endighting swift And pregnant to devise. In conference Revealing haughty skill In all affairs, Having a worthie's will~; On sea and land, Spending his course and time, By steps of years As he to age did climb. God hath his soul, The sea his body keeps, Where (for a while) As Jonas now he sleeps; Till he which said To Lazarus, Come forth, Awakes this Knight, And gives to him his worth. In Christian faith And faithful penitence, In quickening hope And constant patience, He running ran A faithful pilgrim's race, God giving him The guidance of His Grace, Ending his life With his experience By deep decree Of God's high providence. His years to six times Ten and three amounting, The ninth the seventh Climacterick by counting
The Hawkins Family. 69
Dame Katherine, His first religious wife, Saw years thrice ten And two of mortal life, Leaving the world the sixth, The seventh ascending. Thus he and she Atike their compass ending, Asunder both By death and flesh alone, Together both in soul, Two rnaking one, Among the saints above, From troubles free, Where two in one shall meet And make up three. The Christian Knight And his good ladies twain, Flesh, soul, and spirit United once again; Beholding Christ, Who comfortably saith, Come, mine elect, Receive the crown of faith.
L'ENVOY. Give God, saith Christ, Give C~sar lawfull right, Owe no man, saith St. Paul, ne mine, ne mite Save love, which made this chaste memoriall, Subscribed with Truths testimoniall.
An epitaph on Sir John Hawkins and Sir Francis Drake was written by Richard Bamfield, in an address "To the Gentlemen Readers" preceding The Encomium of Lady Pecunia; or, The Praise of Money (1598). He writes: "The bravest Voyages in the World have been made for gold: for it Men have ventured (by sea) to' the furthest parts of the earth: In the pursute whereof, England's Nestor and Neptune [Hawkins and Drake] lost their lives. Upon the Deathes of the which two, of the first I write this:
"The waters were his Winding Sheete, the Sea was made his Toombe; Yet for his fame the Ocean Sea, was not Sufficient roome. Of the latter this: "England his hart; his Corps the waters have, And that which raysd his fame, became his grave."
The frontispiece represents an original portrait on panel of Admiral Sir John Hawkins. On the left side are the arms, and on the right, "Aetatis SVAE LVIII Anno Domi 1591." This portrait is now in the possession of Christopher Stuart Hawkins, Esq., whose father, Admiral Abraham Mills Hawkins, about 185o, obtained the picture from Richard King, Esq., of Bigadon, into whose hands it came after having been sold with the "old lumber" referred to on page 70, on the death of Mrs. William Creed (relict of William Creed, a descendant of Admiral Sir John Hawkins), who was the grandmother of Admiral Abraham Mills Hawkins, as well as of John Luscombe, Esq., late of Coombe Royal, near Kingsbridge.
70 Plymouth Armada Heroes.
The accompanying illustration represents a miniature of Sir John Hawkins, and the jewel given to him by Queen Elizabeth, after the defeat of the Armada, together with a lock of her Majesty's hair.*
The miniature is in an ivory case, and beautifully preserved, with a blue background. These relics were given to Sir Henry Seale, Bart., by Miss Mary Southcote about 1845. A few years later Baron E. Rothschild came into Dartmouth -in his yacht, and purchased the miniature and pendant from Sir Henry, and they are now in the possession of his daughter; the Countess of Rosebery.
The following extiact is taken from a letter:
THE miniature is a very good resemblance of Sir John Hawkins, painted by Peter Oliver, considered the first English artist in Queen Elizths day. Sir John Hawkins was one of the admirals of Queen Elizths fleet which took and dispersed the Spanish Armada m the year 1588, for which service the Queen presented him -with the accompanying jewel, -and which at tbat time was suspended by a handsome gold chain. The whole coming into the possession of two sisters, ** they agreed to a division, the younger, Mary, taking the picture and jewel, the elder Harriet, keeping the chain, all trace of which is now lost, but John Luscombe, Esq' of Coombe Royal near Kingsbridge, Devon, says he well remembers to have seen amongst some old number of his grandmother's, Mrs Wm Creed, a portrait of Sir John Hawkins wearing this jewel and the chain round his neck.- After his grandmother's death the old lumber was sold, and with it this portrait. Nearly 50 years since I remember to have heard my Father say that he had been offered £500 for this relic but which he had refused!
