SIR JOHN HAWKINS

 

  NAVAL PRIVATEER AND NAVIGATOR

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Sir John Hawkins

 

 

Admiral Sir John Hawkins was a privateer, know by the Spanish as a Sea Dog. Sir John Hawkins (1532 – 12 November 1595) was a pioneering English naval commander and administrator. He was also a privateer, a state licensed pirate of sorts, and an early promoter of English involvement in the Atlantic slave trade.

His elder brother and trading partner was William (c.1519). He was considered the first English trader to profit from the Triangle Trade, based on selling supplies to colonies ill-supplied by their home countries, and their demand for African slaves in the Spanish colonies of Santo Domingo and Venezuela in the late 16th century.

 

He styled himself "captain general" as the general of both his own flotilla of ships and those of the English Royal Navy, and to distinguish himself from those Admirals that served only in the administrative sense and were not military in nature. His death, and that of his second cousin and protégé, Sir Francis Drake, heralded the decline of the Royal Navy for decades before its recovery; its eventual resurgence helped by the tales of derring-do of the Navy's glory days under his leadership.

As Treasurer of the Navy (1578–1595), Hawkins rebuilt older ships and directed design of faster ships that withstood the Spanish Armada in 1588. One of the foremost seamen of 16th-century England, Hawkins was the chief architect of the Elizabethan Navy. In the battle which defeated the Spanish Armada in 1588, Hawkins served as a Vice-Admiral. He was knighted for gallantry. He later devised the naval blockade that intercepted Spanish treasure ships leaving Mexico and South America.

 

 

 

 

 

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