Plymouth Armada Heroes

The Hawkins Family

by Mary W. S. Hawkins. 1888


[Book converted for the Web © Paul Welbank, 1997]

1888 BEING THE TERCENTENARY of the defeat of the Great Armada of Spain, a Narrative of the lives of some members of the Hawkins family of Devon, intimately connected with the Town of Plymouth during the sixteenth century, may be of interest to all West-Country men, especially as three of them, Sir John Hawkins, his elder brother, Captain William Hawkins, and his son, Sir Richard Hawkins, commanded three ships-the Victory, the Gryfyn, and the Swallow - and greatly distinguished themselves in the several actions against the Spaniards. These three famous sailors may be justly considered the PLYMOUTH ARMADA HEROES OF 1888.


FOR some years I have been collecting information about the deeds of our ancestors, but without a thought of publication, until many friends suggested that I had enough matter - and much that had never been in print - to publish a book, which at this time particularly would be of public interest, and which will, I hope, repay those kind friends and subscribers who have been so ready with their support.

I am desirous of expressing my special thanks to the Countess of Rosebery for having a photograph taken for me of the jewel and miniature of Sir John Hawkins in her possession; also to the Marquis of Lothian for permission to have a photograph of the picture of Hawkins, Drake, and Candish; to the Governors of Sir John Hawkins's Hospital at Chatham for permission to reproduce the illustration of the chest containing the charter of incorporation granted by Queen Elizabeth, together with the hatchments of coats of arms; to Messrs. Macmillan for the use of their plates of the Armada sailing up the Channel; to the Editor of the Leisure Hour and Mr. Wymper for the loan of the plate of the Ark Royal; to the Rev. Bradford R. J. Hawkins for the photograph of the ivory bust of Sir John Hawkins; to Mr. R. S. Hawkins for the photograph of the portrait of Sir Richard Hawkins; to the Hakluyt Society for permission to use their engravings of Slapton; to Mr. Clements Markham, C.B., F.R.S., for the loan of the block of a vessel of the Armada period, and kind help in many ways; and to Mr. R. N. Worth, F.G.S., for his able assistance.

I must also acknowledge the courtesy of many of the clergy of South Devon in allowing me to look over their Church Registers to obtain the necessary genealogical information.

Besides family and private papers, and manuscripts lent me, my chief authorities are: The State Papers at the Record Office; Wills at Somerset House, at Exeter, and the Heralds' College; the Plymouth Corporation Records; all the County Histories of Devon-Westcote, Risdon, Polwhele, Lysons, Moore, &c.; Worth's and Jewett's Histories of Plymouth; Hawkins's and Fox's Kingsbridge; Hasted's Kent; Histories of Rochester; Stow's Survey and Annals; Camden's Britannia; the Collections of Hakluyt and Purchas; Monson's Naval Tracts; Lidiard's Naval History; Abraham Darcie's Annals; Fuller's and Prince's Worthies; Barron's Naval Worthies; Pinkerton's Voyages; Observations of Sir Richard Hawkins in his Voyage to the South Seas, Payne's Elizabethan Seamen; Froude's History of England; Martin's and Duke Yonge's Histories of England; Creasy's Battles; Valentine's Sea Fights; Worth's Sir John Hawkins; Fox Brown's English Merchants, &c.;



William Brendon and Son, George St.