The surname of HAWKINS was a baptismal name 'the son of Henry', an ancient and still popular font name. Early records of the name mention Haukynus le Cotoler of the County of Yorkshire in 1313. Haukyn Skinner of the County of Cumberland in 1332. Henricus Hawkynne of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Wilham Hawkyns was registered at Oxford University in October 1539. Sir John Hawkins (1532-1592) was the English navigator and naval commander who was born in Plymouth. He became the first Englishman to traffic in slaves. His 'commercial' venture ended in a disastrous third voyage (1567) when he and Drake were intercepted by a Spanish Fleet. Most of the European surnames in countries such as England, Scotland and France were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name.
Henry, 1st Baron Brampton Hawkins (1817-1907) was an English judge born at Hitchin. He became a Q.C. in 1858, and was counsel for the defence, and later for the crown. He became a judge in 1876. In civil cases, fearing possible reversal of his decisions on appeal, he employed various tricks to avoid passing judgments. In the numerous murder cases which came before him, his fairness however, did not warrent the nickname 'Hanging Hawkins' which was given him.
At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour.
The associated coat of arms is recorded
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