- MARY SOUTHCOTE.***
The Marquis of Lothian has in his possession a picture of Hawkins, Drake, and Candish. "It is ascribed to Mytens, and it has been at Newbattle for about 250 years at least."**** The portrait of Hawkins in this picture is a facsimile of the one that belongs to Mr. C. Stuart Hawkins.
* This lock of Queen Elizabeth's hair was carefally preserved and given to Henry Southcote, who changed his name to Aston, second son of John Henry Southcote, by his second wife Priscilla Aston. He unfortunately lost the hair a few years since.
** Daughters of John Henry Southcote, ob. 1820 aged 73, of Buckland-tout-Saints, which he sold to the Clarkes in 1793, and of the manor of Stokefleming, High Sheriff of Devon.
*** Mary Southcote, ob. 1849, daughter of John Henry Southcote, by his first wife Margaret Luttrell. This heirloom came to John Henry Southcote through his mother Joan Creed, and to the Creeds from Judith, daughter of Thomas Hawkins, Esq., of Stokefleming, who married Peter Creed. **** Letter from the Marquis of Lothian.
The Hawkins Family. 71
In the Council-roorn of Sir John Hawkins's Hospital at Chatham is a portrait in oils of the founder, apparently taken at a younger period of his life.
The basso-relievo ivory bust of Sir John Hawkins is in the possession of the Rev. Bradford R. J. Hawkins, of Crowfield Parsonage, Needham, Suffolk, who believes the bust came from Dr. Deane, Archdeacon of Rochester and Rector of Lambeth, through Bishop Bradford, whose niece William Hawkins, of Westminster, married. The said William Hawkins was great grandfather of the Rev. Bradford R. J. Hawkins, the present owner of the bust.
Will of Katherine Lady Hawkins~
BE it known to all men by these presents that whereas I Sir John Hawkins Knt. am possessed of one house with one garden & appurtenances thereunto belonging in Deptford And whereas I am also possessed of certain other lands in Deptford aforesaid within [sic] Katherine my wellbeloved wife is in the remainder to dispose to her & her heirs knowe ye that I the said Sir John Hawkins in consideration of my great good will borne to my wife aforesaid and in consideration of the great care & travels she hath alwaies borne towards the increasing & maintenance of my estate have licensed and do by these licence and give libertie to the said Katherine my wife to make her last will & testament and therein to dispose & give & bequeath at her good pleasure and liking to anie person or persons & their heirs not only the possession & reversion of the said lands but also of my goodes moveable to the value of five hundreth pounds sterling which dispositions gifts & bequests by her to be made for the things & value abovesaid I promise by theis presents for me my heirs & executors to allowe ratifie & performe. In witnes whereof I have set to theis presents my hande & seale the xxvth day of May in the xxxijth yeare of the raigne of our Soveraigne Ladie Elizabeth JOHN HAWKINS. Sealed & delivered in the presence of me LAWRENCE HUSE.
I KATHERINE HAWKINs wife of Sir John Hawkins Knt. do request my husband that he will be contented my corps may be buried in the parish Church of St. Dunstans in the Easte.
