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This webpage updated 31 January 2010

The English Business of Slavery - Chapter 3

Hawkins' third voyage - Intermarriages - Sir William Winter: "a stubborn fighter" - Hawkins, Winter and Gonson - Drake and circumnavigation of the world -The Slave Trade and the early English navy - The end of the Winters


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Hawkins' third voyage

When the time came for Hawkins' third voyage (1567-1569), Sir William Cecil (Burghley) was effectively chairman of the joint-stock company managing Hawkins' endeavours. The earls of Leicester and Pembroke also remained as heavy investors. Hawkins' third voyage of 1567 was otherwise backed by the queen, Lord High Admiral Clinton, Sir William Garrard, Sir Lionel Ducket, Rowland Heyward from the City, John and William Hawkins, and William Winter and Benjamin Gonson from the Navy Board.

There was in operation by then a European method of backing slaving business financially, which the English knew little about, which Hawkins guessed about, the asiento silver exchange. By 1568, the kind of financier in front of or behind the scenes here could have been such as: Lazaro Grimaldi, financier of Genoa, active about 1568, and probably known by now to the Anglo-Spanish traders.
Hawkins' third voyage is detailed in A. L. Rowse's book, An Elizabethan Garland. See Lawrence Stone, An Elizabethan: Sir Horatio Palavicino. Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1956., p. 260. Grimaldi was one of a group of Genoese financiers dealing with Prince Andrea Doria in the management of Genoese affairs and trying to keep Genoa loyal to its Spanish connections.

News in July 2006: The history websites on this domain now have a companion website, and an updating website as well, on a new domain, at Merchant Networks Project, produced by Dan Byrnes and Ken Cozens (of London).

This new website (it is hoped) will become a major exercise in economic and maritime history, with much attention to London/British Empire and some attention to Sydney, Australia.



And one day in 1567, notes Garcia: "... two Portuguese rogues named Antonio Luis (a merchant earlier trading to Guinea) and Andre Homem (who was perhaps a pilot) had told a remarkable story to William Wynter of the Navy Board in London.
Per Wendy Florence Winter Garcia

They reported that in a part of Africa still unoccupied by any of the European powers, there was a gold mine fantastically rich and within convenient reach of a good harbour. Wynter was impressed by what he heard, Burghley was impressed, the queen herself was impressed. Planning and preparation followed, and John Hawkins was chosen as commander of an expedition which would sail to Africa to find out whether there was any substance to this Portuguese story. The Queen contributed two naval vessels and conferred on the expedition the right to fly the royal standard. Various privy councillors invested, the City invested. Admiral Wynter of the Navy Board became a shareholder. Hawkins lent four ships of his own. The two Portuguese, Homem and Luis, were nowhere to be found. And the queen when told this, said that "the Portingals who should have directed us in this pretended enterprise have fled", and she ordered that instead of its original objective, the fleet should take Negroes on the Guinea Coast and sell them in the Indies.
G. M. Thomson, Sir Francis Drake.

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Hawkins (in 1567) persuaded Edward Baeshe or Bysshe, Surveyor of Victuals to the Queen's Fleet to provide sacks of dried beans for feeding the slaves; which raised the suspicions of the Spanish ambassador Guzman de Silva. De Silva went to Elizabeth for an assurance that the Spanish monopoly of the slave trade would not be affected. Elizabeth and Cecil told him the expedition was bound for Elmina to compensate for the sinking of Winter's ship Mary Fortune on the Guinea coast during the previous summer.

In 1567, as Hawkins equipped his third fleet, Drake went with him on Judith, 50 tons. Warring on the Portuguese, Hawkins got his slaves, though he also had trouble with the Spanish. However, most of the booty of the third voyage was recaptured by Spaniards in September 1568 at San Juan de Ullao.
Mannix, Black Cargo pp. 21ff. See Neville Williams, Elizabeth 1: Queen of England. London. Sphere, 1971.

Before 1569 and after, Garcia writes (pp.194-195): John Hawkins, allied in the regular navy as the son-in-law of its treasurer, Benjamin Gonson, and two other members of the navy board, William and George Winter, all invested in Guinea and West Indian voyages. The ship of George and William Winter, the Mary Fortune, with a crew of 29 and goods valued at �7600 was sunk near the River Sestos, Guinea in 1565 by a Portuguese named Armado. Of her crew, 21 were taken captive to the Portuguese castle of S�o Jorge de la Mina on the same coast (often known as Mina). The Queen complained to the King of Portugal but satisfaction was refused.
From Garcia's researches, Calendar Patent Rolls, Elizabeth I, Vol. 4, No.1920., PRO.

