HAWKES, Richard (by 1474-1532), of London.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. by 1474. educ. L. Inn. m. by 1503, at least 1s.2

Offices Held

Feodary, duchy of Lancaster, Herefs. and Worcs. 1495, steward, Herefs. 1523-d.; coroner, Mdx. 1506; commr. subsidy, Mdx. 1512, 1514, 1523, 1524; other commissions, London and Mdx. 1524-30; feodary, London and Mdx. 1513; steward, Finsbury, Mdx. 1514-d.; j.p. Mdx. 1528- d.; escheator, Kent and Mdx. 1529-30.3


Richard Hawkes came from Worcester and in 1495 was appointed feodary of the duchy of Lancaster in Herefordshire and Worcestershire, but by 1506 he was living in London, which remained his home thereafter. He may have been related to the William Halke or Hawke who was practising as an attorney in the 1490s. He received his legal education at Lincoln’s Inn, where he was elected escheator in 1507 and 1508 and steward in 1518. He did not rise high either there or in the profession, but he remained a member of the inn throughout his life and two years before he died he was made an associate of the bench, being entitled to advise the benchers but not to vote with them.4

By 1512 Hawkes was practising as an attorney in the King’s bench, being paid ‘for his counsel and assistance’ by the bridgemasters of London. In 1514 he became the City’s steward of the lordship of Finsbury at a yearly fee of 13s.4d. Among other duties, in three commissions for searches to be made for malefactors in London in the 1520s he was assigned to the Highgate and Hornsey districts. From 1525 he leased lands in Kentish Town and in 1531 he acquired a manor or capital messuage in Edmonton. He also bought lands at Honnington, Shropshire, in 1529 and Egleton, Herefordshire, about 1530.5

Hawkes’s own standing in Middlesex would scarcely have sufficed to procure his election in 1529 as junior knight of the shire, but he had known his senior colleague and neighbour Robert Wroth since at least 1518, when he had entered into a bond for the payment of Wroth’s livery, and this may have worked in his favour. More powerful support could have come from two prominent members of his inn who had residences in Middlesex and other connexions with Hawkes, namely, Roger Cholmley, then a common pleader of London, and Sir Thomas More, chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster. Nothing is known of Hawkes’s role in Parliament nor is there any evidence of a by-election to fill the vacancy left by his death in May or June 1532, when he presumably fell victim to the epidemic which took a heavy toll especially at the inns of court. He was replaced as steward of Finsbury by Wroth on 4 July. An inquisition post mortem held the following year in Herefordshire recorded that his 18 messuages in Egleton had descended to his son, William Hawkes, then rising 30 years of age.6

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: Helen Miller


  • 1. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from first reference. C142/83/303.
  • 3. Somerville, Duchy, i. 637, 639; CPR, 1494-1509, p. 501; Statutes, iii. 82, 116; LP Hen. VIII, i, iii, iv; City of London RO, Guildhall, rep. 2, f. 181v; 8, f. 233.
  • 4. Somerville, i. 639; CPR, 1494-1509, p. 501; M. Blatcher, ‘Working of the ct. of KB in the 15th cent.’ (London Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1936), app. C, p. xlii; Black Bk. L. Inn, i. 139, 146, 151, 187, 222, 226, 231.
  • 5. City of London RO, bridge accts. 1509-25, f. 45v ex inf. Prof. Margaret Hastings; rep. 2, f. 181v; 8, f. 233; LP Hen. VIII, i-v, xxi, add; C1/1165/6, 1438/11.
  • 6. LP Hen. VIII, ii, v; City of London RO, rep. 8, f. 233; C142/83/303.