I bequeath the large bason & ewer of silver & gilt which was my late fathers to my brother Benjamin Gonson & to his heirs after the decease of my husband. And for default of issue to such one of my sisters or sisters children as shalbe thought most fit & convenient by mine Executors to take the use of the said bason & ewer. To my said brothers wife my best border of pearls & gold. To my sister Marie Hawkins my other border of gold & pearle To Judith Hawkins wife of Richard Hawkins my ring with the table diamante which Sr Nicholas Parker
72 Plymouth Armada Heroes.
gave me. To my sister Peterson my great Spanische piece of golde of the value of about fifty ducats, and to Ursula Peterson her daughter £50. To my sister Bennet Wallinger the face cloth & cushion cloth which she hath in use of mine and to Katherine Wallinger her daughter & my goddaughter £50. And to Thomas Wallinger her son £25 To Marie Wallinger her daughter £25 To my sister Anne Fleminge 32 pieces of 10s. in gold of the mill stamp To my sister Thomasine Fenton my pair of bracelets of gold pearle & "Agathies" and my ringe with the seale. To my cousin Katherine Joydan 10 pieces of gold of 20s. the piece To my cousin Marie Robinson one piece of gold of 30s. To my cousin Margaret Huse ais Roe one piece of gold of 30s. To my cousin Anne Netmaker wife of my cousin Robert Netmaker 40s. And to Ursula Netmaker her daughter £3. To my cousin Margaret Laurence wife of Simon Laurence one piece of gold of 4 ducats To the wife of my cousin Michael Gonson 40s. And to her son Benjamin his wife 40s.
Legacies to friends.
To Mr Edward Combes in consideration of his great travels in our affairs one "portague" To my godson James Wood six angels. Numerous legacies to friends.
To the poor of St. Dunstan's parish £5, and to the poor of Deptford £5
I ordain my good sisters Ursula Peterson & Thomasine Fenton my Executors and my Uncle Huse to be Overseer of this my will
Signed & sealed by me KATHERINE HAWKINS the xxijth day of June 1591.
On the xxiijth of June Dame Katherine Hawkins declared this to be her last will in the presence of Abraham Fleminge "preaching minister,' of Deptford, Richard Chapman & William Currey.
After the delivery of the will Dame Katherine gave by word of mouth various other legacies to several people [here specified at length]
Proved 16th Oct. 1591 at Rochester. [Rochester Wills.]
Will of SIR JOHN HAWKIN
SIR JOHN HAWKINS of London Knt.
I bequeath £50 among the poor householders of Plimouth, £50 to the poor householders of the parish of St. Dunstan's in the East London where I dwell, and £5o to the poor householders of Deptford where I dwell
The Hawkins Family. 73
The sum of £2000 jointure of my wife Lady Margaret to be first satisfied by my executors, also £1000 which I bequeath to her in augmentation of her jointure & in recompense of her dower. I give to her so much of my plate as shall amount to the value of £200 to be chosen at her pleasure, also so much of my household stuff out of my house in Mincing Lane & other my houses in Deptford as shall amount to £300, also all such jewels as heretofore I bestowed upon her.
I give and bequeath to my dread Sovereign Ladie the Queen's most excellent Maiestie that now is (to be delivered by my said wife) as a testimony of my true zeal and Loyalty a Jewell of the value of 200 marks
To my very good Lord William Lord Burghlie High Treasurer of England the sum of £100
To my very good Lord Charles Lord Howard of Effingham High Admiral of England my best diamond worth £100 or so much money in gold
To Sir John Fortescue Knt Chancellor of the Exchequer £50
To my very good Cousin Sir Francis Drake Knt. my best jewell which is a Cross of "Emorodes"
To Sir Henry Palmer Knt. a diamond worth £20
To John Heale £50, to be one of the Overseers of this my will.
To Benjamin Gunston my brother-inAaw my best bason & ewer of silver & gilt, or in lieu of it £50
To Edward Fenton Esq. & to Thomasine his wife my brother & sister in law £50 which she doth owe me.
To Robert Peterson & Ursula his wife my brother & sister in law £20
[A lost list of legacies to servants and friends.]
100 marks each to every of the sons (now living) of my late brother Wm Hawkins Esq by Mary his 2nd wife, also £50 to each of the daughters of my said brother by both his wives
To my servant Roger Langforde an annuity of £20 during such term as he shall be employed going through my accounts with her Majestie which accounts I willed him to follow by the direction of my wife and of my son Richard Hawkins.