Hawkins (in 1567) persuaded Edward Baeshe or Bysshe, Surveyor of Victuals to the Queen's Fleet to provide sacks of dried beans for feeding the slaves; which raised the suspicions of the Spanish ambassador Guzman de Silva. De Silva went to Elizabeth for an assurance that the Spanish monopoly of the slave trade would not be affected. Elizabeth and Cecil told him an expedition was bound for Elmina to compensate for the sinking of Winter's ship Mary Fortune on the Guinea coast during the previous summer.


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After 1569 the Winters acted with the Hawkins' in some ventures, and the two families jointly employed Francis Drake until his happy return in 1573, when he was able to stand on his own feet.
Per Wendy Florence Winter Garcia

George and William Winter as "queen's servants", were licensed to take goods valued at �7600 out of Portuguese ships, by 5 February, 1569. Garcia writes, (p. 198): In 1569-1570, according to a report by Gerau de Spes (the Spanish ambassador), a number of ships went to Guinea and some then proceeded with slaves to the West Indies. The gold trade had hitherto been a speciality of the Londoners, the slave trade a speciality of Plymouth, so that possibly this is a record of some activity of the Hawkins'. William Hawkins was personally at sea in 1569-70 and the Spanish believed him to be bound for the Caribbean. Early in 1571, de Spes further declared, John Hawkins and William Winter despatched seven or eight ships on by-now usual slaving voyages, but it was not made clear whether in a joint squadron or two independent ones. Some corroboration is supplied by Spanish reports from the Indies which show that Winter sent out three ships in March 1571, that they were at Borburata in July and they made an unsuccessful attack on St. Augustine in Florida on their way home early in the next year. But the Spanish documents do not say that the English were selling slaves and indeed March was an inappropriate month in which to sail for Guinea. The likelihood is that Winter's ships were plundering and that those of Hawkins were doing the like, following a different course of which no details have survived.
Per Wendy Florence Winter Garcia

Drake also was "probably cruising" the Caribbean in 1570 and 1571, planning to attack Nombre de Dios and Spanish galleons. At home in England, William Winter was knighted in 1573, and he held the vice-admiralty of Somerset (united with Bristol), which his descendants held until 1628.

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Sir William Winter: "a stubborn fighter" - Further on the Bristol family of Plymouth

We find, Sir William Winter once had a storehouse by the Thames near what is now St. Katherine's Dock, near his house on Seething Lane (later the Navy Office). Was Sir William Winter a secret Catholic? A statue of the Virgin and an old stone font were found hidden in a niche in his warehouse at Seething Lane (previously the Chapel of Berkinshaw), all according to Garcia's website book of Winter family history.
Williamson, Age of Drake, pp. 34ff, pp. 258ff. G. R. Elton, Tudor England. Some material here is adapted with author's permission from sections of the Winter family history, The Golden Falcon, a website book by Wendy Florence Winter Garcia, with index page given as (URL has changed): http://www.pillagoda.freewire.co.uk/

Garcia writes... "The careers of Sir William Winter and his brother George developed against a background of a cold war with Spain, Protestant persecution in France and the Netherlands and English Catholic plots fomented by the pope which formed around Mary, the exiled Queen of Scots."


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The Hawkins family worked against a similar backdrop. We also find that the second wife of naval treasurer John Hawkins, successor to Katherine Gonson, was Margaret Vaughan (died 1619) a woman of the royal bedchamber, daughter of Charles Vaughan.
Hasler, The House of Commons, 1558-1603, p. 280.

The son of John Hawkins and Katherine Gonson was merchant, naval commander and a man of anti-Spanish sentiment, Sir Richard Hawkins (1560-1622), RN, an only son. He was with Drake in the West Indies in 1585-86.
C. R. N. Routh, Who�s Who in History. Vol. II. England, 1485-1603, p. 381 for his father. Hasler, The House of Commons, 1558-1603, p. 280 for his father.
A mayor of Plymouth, Sir John Hawkins about 1701 married Amy Carew. The name Carew also looms large in the chronicles of English freebooting and maritime endeavour genealogy, much intermarried. If from no other book, such genealogical studies could have been based from 1929 on information given in J. A. Brendon's book, Great Navigators and Discoverers, cited in an earlier chapter. See also Kenneth R. Andrews, (Ed.), The Last Voyage of Drake and Hawkins. Cambridge, Published for the Hakluyt Society at the University Press, 1972.

And so, the English expansionism considered here was partly due to a social movement heavily-comprised of intermarried families - mostly Puritans. And who did these Puritans learn their slave-trading from? European Catholics!

If the English Navy originated from 1545, it fell (allegedly) into the hands of an (unnamed) "unscrupulous group" surrounding Protector Somerset and his successor, the Duke of Northumberland. They followed Henry VIII's lead in confiscating the property of chantries; but they did not share the proceeds in naval defence, they took profits amongst themselves. Six years of "scandalous profiteering" resulted; this government was hated. Northumberland prevailed over Somerset and administered from 1549 to 1553, an unpopular ruler.

