Hawker, Robert Stephen

Hawker, Robert Stephen (1803 - 1875)


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. After being ordained a priest in the Anglican Church in 1831, Hawker settled down in the vicarage at Morwenstow, Cornwall, in 1837, with his wife, Charlotte Eliza Rawleigh I'ans, whom he had married on Nov. 6, 1823. Other books of verse came out in 1832, 1840, 1843, and 1844, but only when Charles Dickens acknowledged his authorship of "The Song of the Western Men" on Nov. 20, 1852, in Household Words, did Hawker become well known as a poet. After Charlotte died on Feb. 2, 1863, Hawker published The Quest of the Sangraal (1864) and remarried, to Pauline Anne Kuczynski, on Dec. 21 that year. His Cornish Ballads was published in 1869. Hawkins converted to Roman Catholicism before his death at 9 Lockyer St., Plymouth, on August 15, 1875. He was survived by his wife and three daughters. The photograph of Robert Stephen Hawker, at 61, taken by Dr. Richard Budd at Barnstaple in 1864, appears in C. E. Byles' The Life and Letters of R. S. Hawker (1906), opp. p. 482. See Robert Stephen Hawker: His life and writings, the authoritative online resource, edited by Angela Williams.

  • Byles, C. E. The Life and Letters of R. S. Hawker (sometime Vicar of Morwenstow). London: J. Lane, the Bodley Head, 1906. PR 4759 .H9Z48 1906 Robarts Library
  • C., W. P. "Hawker, Robert Stephen." Dictionary of National Biography. IX. 1891. 202-03.
  • Hawker, Robert Stephen. Cornish Ballads & Other Poems. Intro. by C.E. Byles. London: J. Lane, 1908. PR 4759 H9C6 1908 Robarts Library
  • --. Cornish Ballads and Other Poems: a Facsimile Reproduction of the 1869 Edition. Intro. by Kay J. Walter and Terence Allan Hoagwood. Delmar, N.Y.: Scholars' Facsimiles and Reprints, 1994. PR 4759 H9C6 1869a Robarts Library
  • --. Ecclesia: A Volume of Poems. Oxford: J.G. and J. Rivington, 1840. (Also 1846.) PR 4759 H9E3 Robarts Library
  • --. Echoes from Old Cornwall. London: Joseph Masters, 1846.
  • --. The Quest of the Sangraal: Chant the First. Exeter: Printed for the author, 1864. PR 4759 H9 Q8 Victoria College Library
  • --. Records of the Western Shore. Oxford: D. A. Talboys, 1832. Reprinted 1836.
  • --. Reeds Shaken with the Wind. London: James Burns, 1843 and 1844.
  • --. Selected Poems: Robert Stephen Hawker. Ed. Cecil Woolf. London: C. Woolf, 1975. PR 4759 H9A6 1975 Robarts Library
  • -- [Reuben]. Tendrils. Cheltenham: Hatchard, 1821.
Given Name
Robert Stephen
Family Name
Birth Date
December 3, 1803
Death Date
August 15, 1875
Family Relations
father : Jacob Stephen Hawker
wife : Pauline Anne Hawker
husband : Charlotte Eliza Rawleigh I'ans
  • Minister

Literary Period
Literary Movement
First RPO Edition