Hawkins, Thomas (d.1640) (DNB00)


HAWKINS, Sir THOMAS (d. 1640), poet and translator, was the eldest son of Sir Thomas Hawkins, knight-banneret, of Nash Court, Kent, by Anne, daughter and heiress of Cyriac Pettit, esq., of Boughton-under-the-Blean in the same county. John Hawkins, M.D. [q. v.], and Henry Hawkins, the jesuit [q. v.], were his brothers. He succeeded to the family estates on the death of his father, 10 April 1617, and was knighted by James I at Whitehall 4 May 1618 (Metcalfe, Book of Knights, p. 173). Wood says he was an ingenious man, excellent in the faculty of music as well as in poetry. He was a friend and correspondent of James Howell, who mentions him in the ‘Epistolæ Ho-elianæ,’ and he was also acquainted with Edmund Bolton [q. v.], who selected him in 1624 to be one of the original eighty-four members of the projected Royal Academy, or College and Senate of Honour (Archæologia, xxxii. 144). Like all the members of his family, he was a staunch catholic and recusant. On 11 Dec. 1633 an attempt was made under a council-warrant to search the house of Sir Thomas Hawkins, ‘a great papist and harbourer of priests,’ for Father Symons, a Carmelite friar, and others. Lady Hawkins would not admit the officers without a special warrant, saying that her husband had the great seal of England in his trunk to protect her house, and the matter seems to have dropped there (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1633–1634, p. 319). Hawkins died at Nash Court, Kent, towards the close of 1640, and was buried near the graves of his father and mother.

He married Elizabeth, daughter of George Smith, esq., of Ashby Folville, Leicestershire, and had two sons, John and Thomas, both of whom died young and without issue.

His works are: 1. ‘The Odes and Epodes of Horace in Latin and English Verse,’ London, 1625, 4to. The title-page is very neatly engraved. The second edition is entitled ‘Odes of Horace, the best of Lyrick Poets; contayning much morallity and sweetness: Selected, translated, and in this edition reviewed and enlarged with many more,’ London, 1631, 8vo, and again 1635 and 1638, 12mo. This translation was plagiarised by Dr. Barten Holyday [q. v.] in 1652. 2. An English translation of ‘The Holy Court, or the Christian Institution of Men of Quality. With Examples of those who in Court haue flourished in Sanctity. By Nicolas Caussin of the Society of Jesus,’ 2 vols., Paris, 1626, 4to, the first volume being inscribed to Queen Henrietta Maria and the second to Edward Sackville, earl of Dorset. The third volume was not published in English till 1634, when vols. i. and ii. were reprinted at Rouen in fol.; a fourth volume followed in 1638, and contained ‘The Command of Reason over the Passions.’ Other editions, London, 1638, 1650, 1663, and 1678, fol. The later editions were probably prepared by Robert Codrington [q. v.], the puritan, who is said to have added some translations of his own. Hawkins was assisted by Sir Basil Brook. This work was for many years in great favour, especially among catholics. It contains lives, with portraits, of Mary Queen of Scots and Cardinal Pole. 3. An elegy on Sir John Beaumont, printed with that poet's ‘Bosworth Field,’ 1629. 4. ‘Unhappy Prosperitie, expressed in the Histories of Ælius Sejanus and Philippa the Catanian, with observations on the fall of Sejanus,’ translated from the French of Pierre Matthieu, London, 1632, 4to, and 1639, 12mo. Dedicated to William, earl of Salisbury. 5. ‘The Christian Diurnal of F. N. Caussin, S.J., translated into English by T. H.,’ Paris, 1632, 18mo; 3rd edition, ‘reviewed and much augmented,’ 1686; dedicated to Viscountess Savage. It differs slightly from ‘The Christian Diary of F. N. Caussin, S.J., translated into English by T. H.’ [Cambridge], 1648, 12mo, and 1649, 12mo, which was issued rather for protestant than catholic use. 6. ‘The Lives and singular vertues of Saint Elzear, Count of Sabran, and of his Wife the blessed Countesse Delphina, both Virgins and Married,’ translated from the French of the jesuit Etienne Binet, Paris, 1638, 8vo; dedicated to John, earl of Shrewsbury, and his countess. 7. A poem in ‘Ionsonus Virbivs: or the Memorie of Ben. Johnson,’ 1638.

[Addit. MS. 24488, p. 147; Brydges's Censura Literaria, 2nd ed. iii. 21; Brydges's Restituta, ii. 11; Foley's Records, iii. 491, iv. 700; Gillow's Bibl. Dict.; Griffith's Bibl. Anglo-Poetica, p. 166; Hasted's Kent, iii. 4; Lowndes's Bibl. Man. ed. Bohn, pp. 204, 394, 1015, 1115, 1515; Notes and Queries, 3rd ser. iv. 506, 507, 4th ser. ii. 55; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, iii. 524.]

T. C.