John Hawkins

John Hawkins (1532 - 1595)

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Sir John Hawkins
Born in Plymouth, Devon, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married in St Dunstan-in-the-East, London, Englandmap
Descendants descendants
Died in At Sea Off, Puerto Ricomap
Profile last modified | Created 1 Oct 2010
This page has been accessed 5,436 times.

Categories: Slave Traders | Members of Parliament, England | Members of Parliament, Plymouth.

British Aristocracy
John Hawkins was a member of aristocracy in the British Isles.
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John Hawkins was born to a prominent family in Plymouth in the county of Devon. He was the second son of William Hawkins (b. before 1490, d. 1554/5) and Joan Trelawny, daughter and sole heir of Roger Trelawny of Brighton, Cornwall. William Hawkins was a merchant, shipowner and sea captain who successfully avoided permanent entanglement with either of the religious factions in the English Reformation, serving in Parliament under both Henry VIII and Mary I. William was especially well known in the court of Henry VIII as one of the principal sea captains, dating from his voyage to the New World in about 1527 (a first for an Englishman). The young John and his older brother grew up following their father's trade.

John Hawkins was a 16th century British naval commander and slave trader who entered into conflict with Spain.

Born in 1532 in Plymouth, England, John Hawkins established himself as a merchant and slave trader, eventually having hostile encounters with Spanish naval forces. He later became treasurer and controller of the English navy and oversaw the creation of more technologically advanced vessels. He died on November 12, 1595 while en route to a raid in Puerto Rico.

Buried: Somewhere off the coast of Portobelo


b. 1552, 2nd s. of William Hawkins (ante 1490 - 1554/5) and Joan Trelawny (Father: Roger Trelawny of Brighton, Cornwall). m. (1) c.1559, Katharine (d.1591), da. of Benjamin Gonson, treasurer of the navy, 1s.; (2) Margaret (d.1619), da. of Charles Vaughan of Hergest Court, Herefs., s.p. Kntd. 1588.

Research Notes

According to the history of Parliament, he had one child by Katherine Gonson, a son.


  • Page 176: "England became stained with the blood of the Negroes in the year 1562. Sir John Hawkins, Knight, was the first Englishman who dishonored himself and his country by engaging in the barbarous commerce..."

The Hawkins family of Plymouth -

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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with John by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree:

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Images: 8
Sir John Hawkins Image 1
Sir John Hawkins Image 1

John Hawkins Image 1
John Hawkins Image 1

Sir John Hawkins or Hawkyns
Sir John Hawkins or Hawkyns

The Spanish Armada in 1588
The Spanish Armada in 1588

The Hospital of Sir John Hawkins Knight
The Hospital of Sir John Hawkins Knight

view all


On 14 Sep 2018 at 00:30 GMT Anonymous Hawkins wrote:

According to R.A.J.Walling's book, "A Sea Dog of Devon", The Lane Co, 1907, "A prodigious quantity of ink and invective has been expended in the denunciation of Hawkins as the pioneer of England's associations with the slave-trade. First, as to the fact: he was not the pioneer. John Lok, an Englishman visiting the West Coast for ivory and gold dust some ten years earlier, is entitled to the honor." Re. marriage to Katherine Gonson, church records give the date as 20 January 1566 (John Hawkyns to Katherine Gonstone). Their only child was Richard who was likely Sir John's child by an earlier, unrecorded marriage or illegitimate.

On 13 Sep 2018 at 09:40 GMT Paula Hawkins wrote:


In Biography, first paragraph and image, Plymouth Logo added representing where John Hawkins was born. (Plymouth, Devon County, England). If you find an error, please feel free to remove and/or correct. Thank you kindly. Have a Happy WikiTree Day!  :)


Paula Ann Hawkins-Reinke Hawkins-9192

On 13 Sep 2018 at 02:37 GMT Leila (Phelps) Schutz wrote:

Historical reference says that Hawkins and Sir Francis Drake were 2nd cousins. (Hawkins-223 and Drake-326) The relationship finder on this side gets them only as close and 8th cousins. Their close relationship was known with Hawkins mentoring Drake as a captain; they both commanded parts of the British fleet that defeated the Armada; and they died on the same voyage of disease in the Caribbean. Has anyone thought to investigate this disconnection?

On 18 May 2018 at 22:49 GMT Vivian (Lewallen) Finley wrote:

sir admiral john hawkins will states he only had one child , sir richard. his second wife margaret vaughn he states had no issue,in her will she has no children. leaves everything to her relatives.

On 15 Mar 2018 at 05:37 GMT J. (Pearson) Salsbery wrote:

Plymouth Armada Heroes says that Sir John Hawkins had only one child, Sir Richard.

On 20 Oct 2016 at 00:34 GMT Andrea (Stawski) Pack wrote:

Hawkins-223 and Hawkins-3919 appear to represent the same person because: 1532 correct bdate clear duplicate

On 20 Oct 2016 at 00:08 GMT Andrea (Stawski) Pack wrote:

Hawkins-1148 and Hawkins-223 appear to represent the same person because: Clear Duplicates

On 10 Oct 2014 at 17:58 GMT Lisa (Kelsey) Murphy wrote:

Hawkins-2508 and Hawkins-223 appear to represent the same person because: If they were brothers they would be twins. Parents do not name twins the same name. These profiles need merged.

On 10 Oct 2014 at 09:44 GMT David Rentschler wrote:

Hawkins-2508 and Hawkins-223 do not represent the same person because: they appear to be brothers.

On 8 Oct 2014 at 16:06 GMT Lisa (Kelsey) Murphy wrote:

Hawkins-2508 and Hawkins-223 appear to represent the same person because: Cleaning up a recently merged profile and these two are the same person.

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John is 22 degrees from Sharon Caldwell, 14 degrees from Burl Ives and 17 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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