Sir William Hawkins

William was the first born son of Captain William Hawkins 1490 – 1554 and Joan Towne Trelawney 1508 – 1589. His brother was Admiral Sir John Hawkins.

Sir William Hawkins was born probably at Plymouth sometime before 1530 and died 7 October 1589. He commanded the Royal Navy ship "Griffin" in the fight against the Spanish Armada and was several times Mayor of Plymouth.

Later William and his brother John Hawkins set up a trading company along with their cousin Sir Francis Drake and a few others. William seemed to mainly stay home and be a sort of CEO of the company while John made trade voyages. When they found the profitability of the slave trade, the voyages mainly carried slaves to the New World. Queen Elizabeth the First called their dealings "despicable". But when she saw William and John's balance books she invested heavily in the next voyage.

Sir John Hawkins erected a monument to the memory of his brother in St. Nicholas Church, Deptford, which bore this inscription: "To the ever living memory of William Hawkins of Plymouth esquire; who was a worshipper of the true religion; a munificent benefactor to poor mariners; skilled in navigation; oftentimes undertaking long voyages; a just arbiter in difficult cases; and a man of singular faith, probity, and prudence. He had two wives, four children by one, and seven by the other. John Hawkins, Knight, Treasurer of the Queen's Navy, his brother most sorrowfully erected this. He died in the sure and certain hope of resurrection, on the 7th day of October, in the year of our Lord 1589."
(the monument is no longer there.)

William's first wife is unknown. He married his second wife, Mary (or Marie) Halse of Devon, the daughter of John Halse and Joan Tothill. Children of William and his first wife were William, Judith, Clare and Grace Hawkins. Children of William Hawkins and Mary Halse were Richard, Nicholas, Francis, William, Mary, Elizabeth and Frances.

(Audrey DeCamp Hoffman, creator of this memorial page, was the 9th great grand niece of Sir William Hawkins.)


Elizabeth Hawkins Anderson


18 Aug 1581

Warwickshire, End






Several family members believe Elizabeth's birthday was March 1584, but the birth record they use as proof lists Elizabeth's father as "Richard". I've seen the actual birth record and I don't believe this record belongs to our Elizabeth. Her father's name was William, and William is given as her father's name on her marriage record.

Elizabeth married Richard Anderson Dec. 20, 1611 in All Hallows, Honey Lane, London, Middlesex, England. She may have died in England before Richard immigrated to the new world. He left England in July 1635. His name is on the ship's registry but hers is not.


Family Members


William Amadas Hawkins  1530–1589


Mary Halse Hawkins  1559–1591


Richard Anderson 1585–1635


Elizabeth Anderson Brumfield 1617–1699


Richard Anderson 1618–1666

Sir John Hawkins, Knight. The sea commander in Queen Elizabeth's reign.

**The inscription is at his Memorial Cenotaph location at St. Dunstan-in-the-East in London, which is Memorial #219187001.

John Hawkyns was born to William Hawkyns, an enterprising merchant,a sea captian, a former Mayor, and an officier in the Royal Navy, and Joan Towne Trelawney.

John married Katherine Gonson ca. 1557, she was daughter of Benjamin Gonson, Treasurer of the Navy, and Ursula Hussy; Benjamin was son of William Gonson (1490-)., Treasurer of the Navy before him. In 1573 the younger Benjamin Gonson resigned in favor of Sir John Hawkins, who held the office 22 years. Richard was their only child. After Katherine's death, Sir John married Margaret Vaughan, bedchamber woman to Queen Elizabeth (no children).

Inspired by his fathers trading ventures in South America, John Hawkyns organised a series of expeditions to the Spanish territories of Central America. He made a profit by buying and capturing slaves in West Africa and trading them for gold and other valuables with the Spanish settlers across the Atlantic. He was England's first slave trader.

Queen Elizabeth invested money in Hawkyns adventures and in 1577 he was appointed Treasurer to her navy. Not only did he re-organise the navy, but also he was responsible for the adoption of the ‘race built galleon', whose speed and guns were of enormous help in the fight against the Spanish Armada in 1588.

He was Vice-Admiral in the battle against the Armada, in which he commanded the Victory. He was knighted on the 23rd July, 1588, off the Isle of Wight during the battle.

In 1595 he accompanied his second cousin Sir Francis Drake, on a treasure-hunting voyage to the West Indies, involving two unsuccessful attacks on San Juan. During the voyage they both fell sick. Hawkins died at sea off Puerto Rico. Drake succumbed to disease, most likely dysentery, on January 27. Hawkins was succeeded by his son Sir Richard Hawkins.

The advice he gave his crew is now famous: "Serve God daily, love one another, preserve your victuals, beware of fire and keep good company".


