Robert Stephen Hawker was born on Dec. 3, 1803, to Jacob Stephen Hawker and Jane Elizabeth Drewitt. He was educated at Liskeard and Cheltenham Grammar Schools, and Pembroke College and Magdalen College, Oxford, receiving his B.A. in 1828. Hawker brought out his first book of poems, Tendrils, in 1821, and won the Newdigate Prize at Oxford for a poem on Pompeii in 1827.

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