Public opinion welcomed Mary Tudor (died 1558) to the throne, but her religious and pro-Spanish policy, and her marriage plans, were unpopular. She also burned Protestants at the stake, not likely to encourage popularity. A "new English Protestantism" arose with a passion for new-found liberty - or was it an insular Protestantism that became basis for "a new vision of patriotism"? A revision of the national spirit, in fact?

As trade with Europe declined, the English began to think of expansionism, and they looked to Russia and Northern Asia, the West Coast of Africa, to the Spanish possessions in Caribbean, the tropical East. Under Edward VI the government became Protestant, encouraging freedom from clerical domination. The counter-reformation was launched in Europe; adventurers rationalized that to damage the enemy to enrich themselves was acceptable. So entered Elizabeth I and her adviser, William Cecil.
Williamson, Age of Drake, p. 6.


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Intermarriages

The families of Hawkins, Drake, Raleigh & Winter intermarried...

Sir Francis Drake was a kinsman of the Hawkins and a cousin of Robert Barrett (who was burnt at the stake in Seville). Drake's first wife was Mary Newman, died January 1582; Drake in 1585 married his second wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir George Sydenham, whose second husband was Sir William Courtenay. Arthur, Charles & Henry Champernowne (d. 1570) of Modbury were Walter Raleigh's cousins.
Some material here is adapted with author's permission from sections of the Winter family history, The Golden Falcon, a website book by Wendy Florence Winter Garcia, with index page given as (URL has changed): http://www.pillagoda.freewire.co.uk/

Another "family case" provides further glimpses helping along a longitudinal study...

Privateer, mariner and MP, Thomas Cavendish (died 1592), was the second Englishman to circumnavigate the globe; though his sons were not interested in maritime endeavour. His daughter Anne (a maid of honour, died 1595) married a mariner, the illegitimate Sir Robert Dudley (died 1649), son of a trader to Morocco, Robert Dudley (1534-1584-1588), first Baron Denbigh and Earl Leicester and lover Douglas Sheffield. (This Sir Robert married four wives, one of whom was Elizabeth Southwell, daughter of privateer Sir Robert Southwell, (1563-1598), Admiral of Norfolk and Suffolk.
Andrews, Elizabethan Privateers, p. 29.

Thomas' own sister, Douglas Cavendish, married the writer on matters of maritime activity and colonisation, Richard Hakluyt (1552-1616). First Baron Denbigh's father was a patron of the promoter of colonisation, navigation and maritime activity, John Dee. Earl Leicester, (1502-1554), John Dudley, first Duke Northumberland, was attainted and executed for promoting Lady Jane Grey for the throne.
Gwenyth Dyke, �The Finance of a Sixteenth Century Navigator, Thomas Cavendish of Trimly in Suffolk� , The Mariner's Mirror, Vol. 44, 1958., pp. 108-115. This Thomas Cavendish was related by marriage to Cecils, Frobisher, Brandon, Seckford, Tollemache, Wingfield and Wentworth families, "a charmed circle of famous navigators". K. R. Andrews, �Christopher Newport of Limehouse, Mariner�, William and Mary Quarterly, Series 3, 11, 1954., pp. 28-41. Also: Lorimer, (Ed.), Amazon, p. 30, Note 2. GEC, Peerage, Northumberland, p. 727. Andrews, Elizabethan Privateers, p. 68. Who's Who in Shakespeare's England, p. 42. Spate informs (Spate, The Pacific Since Magellan. Canberra, Australian National University Press, 1979-1988., Vol. 1, p. 289), that in 1596 the son of Leicester, Sir Robert Dudley, sent out three ships under Benjamin Wood for the Straits of Magellan and China, though Wood ended up "aimless" in the Indian Ocean.


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Questions arise, such as: how densely was intermarriedness a factor in the management of English maritime expansionism?

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The 1570s

After 1574 there sailed from England Gilbert Horsley, Andrew Barker, John Oxenham and the father of John Hawkins, William Hawkins Senior. Old Hawkins here in 1575 took a Spanish vessel with French goods. In 1575: John Oxenham, English explorer and Protestant, was hanged in Lima, Peru, by the Inquisition. He had lately visited the Indians of Darien, (Today's Panama Canal area). Oxenham had been with Drake in 1572-1573, working a plan to take control of the Darien/Panama area, but Spaniards captured his ships. Some of his men were sent into slavery in Spanish galleys.
G. R. Elton, England under the Tudors. Arthur Percival Newton, (Ed.), The European Nations in the West Indies, 1493-1688. London, Black, 1933.; Arthur Percival Newton, The Colonising Activities of the English Puritans: The Last Phase of the Elizabethan Struggle with Spain. New Haven, Connecticut, 1914. (Reissued, Port Washington, New York, 1966)., p. 136. A. E. Mason, The Life of Francis Drake. London, Hodder and Stoughton, 1941.

