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Hawkins, William (1673-1746) (DNB00)

HAWKINS, WILLIAM (1673–1746), serjeant, a descendant of Sir John Hawkins or Hawkyns [q. v.], and second son of John Hawkins and Mary, daughter of Edward Dewe of Islip, Oxfordshire, was born in 1673. In 1689 he graduated B.A. at St. John's College, Cambridge, and M.A. in 1693. He was admitted a member of the Inner Temple 10 Feb. 1700, and was called to the bar on 29 June 1707. He became a serjeant-at-law on 1 Feb. 1723. Though his name is not mentioned in the ‘State Trials’ (xvii. 367), he appeared with other counsel for the wardens of the Fleet, Huggins and Bambridge, on their trials respectively for the murders of Arne and Castell, prisoners in the Fleet, who died of hardship and ill-usage there. His great work was his ‘Treatise of the Pleas of the Crown,’ of which there were folio editions in 1716, 1724, 1739, 1762, and 1771. He also published in 1711 an abridgment of the first part of ‘Coke's Institutes,’ which ran through many editions, and is praised by Blackstone (Commentaries, b. iii. c. xvii.); in 1728 an abridgment of his own ‘Pleas,’ and in 1735 a collection of statutes at large. He died in 1746. He married, firstly, Miss Jenyns, daughter of Sir Robert Jenyns of Cambridgeshire, and secondly, Miss Ram of Coleraine, co. Londonderry; a son, William Hawkins [q. v.], by his first wife, is separately noticed.

[Woolrych's Eminent Serjeants; Graduati Cantabr.; Burke's Commoners, ii. 215; Polwhele's Devon, i. 302.]

J. A. H.