HAWKINS, Sir John. Two manuscript estate indentures...1582 & 1599. - Peter Harrington Blog

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HAWKINS, Sir John. Two manuscript estate indentures…1582 & 1599.

Presented by Adam Douglas, Senior Rare Book Specialist at Peter Harrington. A superb example of the signature of one of the great sailors of Elizabethan England, the first document showing him acquiring land at Chatham, established as a Royal Dockyard by Elizabeth I in 1567. Sir John Hawkins (1532-1595), merchant, privateer and naval commander, was cousin to Sir Francis Drake “but Hawkins arguably knew more about seamanship and did more for his country than Drake. During several voyages in the 1560s Hawkins demonstrated to his countrymen that good profits could be made trading in the Spanish ports of the West Indies. He also introduced his queen and his fellow merchants to the loathsome business of slave trading, where even greater profits could be made by men whose consciences were not of exceeding tenderness” (Harry Kelsey, Sir John Hawkins: Queen Elizabeth’s Slave Trader, Yale 2003, p. xiii).

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