Between 1573-1575: Sir Richard Grenville (1542-1591) mariner and colonist, helped a group with a plan to explore the Southern Seas, an expedition to discover Terra Australis and the western Pacific end of the supposed north-west passage, but this voyage abandoned to keep peace with Spain, although it helped inspire the later Drake voyage of 1577-1578.
(Greenville's entry in Encyclopedia Britannica, 1962 edition.)


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(In 1576, Anthony Jenkins on's name appeared on a commission for fitting out Frobisher for a second voyage to Cathay. He was good friends with Sir Philip Sherard of Tighe in Rutland, and died at his house in 1611; from him is descended Charles Jenkinson, first Earl Liverpool.)

Item: 1577: Sir Anthony Sherley is treasurer of England's navy from 1577.

In November 1577, John Hawkins was appointed joint-treasurer of the navy with Gonson. Sir William Winter remained as navy surveyor, comptroller and clerk. Sir William, "a stubborn fighter", did not approve of Hawkins's plans to re-design ships, and with his powerful friends and his fellow officers began a campaign of wearing Hawkins down about the First Bargain (a contractual arrangement for ship management). Winter was making progress in his attempts when finally in 1583 the Privy Council set up a commission of inquiry. This inquiry seems to have been the undoing of the Winter family's naval involvements.
Some material here is adapted with author's permission from sections of the Winter family history, The Golden Falcon, a website book by Wendy Florence Winter Garcia, with index page given as (URL has changed): http://www.pillagoda.freewire.co.uk/
On the Hawkins', see website (broken link?): http://www.southern-style.com/hawkins.htm.

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While Drake circumnavigates the world

Between 1577-1580, Drake became the first Englishman to circumnavigate the world. He sailed in late 1577 with three ships plus two smaller supply ships. After a three-year voyage, he arrived home to acclaim and a knighthood in 1580. The shareholders in the enterprise included Elizabeth, the Lord High Admiral, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, Sir Francis Walsingham, surveyor of the navy, Sir William Winter, John Hawkins and Drake himself.
Williamson writes that the profits earned by a queen's ship on a trading voyage were never touched by the queen herself. They were paid to the Treasurer of the Navy and lightened pro tanto his expenditure of the taxpayers' money.

The ships sailing were as follows: Pelican later renamed the Golden Hind, 100 tons, Captain-general Francis Drake. Elizabeth 80 tons, Captain John Winter. Marigold 30 tons Captain John Thomas. Swan, a fly-boat, 50 tons, Captain John Chester. Christopher a pinnace 15 tons, Captain Thomas Moone.

The Pelican and Marigold had been built at the shipyards at Aldeburgh, Suffolk, where a branch of the Winter family settled. All told there were 164 able and sufficient men, including seamen, archers, musicians and others, plus gentlemen adventurers including Drake's friend Thomas Doughty.
Some material here is adapted with author's permission from sections of the Winter family history, The Golden Falcon, a website book by Wendy Florence Winter Garcia, with index page given as (URL has changed): http://www.pillagoda.freewire.co.uk/

Two plans, one secret, were involved with the exercise, although views here are somewhat contradictory... as we can find it written that by 1577, John Dee had been thinking again on Terra Australis, but his Queen would not permit any project to the Pacific Ocean for there. As circumnavigator, Drake had also planned, or hoped, to discover any Terra Australis Incognita - some writers think.

One plan was public, promoted by Walsingham and other notables to create trading bases from the legendary Terra Australis. The secret plan arose with Elizabeth, for raids on Spanish bases on the west coast of South America, and also a search for the western end of the legendary north-west passage. When Drake set out in 1577, William Hawkins junior, son of John Hawkins' brother William, sailed as well, along with Drake's brother Thomas, a cousin John Drake (son of his uncle Robert) and his nephew John Drake, who settled in Mexico. Also sailing was Sir William Winter's nephew, John of Dyrham. This John Winter was 26 when his father George died in 1581-1582 and only 22-years-old when he sailed. Drake on this voyage executed Thomas Doughty, whom the puritan Drake said was a "conjurer".

