William is my 12th great grandfather. He 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.)
Mary Halse Hawkins
1559–1591 (m. 1580)