Whereas I have assured all my lands, tenements & hereditaments within the Realme of England to Sir Henry Palmer Knt Thomas Hughs of Gray's Inn Esq. Hughe Vaughan of the parish of St. Giles without Creplegate London, and Richard Reynell of the Middle Temple Esq. I therefore will & devise them to assure unto my wife my house in London wherein I now dwell for the term of her life, the remainder thereof to my son Richard Hawkins & his heirs male; for lack of such issue to my wife the Lady Margaret Hawkins & her heirs for ever. In like manner I do devise that the said Sir Henry Palmer and his "Cobargainzees" & their heirs shall assure to my said son the moiety of the house with the appurtenances & of the garden, stable, cellars, the pallace, the
74 Plymouth Armada Heroes.
wharf and forge house upon the said wharf in Plymouth that he now occupieth, to hold to him & his heirs lawfully begotten, the remainder thereof in tail to the heirs of my said brother William Hawkins by Mary his second wife, with remainder in tail to the heirs of my said brother by his first wife; with remainder to my own right heirs for ever.
In like manner Sir Henry Palmer & his Cobargainzees shall assure to the eldest son of my late brother by the said Marie the moiety of the dwelling h6use with the appurtenances in Plymouth wherein Warwick Heale Esq. & the said Marie now or latelie dwelt, and the moiety of the garden, the tower house to it, the shop, the "bruehouse," backehouse, the sellers upon the wharfe before the house, the moietie of the Crane, And my parte of the gardeine and Orcharde in the Howe lane, And my moitie of the stable: to have & to hold to him & his heirs, with remainder in tail to the next heir male of my said brother by the said Marie, for default of such heir, the remainder in tail to my son Richard Hawkins, with remainder to the next heir of my said brother, with remainder to my own right heirs for ever.
All the rest of my lands in Plymouth I bequeath to my son Richard Hawkins & his heirs males, with divers remainders, upon condition that my son within one year next after my death doe graunt & assure ten pounds rent charge yearly out of it to the Mayor & "Cominaltie" of Plymouth, or the Corporation of Plymouth if they may lawfully take it, if not, to the Overseers of this my last will & to their heirs, to the use & to be paid to the poor for the time being in the Almeshouses there for ever.
I will that my feoffees do go through with the erection of my hospital at Chatham & provision of living for the same according to such directions as I shall give them if during mine own life I do not perform & "parficte" that work.
I give & bequeath unto the children of my late brother William Hawkins a full fifth part of all such adventure and portion of mine as shall return to my use profit & benefit from the Seas, in mine and Sir Frauncis Drackes viage, and the like fifth part 'of mine adventure & portion which I have at the seas with my said son Richard Hawkins in the ship called the Dainti4 and in the rest of his shipps. And the like fifth part of all mine adventure which I have at seas with Sir Walter Rawleighe. Knt. in his ship called the Rowbucke or Malecontent the same fifth parts to be equally divided amongst all the children of my said brother by both his wives and delivered to them within convenient time after the return of every of the said adventures. And I do referr it to the further discretion of my well beloved wife to enlarge the said portions & to bestow more on the said children as God shall bless the returns of the said adventures which I hope she will liberally do if the same adventures by the death of my said son do happen to come wholly to her.
To every child which William Hawkins the eldest son of my said brother shall have living at the time of my decease £100.
The Hawkins Family. 75
I will that my Executors do bestow £50 on a "Tumbe" over me & the said Lady Katherine my first wife (if I do it not myself).
The residue of all my lands, tenements, leases & mortgages I give to my Executors, & all my leases, goods & chattels whatsoever I give to my wife & my son Richard Hawkins "whome I doe jointlie ordaine & make my Executors."
To Judith Hawkins the wife & to Judith Hawkins the daughter of the said Ric. Hawkins the sum of £1500 to be paid to Thomas Heale Esq. of Fleete in Devonshire, to be employed by him to the best benefit of them both.