Drake was blown away from John Winter's ship Elizabeth by Cape Horn and learned that Tierra del Fuego is an island; then Drake sailed alone by Chile and Peru and called by California near present-day San Francisco. (At "New Albion". A brass plate about this was discovered in 1937.) Winter in Elizabeth had turned for home, believing that Drake had sunk. Drake then crossed the Pacific to the Moluccas (Spice Islands), but lost his cargo of peppers. He returned to Plymouth on 26 September, 1580, still with a profit of about �500,000.
A report dated 2 June 1579 on a voyage of 1577 has been found in the British Museum (in 1929) with the Prelude and Draft Plan of the Voyage which show that William and George Winter financially backed the voyage with �750 and �500 respectively.
Information here is adapted from Garcia's website, citing BM Lansdowne MSS 100 No.2, PRO. Here, various documents were transcribed by Professor E. G .R. Taylor into modern English. It seems to be an abridgement of a ship's log book and was addressed by John Winter to his uncle William Winter, Surveyor of the Navy and Master of the Ordnance of the Navy and to his father George Winter, Clerk of the Queen's Ships, both shareholders in the voyage who passed it to Lord Burghley and was endorsed by him "Voyage of Mr Winter with Mr Drake to ye Strait of Magellan [in] June 1579."


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Otherwise In 1577, George Winter, father of John with Drake's expedition, commanded a squadron of three of the queen's ships on the coast of Ireland, with orders to cruise between the Cape of Cornwall and the River Shannon, looking for La Roche, a Frenchman reported to be preparing some private expedition against Ireland and to stay there until his provisions ran out. The squadron sailed 20 July, returning on 18 October; but there is no record of the trouble which Howard mentioned.
SP Dom. Elizabeth cxiv 60, cxvii, PRO, as cited on Garcia's family-history website, The Golden Falcon, with index page given as (URL has changed): http://www.pillagoda.freewire.co.uk/

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Hawkins' First Bargain with the navy:

Shortly after John Hawkins had become navy treasurer, he had put forward to William Cecil, Lord Burghley, a contracting-out system known as the First Bargain which came into force by Michaelmas 1579. This was in two parts; the first between Elizabeth and Hawkins, under which he would provide mooring and reserve cables, hawsers, cordage, old cables for conversion and other items at his expense and a lump sum of �1200 per annum for expenditure. The surveyor, comptroller and clerk were to supervise and a yearly inspection would be made by a committee of four, two members named by Navy Boards officials and two by Hawkins.


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The other agreement was between the queen, Peter Pett and Matthew Baker, the master shipwrights, to repair five of the largest ships every three years or more to stop leaks, and to examine them every year, and another five, smaller, ships every two years. All ships were to be ransacked, caulked and repaired once a year. The shipwrights had to provide spars and masts at their own expense while the ships were in harbour (except the lower masts) and yards for medium and large ships would be supplied free by the Queen.

They had to provide wages, food and lodging for workers, carpenters' stores for ships at sea and everything necessary for repairing boats, cocks and skiffs out of their own pockets and would get �1000 for expenses and the use of storehouses.

Wages of shipkeepers, clerks, watchmen and the gunners at Upnor Castle, repair and maintenance of stores and wharves would be met under the old system. Dry-docking and heavy repairs would be seen to by the navy board.
Some material here is adapted with author's permission from sections of the Winter family history, The Golden Falcon, a website book by Wendy Florence Winter Garcia, with index page given as (URL has changed: http://www.pillagoda.freewire.co.uk/

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The Hawkins-Winter rivalry continues:

In brief, the Hawkins' and the Winters fell out due to a typical power struggle of the personality-clash variety. The details are sketchy, and little is told of the views of shipbuilders of the day, who presumably would have had their own anxieties about a power struggle in the upper administrative levels of the then-youthful navy.

Originally, Winter was already at the top of the naval tree, having originally been appointed by John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, in 1540 during the reign of Edward VI. When Hawkins came into the syndicate, he also determined to rise to the top. Hawkins had reversion of George Winter's post as treasurer of the navy which came to Hawkins when George died in 1582.

Hawkins succeeded William Winter as surveyor of the navy after accusing Winter of using the Queen's timber to build his ships. Winter lived in Lydney in the Forest of Dean and it was a common practice for naval employees to use such wood - especially of the "vorbid" trees (i. e. trees fallen in storms, etc.).
I am grateful for views here to Wendy Florence Winter Garcia, whose book gives letters from Winter to Cecil about Hawkins. Garcia's sources here include: Hawkins of Plymouth, and J. A. Williamson, The Defeat of John Hawkins. (Unwin)


Henry Baker, active by 1540, had been master shipwright for Henry VIII. On 25 April, 1573, Sir William Winter and Christopher Baker (son of Thomas Baker, probably of the Baker shipbuilding family led by Henry) had bought a wharf and lands at Wapping and the profits were to be shared between them. A new agreement was made between Sir John Winter of Lydney (Sir William's grandson) of the one part and John, son of George Acworth of Plymouth and Richard, son of Thomas Baker of the other part.
Close Roll 2555, PRO. Some material here is adapted with author's permission from sections of the Winter family history, The Golden Falcon, as above.

