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".
Johannes Hawkins, Eques Auratus, clariss. Reginæ Marinarum causarum Thesaurarius. Qui cum XLIIII. annos muniis bellicis, & longis periculosisque navigationibus, detegendis novis regionibus, ad Patriæ utilitatem, & suam ipsius gloriam, strenuam & egregiam operam navasset, in expeditione, cui Generalis præfuit ad Indiam occidentalem dum in Anchoris ad portum S. Joannis in insula Beriquena staret, placidè in Domino ad Cœlestem Patriam emigravit, 12. die Novembris, Anno salutis 1595. In cujus memoriam ob virtutem, & res gastas, Domina Margarets Hawkins, Uxor moetissima, hoc monumentum cum lacrymis posuit.