I constitute Lawrence Hussey Dr. of Civil Law, John Heale Serjeant-at-Law, & Hugh Vaughan to be Overseers of this my will
In witness whereof I have set my hand & seal the 3rd day of March, 37 Eliz. . Sealed & delivered in the presence of Richard Colthurst, John Wanler, Ed: Fawkner, Walther Wood, Edwa: Lawrance, John Hawkins.
[Codicil annexed]. Whereas by my will I have ordained my wife & my son my Executors, forasmuch as the said Richard Hawkins is supposed to be taken & detained pnsoner in the. Indies, therefore my mind & will is if the said Richard shall not return into this Realme of England within the space of three years to commence & immediately ensue after the xxth day of December next - coming after the date of my said will, That then and thenceforth the said Dame Margaret shall be my whole & sole "Exequutrix" & that then the executorship & all legacies of any of my goods &c. by the said will given to the said Richard shall cease & be void, saving only then the sum of £3000 I will my said Executrix shall pay for & towards his redemption and ransome "if therewith only, or otherwith together with other supply or means he may be redeemed & not otherwise."
I give to the two eldest sons of the right honorable the Lord Charles Hooward Lord High Admiral of England the debt which his Lordship oweth me being near £700
I bequeath a further sum of £50 each to the poor of Plymouth, St. Dunstans, and Deptford
To Judith & Cleere daughters of my said late brother £200 each over & above the legacies formerly bequeathed to them.
I bequeath to William Cecil son of Sir Robert Cecil £500.
All the legacies before given to my servants to be doubled.
Codicil dated 16th of June 1595, 37 Eliz.
Proved in London 28th day of April 1596 by Lady Margaret Hawkins the relict.
76 Plymouth Armada Heroes.
Will of Dame Margaret Hawkins. 23 APRIL 1619 I Dame Margaret Hawkins of London, widow. My body to be buried in the middle Chancel of St. Dunstans in the East in London near the monument there erected for my late beloved husband Sir John Hawkins Knt. Funeral Charges not to exceed £700 My meaning is not to have any mourning given to any of my kindred or friends unto whom by this my last will there is any legacy bequeathed save only to my brothers, sisters Executors & such as shall be my household servants at the time of my decease. I bequeath the sum of £800 for the purchasing of Lands or Tenements of the yearly value of £40 towards the maintenance of a learned preaching divine to keep a free school in Keinton in Herefordshire & of a learned & discreet Usher under him for the instructing of youths & children in literature & good education, & the said Schoolmaster shall upon every Wednesday morning or sotne other convenient day in the week preach a Sermon in Keinton parish Church for the instruction of the parishioners. The lands aforesaid not to be purchased for 4 years, & in the meantime any profit arising therefrom to be used for the building of a convenient free School near Keinton Church. £30 out of the said £40 to be paid to the Schoolmaster and £10 to the Usher. After the death of my Executors the nomination of the said Schoolmaster & Usher to be by 5 several voices or the more part of them viz. The Owner of Hergest Court in Keinton, 2 voices; The Owner of the Manor of West Hergest als Overhergest in Keinton, 1 voice; The Bishop of the diocese wherein Keinton is, 1 voice; and the Lord or Owner of Earsley in Co. Hereford for the time being, 1 voice To the poor of the parish of Keinton where I was born £50. To the poor of Amelly in Co. Hereford where I was nursed £10. To the poor of the parish of Debtford where I have dwelt £10. To the poor of the parish of Woodford in Essex where I have lived £10. To the poor of the parish of St. Dunstans in the East in London where I do dwell & have lived for a long time £50. To the poor of the parish of Chigwell in Essex where I also dwell £20. I give my dwelling house in Mincing Lane London to my brother Charles Vaughan for life, after his decease to his daughters Margaret & Elizabeth & to their heirs for ever. All the writings of the said house to be delivered by my Executors to my said brother & his daughters I devise all my other 6 messuages situate in Mincing Lane; my lease of the Cranemead & Broomfield in Deptford or elsewhere in Kent & Surrey, and my lease or term of the messuages, tenements & stables on or near the Tower Hill Co. Middx unto my Executors to be by them sold for the performance of this my will
The Hawkins Family. 77
If my nephew Stephen Price of Gray's Inn Esq. shall pay to my Exec. within 6 months after my decease the sum of £600 towards the performan of my will that then the said Stephen his heirs & assigns shall have my house called the Dolphin in Tower Street & the Rectory & parsonage of North Shobery in Essex, if he do not pay the said sum; then the premises to go to my Executors to be sold towards the performance of my will, they to pay to my said nephew £300
To Mary Davies widow a yearly rent charge of £10 issuing out of my lands etc. in St. Pancras & St. Andrew's Holborn. be All my household stuff in both my houses (excepting my plate jewells apparel etc, cattle, fuel, coachs & furniture, implements of husbandry etc.) to sold by my Executors to the uttermost worth by the help of my sister Elizabeth Pemberton my nephew John Vaughan of Hergest and my newphew Charles Price, & the money that shall be made thereof I give as follows -To my said sister Elir. Pemberton one 3rd part & to my two nephews aforesaid one 3rd part each.
