Privateer

Sir Richard Hawkins

Sir Richard Hawkins

Sir Richard Hawkins - Privateer (c1562 - 1622)

Sir Richard Hawkins was an English Privateer and Explorer. He was born into a prominent Elizabethan family, his father being the Privateer and slave trader Sir John Hawkins. He accompanied his father and Sir Francis Drake on several expeditions including the defeat of the Spanish Armada. His record of the expedition he undertook in 1593 was published in 1622.

This page details facts about Sir Richard Hawkins's life and the events that shaped his history.

Sir Richard Hawkins the Privateer - Fun Facts for Kids !

1: Richard Hawkins was born in Devon, England c1562.He was the only son of Sir John Hawkins and his first wife Katherine Gonson.

2: Although not much is known of his early life, he is believed to have sailed to the West Indies in 1582 with his uncle, William Hawkins.

3: In 1585 he was in command of a ship during Drake’s expedition to attack the Spanish colonies in the West Indies. He was also present when Drake collected the unsuccessful colonists from Roanoke, the settlement established by Sir Walter Raleigh.

4: In 1588 he was Captain of the ‘Swallow’ when he fought against the Spanish Armada along with his father, Sir John Hawkins, and Sir Francis Drake. He also accompanied them on his father’s failed 1589 expedition to attack the Spanish treasure ships.

5: In 1593 Richard Hawkins purchased a ship that had originally been built for his father, the ‘Dainty’. He sailed from Plymouth, in the Dainty, and headed west.

6: After arriving at Brazil, he sailed south and, in February 1594, saw what he named ‘Hawkins Maidenland’. This is now generally believed to be the Falkland Islands. He then sailed through the straits of Magellan and on to Valparaiso, in Chile.

7: He plundered the town and burned 4 ships before heading further north. At the end of June 1594 He’d reached San Mateo Bay, in Ecuador, where he encountered a small fleet of Spanish ships.

8: The Spanish ships attacked the Dainty and a battle ensued that lasted for several days. he was wounded during the fighting and, following the death of many of his crew, he surrendered.

9: Richard Hawkins was imprisoned in Lima, Peru, until 1597 when he was transferred to Seville in Spain and then Madrid.

10: In 1602 he was released after the payment of a £3,000 ransom.

11: In 1603 he was knighted by King James I of England. Soon after, he became the Mayor of Devon, Member of Parliament for Plymouth and Vice Admiral of Devon.

12: Around the same time he began writing about his 1593 voyage. The transcript was published in 1622 under the title 'Observations in His Voyage into the South Seas, AD 1593'.

13: In 1608 Hawkins, while still Vice Admiral of Devon, was arrested and fined for allowing piracy.

14: In 1620 Sir Richard Hawkins sailed as Vice Admiral under Sir Robert Mansell. Their mission was to suppress the Algerian corsairs in the Mediterranean, however their efforts made little difference.

15: Sir Richard Hawkins died in Slapton, Devon, England on 17 April 1622.

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