Garcia writes, (p. 200): John Hawkins MP sat for Plymouth again the in the Parliament of 1573. An experienced commander, Hawkins now had a footing in the business of the navy board, being allied by marriage and business partnership. He had even obtained in 1567 the reversion of the office of clerk of the ships, which carried a seat at the board. The vacancy had not yet occurred, but Hawkins had consulted Burghley and must have known much of the board's business. It was in London while riding with the recently knighted William Winter that John Hawkins nearly met his death in 1573. He was mistaken for Sir Christopher Hatton and stabbed by Peter Burchet, a mad Puritan of the Middle Temple. Hawkins nearly met his death then, as Burchet, a gentlemen of the Middle Temple and a Puritan fanatic of unsound mind, suspected Sir Christopher Hatton of bringing a Catholic influence to bear on the Queen. On the morning of 11 October he determined to murder Hatton and walked ready with his dagger in the Strand where he expected his quarry to pass by. But first John Hawkins came along, riding in company with Sir William Winter, who had recently been knighted. Burchet mistook Hawkins for Hatton, sprang forward and stabbed him. The wound was severe and recovery for some days seemed uncertain.
Per Wendy Florence Winter Garcia


The general sense of congratulation about Drake's feat of circumnavigation, and the great fortune he brought home, rather seem to have worked to disguise the growing rivalry between the Winters and the Hawkins' - and any members of other families which took either side of the fracas.

Between 1577-1578, Hawkins accused Sir William Winter of "abuses in the Admiralty touching her Majesty's Navy, of inefficiency, peculation and sabotaging England's defences in return for Spanish gold". Garcia writes: Hawkins even accused Sir William of being paid by the Spanish. He produced a report to William Cecil, Lord Burghley about the condition of the Navy which was highly critical of Winter, saying he kept records of indents for tackle and cordage in his private books and the Navy Office knew nothing about it. There were alleged abuses in purchasing and disposing of timber and planks which were used by private individuals. Hawkins maintained there was fraud "for Sir William Winter's commodity" and presented details under the heading "matteres that touch Sir William Winter particularly". Mentioned here were that the Mary Fortune and the Edward were built of royal timber (probably from the Forest of Dean); also wharves (one was at Wapping).


In the 1580s, many of the principal officers of the navy and the navy board were also Brethren of Trinity House of Deptford Strand - William Borough, Sir John Hawkins, the Treasurer, Sir William Winter, the Surveyor and William Holstock the Comptroller (until his death in 1589), were all members of Trinity House. William Borough became Clerk of the Acts in 1580 and was appointed Comptroller on the death of William Holstock.

By 1582, George Winter had died. Earlier he had taken some navy contracting, and he evidently had got a fortune of �10,000 when he dissolved an earlier partnership with his brother. During 1580-1581, after many months patrolling the west of Ireland to prevent any Spanish landing, William Winter was again appointed on committees on the subsidy (25 January, 1581), wrecks (30 January 1581), Aldgate (9 February, 1581), the Love family (4 March, 1581), merchant adventurers (27 August 1581), Dover Harbour (4 August 1581) and Norfolk Returns (9 November 1586) in his last year in Parliament.
Williamson, Age of Drake, pp. 264ff. Some material here is adapted with author's permission from sections of the Winter family history, The Golden Falcon, a website book by Wendy Florence Winter Garcia, with index page given as above.

In 1582: Garcia writes, pp.247-54: John Hawkins secured the reversion of George Winter's office of clerk of the ships. This vacancy did not occur till 1582, before which time Hawkins had entered the board at the top and not at the bottom. He had facilities for knowing what went on it the dockyards and what was the policy of the navy board, for his father-in-law was head of the board and he himself was formally promised a seat on it. Sir William Winter, most active member of the board, was his business associate in many ventures.

(By 1582, John Hawkins was already on the navy board and twice elected MP when he had reversion of the post of Clerk of the Ships due to George Winter's demise. But William Borough, member of the Muscovy Company, navigator, surveyor and captain actually filled the position. Benjamin Gonson was by now head of the navy board.)
Elizabeth Story Donno, (Ed.), An Elizabethan in 1582: The Diary of Richard Madox, Fellow of All Souls. London, The Hakluyt Society, 1976., mentioning John Winter, p. 17. See also, more generally in D. B. Quinn, The Hakluyt Handbook. Vol. 1. London, Hakluyt Society, 1974. Garcia feels: There is therefore a case for believing that Hawkins' advice may have had influence with the government and the navy board from the moment that he began to tender it. (He submitted a report saying the queen was being overcharged for the royal ships). The ships' boatswains were formerly obliged to indent for tackle and cordage and the indents filed in the navy office. Now the surveyor (W. Winter) keeps all such business in his private books, and the office knows nothing of what is supplied to the ships. On the purchase and disposal of timber and plank, great abuses prevail. The purveyors of timber, using the royal prerogative of compulsory purchase at fixed prices, make great profits, for they sell the best of the material for private use and make the state pay extremely for the refuse. The master shipwrights corroborate these statements, which have already been discussed at length with Lord Burghley and the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Although this deed is done in the name of another "we say that it is for Sir William Winter's commodity."