When Benjamin Gonson was born on 20 September 1519, in Essex, England, his father, William Gonson, was 37 and his mother, Lady Benedicta Walter, was 35. He married Ursula Hussey about 1539, in Sussex, England. They were the parents of at least 5 sons and 10 daughters. He died on 26 November 1577, in Great Baddow, Essex, England, United Kingdom, at the age of 58, and was buried in City of London, England, United Kingdom.

When William Gonson was born in 1482, in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, England, his father, Christopher Gonson, was 36 and his mother, Elizabeth Trussell, was 33. He married Lady Benedicta Walter about 1509, in England. They were the parents of at least 7 sons and 5 daughters. He died in August 1544, in Deptford, Kent, England, United Kingdom, at the age of 62, and was buried in St Dunstan in the East, London, England, United Kingdom.

When Christopher Gonson was born in 1446, in Lancashire, England, his father, Christopher Gunson, was 34 and his mother, Anne Elizabeth House of Finn, was 27. He married Elizabeth Trussell on 28 September 1476, in Leicestershire, England. They were the parents of at least 6 sons and 2 daughters. He died in 1498, in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom, at the age of 52, and was buried in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, England, United Kingdom.


Sir. Richard Hawkins


ADM Richards




Sir. Richard Hawkins was the only son of Sir John Hawkins and his wife Katherine Godson. From the time he was a tiny boy, he was his father's constant companion. He was brought up under great advantage because his father and his Uncle William Hawkins were renowned seaman, political men and very wealthy, owning 30 good sailing ships.

Richard made his first long voyage to the West Indies with his Uncle William in 1582. During that voyage he showed boldness and shrewdness of a good officer. He wrote and published his observations of this voyage and many others.

Richard Hawkins became an Admiral in the Royal Navy. He served under Sir Francis Drake in the 1585-1586 expedition to the West Indies. In 1588, he commanded the Swallow, in the battle to the defeat of the Spanish Armada. Two years later he sailed to the coast Of Portugal with his father as part of the first and unsuccessful attempt to intercept the Spanish treasure fleet and seize it for England.

During the long voyages at sea, scurvy would become an epidemic and was claiming thousands of lives of the Royal Navy. Admiral Richard Hawkins became the first person to realize, on a voyage in 1593 that this disease could be defeated by serving the sailors 3 spoonfuls of sour orange or lemon juice each day. It soon became a life preserving practice to add citrus juice to the diet. The elimination of scurvy played a big part in England's domination of the seas.

Richard Hawkins had great ambition, and was the sixth captain to sail around the world, crossing the Atlantic and sailing through the Strait of Magellan, like Francis Drake did before him, and for his skills obtained the name of the "Complete Seaman." However he was captured in 1594 by two Spanish ships, taken to Peru, and sent to Spain in 1597, where he remained in prison until 1602. He was ransomed for 3000 pounds, the sum that was left for this purpose by his father.. Queen Elizabith died in 1603 and Richard was made Vice Admiral and was knighted in the summer of 1603 by King James I. He served in Parliament in 1604, and as Vice Admiral he was active in defending the Devonshire coast from pirates.

He purchased the house and Manor of Poole in Slapton. It was situated between Dartmouth and the Start Point, The residents was surrounded by many fine trees, was about three-quarters of a mile from the Church; but the ruins of the old mansion was demolished about 1880 and now there is a modern farm house on the site.

Richard suddenly died April 17, 1622, in the chamber of the Priory Council. Lady Judith survived him, dying on the 30th of May 1629. They were buried in Slapton Church. On a slate stone slab, on the floor, by the Poole pew, to the right of the alter is the following inscription, "lyeth the body of Lady Judith Hawkins wife unto Sir Richard 1629.

(This bio was researched and compiled by Sir Richard Hawkins 8th great granddaughter, Audrey DeCamp Hoffman)

There have been 2 photos with a caption Added by: Joyce. She is, also, Sir Richard Hawkins 8th great granddaughter.

Caption: Sir Richard Hawkins (1562-1622; Devon, England, British Isles) wrote a book about his 1593 voyage throughout the South Sea (today: the Pacific Ocean). For centuries, Sir Hawkins's "Observations" served as a guide and instructional manual for seafarers far and wide. As no other such detailed account had ever been recorded, one might say that Sir Richard "wrote the book" on seafaring of the day, and of the days to follow.
Here is a photograph of his book's title page.

Interestingly (and sadly), Sir Richard was able to view his finished book printed, pages stacked in order ... but not yet bound. The Admiral passed away before seeing his completed labor of passion bound by covers and a spine.

ADM Richard Hawkins the Village and church of Slapton, Devon where Sir Richard and his son Richard are both buried along with their wives. The church was closed that day so we didn't get a chance to see any Parish records. There are several public memorials for Sir John in Plymouth where the fleet was launched that defeated the Spanish Armada.