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counterbalance these foibles, he was a liberal commander, and a steady friend; courteous and humane toward those whom the fortune of war threw intohis power, just and generous in all his dealings, sober and religious in his general conduct, and in his pros perity invariably affable and easy of access. of access. Without any of the advantages of education, he possessed natural powers, which enabled him to acquit himself with credit upon all public occasions.
He had the felicity to remain invariably a favourite with Queen Elizabeth. She gave him, indeed, a remarkable proof of it in a quarrel, which he had incurred with his countryman Sir Bernard Drake (himself, likewise, a seaman) by assuming his arms. This usurpation,' though it cost him a box on the ear from the offended owner, procured for him from his Sovereign a new coat appropriately emblazoned; sable a fess wavy between two pole-stars argent, and for his crest a ship on a globe under ruff, held by a cable with a hand out of the clouds; over it this motto, Auxilio Divino, and underneath Sic parvis magna, with a wivern gull (the arms, which caused the quarrel) hung up by the heels in the rigging.' Her Majesty's kindness, however, did not extend beyond the grave; for she suffered his favourite brother Thomas, after his decease, to be prosecuted to his great inconvenience for a pretended debt to the crown!
This illustrious man leaving no issue, his landed estate, which was very considerable, descended to his nephew Francis (the son of his brother Thomas*) who
* Thomas and John alone, of the twelve brothers, left issue. Of these, the former accompanied Sir Francis on his last expe dition.
was created a Baronet in the reign of James I., and in the beginning of the succeeding reign was elected representative for the county of Devon. His widow Elizabeth (daughter and sole heiress of Sir George Sydenham, of Combe Sydenham, Devonshire) afterward married William Courtenay, Esq. of Powderham Castle in the same county.
SIR JOHN HAWKINS.*
THE improvements in navigation made by the Spaniards toward the close of the fifteenth and the beginning of the sixteenth century, and their visible effects in aggrandising that kingdom, excited in other nations a noble ardour to attempt farther discoveries in the unknown parts of the globe. In this design, no people manifested such a genius for hazardous enterprises as the English. But their zeal and industry being checked by domestic troubles during the reigns of Henry VIII., Edward VI., and Mary, the plans which had been formed for extending the maritime power and commerce of their country could not be carried into execution, with any prospect of success, till the government had acquired a proper degree of strength and stability.
The private adventures of the merchants of Southampton, who had traded to the Brazils as early as 1540, by throwing light upon the nature of the profitable traffic carried on by the Spaniards with the West-Indies and the South-Seas, had laid
* AUTHORITIES. Lediard's Naval History; Campbell's Lives of the Admirals; Baker's Chronicle; and Hume's History of England.
open the sources of their immense wealth. Their accounts circulated rapidly throughout the west of England, and encouraged numbers to bring up their children to the sea-service, with the hope that some future rupture with Spain might make it the channel to riches and honours. With this view, the study of navigation and cosmography was preferred to all others; and the event justified their expectations: for that district in particular proved an eminent nursery of able mariners, and gave birth to most of those renowned naval officers, whose labours increased the opulence and secured the independence of their country in the reign of Elizabeth. Soon after her accession, the English navy was put upon a respectable footing; not only by building ships in the royal yards, but by encouraging the merchants to speculate in large trading vessels, which could be occasionally employed in the service of the crown. The commanders, in general, were men of bravery, skill, and generosity: as their sailors shared the dangers, so they liberally divided with them the spoils, of war. And the manufactures newly established in England by foreign Protestants, who had fled thither for refuge, furnished valuable commodities for the institution of a beneficial barter with the inhabitants of the new world.
Finally, the bad policy of Spain herself contributed in the highest degree to the establishment of the English in America; for, by her cruelties toward the natives, she had rendered the very name of Spaniard odious in the southern hemisphere. The same bad policy, likewise, plunged her into a war with England; whose merchants and adventurers, combining their private interest with that of the public, under
took expeditions against the enemy to their signal annoyance, and at once enriched themselves and defended their country.
In these important transactions, Sir John Hawkins bore no inconsiderable share. This gentleman, born in 1520, was the second son of William Hawkins, Esq. who with high reputation as a seaman had acquired a competent fortune by trading to the coast of Brazil.* Young Hawkins, in his youth discovering a strong inclination for the sea, applied himself with great assiduity to the study of navigation; and at a proper age made several voyages to Spain, Portugal, and the Canaries, in the merchants' service. It is likewise supposed, that he visited with his father the coast of Brazil; but this is less certain. In fact, we have no authentic memoirs of his first voyages: but he was undoubtedly employed by Elizabeth in the early part of her reign; and under him most of the admirals, who distinguished themselves during it's sequel, were brought up.
It was customary however, in those days, for naval officers of reputation, when they were not actually employed by the crown, to undertake commercial voyages in conjunction with the merchants, for which they obtained permission from the Queen: and some conditional privileges were, generally, annexed to their special licences upon these occasions. The plan of a voyage of this kind was proposed by Captain Hawkins to a set of gentlemen-adventurers in the
* He was the first Englishman, who established a friendly intercourse with the natives; a people represented by the Portuguese as so savage, that no other Europeans would venture to visit them.