Detailed statements follow headed "Matters that touch Sir William Winter particularly" the Mary Fortune, a ship of his, was built in great part with the Queen's material. The Edward, another of his was built entirely of royal timber. Winter uses the Queens timber to build wharves for private use. The ship, which Francis Drake had, was built with much of the queen's timber, and so also were his four pinnaces made at Her Majesty's charge but Winter took of him �120 for them. (Note: Drake did not get finally away on his voyage of circumnavigation until December 1577. The ship is not the Golden Hind which is known to have been French built. It is more probably the Elizabeth, commanded by John Winter, nephew of Sir William. All the decayed great cables are sold but nothing is paid into the treasury. All are sold to the benefit of Winter and his confederates. All the boatswains, gunners and pursers are appointed by Winter, "and so all reduced to his profit." (Hawkins even went so far as to accuse Sir William and the rest of the navy board of being in Spanish pay. Hawkins himself did not want a war with Spain.)
Per Wendy Florence Winter Garcia

Garcia writes: The navy treasurer's (Hawkins') fellow officers were resolutely obstructive. In his own words, their policy was "to weary Hawkins of his bargain". They unceasingly alleged that Hawkins was corrupt and the ships were rotten, that he was filling his purse by imperilling the nation, that his apparent economy was obtained by neglecting necessary work and leaving what should have been ordinary expenditure to accumulate until it passed into heavy work under he extraordinary heading. They said that he did his partly by being "an invisible partner" in the bargain with the master shipwrights and so influencing them to neglect their repairs. Sir William Winter as recognised as an able man and he had powerful friends. Statements like the above, oft repeated, were bound to have an effect. Hawkins had been appointed by Burghley�s, and some of the Council and many of the courtiers were no friends of Burghley. If Winter kept up the pressure, he had a hope of ousting his supplanter and securing his own reinstatement. By the autumn of 1583 he had made such progress that the Privy Council decided to appoint a commission to inquire into the state of the navy.
Per Wendy Florence Winter Garcia

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Puritans and piracy

Puritan engagement in maritime endeavour was indeed spreading, but there could never have been a good time for senior naval administrators to belabour each other with accusations of the other's corruption! By 1578, an anti-Spanish rear-admiral, who sailed under Sir Humphrey Gilbert and Drake in 1578, was Sir Francis Knollys (1550-1648). He was the son of the Puritan statesman, Sir Francis Knollys (1512/14-1596) who married Catherine Carey (died 1569), daughter of William Carey and Mary Boleyn, the parents of Henry, first Baron Hunsdon.
Hasler, The History of Parliament, pp. 408-409. GEC, Peerage, Northumberland, p. 734; Paget, p. 284. Who�s Who in Shakespeare's England, p. 141. J. Shakespear, John Shakespear of Shadwell and his Descendants, 1619-1931. Self-published, Newcastle UK, 1931., tabulations, pp. 80ff and notes thereto.


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In 1578, Raleigh's half-brother Sir Humphrey Gilbert led a piratical expedition against Spaniards, in company with Raleigh as captain of Falcon. Raleigh was perhaps also with Gilbert on a 1579 expedition. (Raleigh was cousin of Sir Richard Grenville.) Almost naturally, the theme of the subjugation of Ireland interested Puritans. By late 1580, Raleigh was captain of a company of foot at Munster, Ireland, helping to suppress a rising of the Desmonds. He recommended the assassination of Irish leaders. And by 1581, Raleigh had instituted a correspondence with Walsingham in London.

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The growth of English companies

During 1581, Elizabeth I granted charters to companies trading to Spain and Portugal, the Eastland Co. to the Baltic, later the Levant Co. to Turkey; about when Raleigh was planning a company in Virginia.

Edmund Fenton of the Muscovy Company was also active by 1583, and he visited the Moluccas and the Spice Islands, although Houtman for the Dutch had become the first European about Indonesia to exploit Sumatra successfully. Fenton made a voyage partly of discovery, partly of plunder, with the backing of the first Earl of Leicester, Sir Philip Sydney (1554-1586), who was married to Frances daughter of Sir Francis Walsingham) and Secretary of State, William Cecil (1521-1598), Lord Burghley.