To my niece Maud Leonard my best pair of Spanish borders enamelled black and trimmed with pearl, the upper border containing nineteen pieces & the nether border containing twenty seven pieces To my niece the Lady St. John a pair of borders enamelled green, blue & red trimmed with pearle the upper border containing 23 pieces, the nether border 29 pieces To my niece Mary Wilkinson my diamond ring which my niece Trevor did upon her death bed give me. To James Vaughan eldest son of my nephew John Vaughan of Hergest all my furniture of my red chamber at Luxborowe To my lionorable Lady the Countess of Leicester wife to the Earle of Leicester my pointed Diamond ring which the Countess of Warwick gave me. To my honorable Lady Mary Wroth a "guilded boule" of the price of £20. To my goddaughter Margaret Hawkins daughter of Sir Richard Hawkins Knt. one Carcanett enamilled black & blue containing Ii pieces with 66 pearls having a "Tortis" pendant set with a blue sapphire To my goddaughter Margaret Ireland 2 Carcanetts of gold, the one weighing "two ounces & half lacke pennie waight" containing 23 pieces, set with pearls with a jewell pendant of 5 Diamonds, the other containing II buttons being "Massy Spanish worke" enamelled & set with pearls with a jewell pendant having in it 3 diamonds, 3 rubies and one very fair pearl. To my loving friend Sr William Killigrewe Knt. a guilded bowl of the price of £20, and to the Lady Killigrew his wife my Persian carpet Legacies to friends.
78 Plymouth Armada Heroes.
Legacies in money :-
To my niece Anne Vaughan wife of John Vaughan £100. To my godson James Vaughan eldest son of above £400
[Mention made of late brother Walter Vaughan.] To my nephew Thomas Vaughan £100, to my nephew Richard Wood £10. To my niece Ann Wood £100, to my goddaughter Margaret Wood £100, to my godson Baynham Vaughan £200, to my brother Ric. Llellin £10, to my sister Sibell Llellin £100, to my niece Maud Leonard £200, to my niece Ann Scandrett £100; to my niece Margaret Stephens £100. To every of the 6 sons of my sister Sibell £100; to my nephew Francis Eades £10, to my goddaughter Margaret Edes £100; to my sister Ellinor Price £100, and legacies to her children (specially named)
[A long list of legacies to cousins, friends, servants; etc.]
I constitute my worthy friends Sr Michael Stanhope Knt (to whom I leave £100), my kinsman Sir John Vaughan Knt (£100), my nephew Thomas Trevor Esq. (£100) & my servant Anthony Lewes my executors. Signed & sealed by me MARGARET HAwKINs in the presence of Barnard Hide, Robt. Bateman, Wm Bateman, Robt. Sunderland & Ric. Davis.
Proved in London on the 4th of Jan. 1620, by Anthony Lewes. [Dale, 3.]
[Book converted for the Web © Paul Welbank, 1997]