The Muscovy Company as a body had provided a large direct investment. Fenton's supporters included Thomas Pullyson, William Towerson, Thomas Aldersey, Thomas Starkey (all Spanish Company directors) plus Sir George Barne (died 1593), a founding Spanish Company director and a co-founder of the Turkey Company.
Barne's father was deep in the Spanish trade from the 1560s. On Barne, Governor of the Muscovy Company in 1580 and 1583: Brenner, Merchants and Revolution, pp. 18-20, p. 63. Burke's Extinct Baronetcies for Garrard, p. 214, and , p. 446. Hasler, History of Parliament, Vol. 3, p. 571 for his daughter's marriage to Walsingham. Conyers Read, Mr Secretary Walsingham and the Policy of Queen Elizabeth. Vol. 3, Oxford University Press at the Clarendon Press., pp. 425ff. Valerie Hope, My Lord Mayor: Eight Hundred Years of London's Mayoralty. London, Weidenfeld and Nicolson in association with the Corporation of the City of London, 1989.)

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The end of the Winters

Certainly, it seems, the partly-Catholic Winter family drifted further from interests in naval and maritime management. Presumably, the Protestant Hawkins family would hardly have complained. There was by November 1583... another Catholic conspiracy, the Throckmorton plot, named after Francis and Thomas Throckmorton, sons of the Catholic Sir John Throckmorton (Mary Tudor's personal lawyer) and nephews of Sir Nicholas Throckmorton, the English ambassador in France and of Katherine Throckmorton, wife of Robert Winter of Huddington.

Also by 1583, Raleigh was finding great favour at court and given a grant of Durham House, Strand. He also had a grant of power to grant licences to vintners, ie, pubkeepers, which he sub-leased. In 1583 Raleigh helped fund Sir Humphrey Gilbert's expedition to Newfoundland, on which Gilbert died. Gilbert's patent went to Raleigh in 1584... a patent to take possession of "any remote barbarous and heathen lands not possessed by any Christian prince or people". Raleigh remained interested in colonising Virginia and sent out Capt. Philip Amadas with Capt. Arthur Barlowe to explore. They sailed by the Canaries and Florida, thence to North Carolina. The name Virginia was given to "a large, undefined territory". Raleigh meantime became MP for Devonshire.
From Encyclopedia Britannica, entry on Raleigh. Some material here is adapted with author's permission from sections of the Winter family history, The Golden Falcon, a website book by Wendy Florence Winter Garcia, with index page given as above.

1584 was also the year in which Richard Hakluyt heralded a long-later usage of convict labour in English colonies, when he deplored the "multitude of idle and mutinous persons within the realm... whereby all the prisons are stuffed full ... the pety thieves might be employed for certain years in the western parts in sawing and felling of timber and in planting of sugar canes".
Wilfrid Oldham, Britain's Convicts to the Colonies. Sydney, Library of Australian History, 1990., p.1.

By November 1584, a syndicate "more military than commercial" was going to the Moluccas, Indonesia. Behind it were Elizabeth, Earl Leicester, John and William Hawkins, Drake, Raleigh and Hatton, to find �40,000 for eleven ships, four barques and twenty pinnaces with 1600 men. No particulars were given of the route, but Burghley knew of the scheme. No mention of the Winters; had they been fully eclipsed by now?
Williamson, Drake, p. 276. Andrews, Spanish Caribbean, pp. 135ff. A minor role for some of the Winters is outlined in Kenneth R. Andrews, (Ed.), The Last Voyage of Drake and Hawkins. Cambridge, Published for the Hakluyt Society at the University Press, 1972., here, pp. 12ff. See also, entries in Encyclopedia Britannica, 1962 edition, for Sir John Hawkins (died 1595) and his son Sir Richard (c.1560-1622), with incidentally no mention of rivalries with members of the Winter family.


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English ambitions and confidence were growing, but there was little patience in London for an infight between naval administrators. To 1585, the maritime establishment increasingly turned against Sir William Winter.

Endnote 1: By Elizabeth's reign (from 1558) English ships were unloaded at the English factory at San Lucar de la Barrameda (the only port allowed to trade with the Americas from 1492-1717) and Cadiz. English merchants from London, Southampton, Bristol and the West Country resided in Seville where the Casa de las Indias was situated. The English in Spain became hispanized and the Spanish in England anglicised; the English family of Castlyns or Castelyn were perhaps of Spanish origin. Hugh Tipton, an important English merchant in Seville, was John Hawkins' agent to whom he sent cargoes.
Some material here is adapted with author's permission from sections of the Winter family history, The Golden Falcon, a website book by Wendy Florence Winter Garcia, with index page given as above.


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Endnote2: On the Fenners as a family of English privateers see also, Kenneth. R. Andrews, 'Thomas Fenner and the Guinea Trade, 1564', The Mariner's Mirror., 1952, pp. 312-314. In 1584 Fenner went to sea with pirate John Challice to plunder Portuguese shipping. One Thomas Fenner was a vice-admiral for English expeditions of 1585-1587.

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